John Biermacher
John Biermacher
  • Hometalker
  • Kalamazoo, MI

Repurposed Deck Table

5 Materials
$25
1 Week
Easy

My wife is very supportive of my woodworking and repurposing. But she often reminds me that just because someone doesn’t want something, I don’t have to take it off their hands. My position is- it often works out you just have to be patient.
Pedestals and table top in front of my truck
Pedestals and table top in front of my truck
My good friend Dave owns a machine shop and years ago purchased some industrial grinders at a local auction. He later realized that not only were they 3-phase, they required 440 volts which made them impractical for his shop. He eventually scrapped the motors which had value for their copper content and kindly gave me the cast iron bases. 

About a year ago another friend (Steve) alerted me to a treasure that was at the curb near his house and he thought I could find a use for. It was a patio table. I liked the top which was well constructed from tongue and groove roof decking. It was in quite good shape, although the finish was weathered and peeling. The base, which had once been a large electrical wire spool was beyond salvaging.
Pedestal with the motor mount attached.
Pedestal with the motor mount attached.
For more than a year the grinder pedestals and the table top sat in the front of my garage.
Table in process in my shop.
Table in process in my shop.
Recently some friends (Tim and Linda) wondered if I had any ideas on a table they could use on their deck. I suggested the pedestal bases, but told them they would be bar height, which they liked along with their turquoise color. 
Workshop photo of the underside the table.
Workshop photo of the underside the table.
Then they saw the table top and wondered if it would work and then a project was born. The whole thing came together amazingly well. The top required a support to bring the table to proper (42”) height and I found exactly what was needed in “my inventory”. The pedestal bases looked even better with a light overspray of bright turquoise. I capped the holes in the bottom of the base with carriage bolts. but they could be anchored to the deck.

The top cleaned up well with a wire brush, an angle grinder with a flap sander, and an orbital sander. I coated it with Cabot’s Australian Timber oil (natural color).  It is an exterior penetrating sealer/stain that I like because when something needs re-coating there isn’t a lot of prep required. 
Completed table on Linda and Tim's deck.
Completed table on Linda and Tim's deck.
The table is quite heavy, but the pedestals and top can be separated by loosening eight bolts.

It is a wonderful thing when a project comes together for very little money.

Addendum:
Susan Cline Myers commented on a question and I would like it if more people see her suggestion-
"You could also use old pedestal bases from pedestal sinks. See these often in junk/salvage shops,etc. That is what I thought yours were when I saw these pics. Great job - love the finished procuct!!!"

Resources for this project:

Industrial grinder bases
Tongue and groove table top
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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Martian
    on Jul 4, 2018

    Could you please tell me what you used to stabalize the table??

    • Martian
      on Jul 11, 2018

      I was also thinking about the different types of pedestals that are used on tables. I have a project I would love to do but I have no place to work on it and I don’t hzve the tools either.

  • Twe33172748
    on Jul 23, 2018

    My question is about paint. We have a new townhome. There were scratches after we moved. My husband painted them with exactly the same color of paint. Now we have big shinny spots! What can I do to make it look like new?

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