Spool Coffee Table Tutorial

Remember that industrial factory cart coffee table I made a while back? I loved that table. It had it all: the charm, the farmhouse look, the functionality.... but, when my husband became laid off from work for months at a time, we started looking at what we could sell to make a profit and replace cheaply.Yes, it's true, I sold the coffee table. Turns out the same reasons that made me love it made it a very marketable item. However, as I told my husband, "we can't just go without some kind of coffee table." So, we took stock of things we had on hand and built a new one.

And can I just say, I think I love it even more! Here is my spool coffee table tutorial that I think you're going to enjoy.

Materials and Supplies

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  1. A nice sized spool
  2. 10' 2x4 (depends on the size of your spool)
  3. at least 16" of a 4x4
  4. 4 6" swivel metal caster wheels*
  5. Kreg Jig Pocket hole driver*
  6. Pocket hole Screws*
  7. Power Drill*
  8. 2" screws*
  9. Black Spray Paint*
  10. Stain*

Disassemble the spool

The difficulty of this first step depends on how old and rusty your spool is. Just roll your sleeves up and use that ol' elbow grease! Or ask your husband to do it like I did :)


Most spools will have 4 nuts at the top that when unscrewed will allow the entire thing to sort of fall apart.


For this project, you'll only need one side of the spool. The other side and planks can be stored up for a later project.


Stain the spool

It's always easier to get the stain to cover thoroughly when you do it before assembling whatever project you're creating. Which is hard because I always get so excited about the actual building part that I hate to wait a day for the stain to dry. Nevertheless....

Make the "skirt"

Ok, this is where the fun stuff comes in. You have your stained spool all ready to go and can pull out the power tools! Now, I wish I could give you exact measurements on the following steps, but because spools vary greatly in size, you'll have to do what we did and just guess.


It helps to lay the boards on top of the spool and draw a line from there with a square.


Then cut the boards to size.


Next you should stain the skirt. And remember to have a towel handy to mop up ugly drippage like what you see in the picture!


In order to affix the skirt onto the spool, you'll have to drill pocket holes on the inside. We did two holes per side and felt it was plenty strong.


Paint and Attach the Wheels

I'm not a fan of the silver color the wheels came in, so we gave them a quick coat of black spray paint just like the last coffee table. I also saved some hardware from the original spool and painted those.


While those are drying, cut out four 4x4x4 inch chunks of wood. These are what the wheels will be attached to. Give 'em a nice coat of stain as well.


When they are dry, screw them into the skirt frame.


Finally, attach the wheels.

Ta-da! A spool coffee table!


Flip the whole thing over and admire your work! The biggest improvement I've enjoyed with this table vs. the last is the swivel wheels. They allow full motion in any direction which makes vacuuming and clearing space for acrobatics with my 3 year old a breeze!