DIY Library Table – From An Old Spool

This fantastic idea is from Country Living, and you can read their tutorial here.  I made mine a bit different, which I will explain here.  I worked on it over a weekend and am so happy with the results.  I absolutely adore this!!

First you need to get your hands on an old wooden spool.  Now you may see nicer ones around construction sites or work yards, but I learned that someone has put an expensive deposit on these.  $180.00 so they can be re-used when you take them back for more wire.  Yikes!  Luckily you can probably find older ones that are not in perfect shape that people are willing to get rid of.  When I told my friend Chris about my project he remembered that in the yard where we used to work up until a few months ago, there was a whole bunch in the back that had been sitting there for years.  So we took a drive over and I snagged 2.  THANKS CHRIS!

A few tools that I found helpful

  • Electric sander with sand paper
  • Cordless drill with longer screws (2 ½″)
  • Saw
  • Hammer
What you need
  • 12 Dowels from Home Depot or somewhere similar.  Or less if you like, it’s really up to you.  I used 4 larger dowels, 1.5″ and 8 smaller dowels,¾″.
  • 3-4 rotating castor wheels.  Also from Home Depot or somewhere like Ikea.  I used 4 because my spool is quite large
  • Paint. 1 quart. I used white.  You want a paint that you can wipe down.  A stain might be nice too.
  • Paint Brush
  • Rust Protective Spray (optional)

  1. First I sanded down my spool to get out any rough spots, dirt, and to make it nice and smooth for painting.  I did this outside.
  2. Next I used a white protective spray on any staples, screws or hardware to prevent them from rusting in the future.
  3. Now you want to add in your dowels.  I measured the distance between the top and the bottom, inside to inside.  16″.  The dowels are sold 48″ long, so for my larger ones I had them cut them at home depot, a tad bit longer than 16″ though.  2 of them ended up being perfect, and the third piece was a bit short due to the fact that I wentlonger than 16.  I used a saw at home to cut the smaller dowel to 16 and ¼″, with a few left over.  I then arranged them around the spool as desired, I just eye balled it, no tape measure used.  I tried to space them out evenly. Since the dowels were longer than distance in between, I used a hammer to move them around and they were snug between the top and bottom.  I used the hammer to move them around if necessary.  I had some that were a little short or loose, and obviously would not stay.  That is when I used my cordless drill and screws to secure them more, drilling into the top and bottom and into the dowel. Worked out great.  Does that make sense?
  4. Flipped the table over and screwed on 4 castors.
  5. Now time to paint. I definitely recommend 2 coats, leaving the first to dry over night.

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14 responses

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