A good friend of mine really wanted a wooden cable spool to turn into a side table, but those things are as scarce as hen’s teeth. I looked everywhere but sadly finding a discarded spool that didn’t cost as much as a small car wasn’t on the cards. I guess everyone wants one after seeing all the amazing things you can make with them.
She’s a really special person, so I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I could help her out. And then I remembered that we had some PVC pipe left over from when we used them as fillers for our gabion planters. Those leftovers would be the perfect starting point for a wooden cable spool side table.
How to Make a Cable Spool From Scratch
A 20″ PVC pipe is just the right diameter to form the bit where they normally wind the cable onto the spool. Can you see it? That’s the joining middle bit of the spool right there 😀
It doesn’t look pretty yet, but it will soon. I promise. Okay so I’ve got the middle bit sorted, now all I needed to do was figure out how to make and attach the top and bottom circle bits. I figured the best way to do that was to cut two small circles from thick bits of wood using a jigsaw.
The small circles fit snugly inside the PVC pipe.
Right I think that could work. Next thing was to come up with some kind of plan to make that PVC pipe look a little less PVC-ish 😀 We had some shiplap (tongue and groove) left over from when we made Talea’s window seat. And as luck would have it, were the right width to go all the way around the PVC pipe. I just had to cut the shiplap to the right height.
Now to find out how big the top and bottom bits should be. I’m not very scientific when it comes to something like this. I just eyeballed the PVC pipe and drew a rough circle on our patio to get a feel for how wide the top and bottom of the wooden cable spool should be. And they say that only crazy people can draw a perfect circle 😉
I ran around the house until I found a tray that was about the right size and used it to trace two circles onto some hardboard. The tray was a little smaller than I wanted so, once again, I used the “eye ball” method to make it a bit wider and cut two circles out of hardboard using our jigsaw.
We glued and screwed the hardboard circles onto some pallet boards that never made it past an idea stage. Does that happen to you too? You get this thing in your head and then it just fizzles into nothing. Oh well, whatever I had planned for these pallets clearly didn’t happen.
Once the glue had set, the pallet boards were cut, using the hardboard circles as a template. After applying a coat or two of paint, the top, bottom and middle pieces were done. Time to put this baby together and see if it works.
Putting the Wooden Cable Spool Table Together
Find the center of all the circles using this handy tip that I learnt from Handan over at the Navage Patch. Glue and screw the smaller circles that fit inside the PVC pipe to the center of the bigger circles. Make sure that you glue one of the small circles to the hardboard side and the other one to the pallet side of the bigger circles. You want to see the lovely grooves between the pallets when your done, not the boring, flat hardboard 😉
Add some glue all around that little circle and squish the PVC pipe on. Attach the shiplap, or tongue and groove, by screwing it
on in all the way around the PVC pipe.
Stand back and admire your work in progress. Then squish the other big pallet circle into the other end of the PVC pipe and do the same. Open a beer and do a happy dance coz it looks like a wooden cable spool. Add a beautiful graphic from The Graphics Fairy to take it to the next level or have a few more beers and call it a day 😉
Don’t you just love all the beautiful labels and pictures you can download for free from her site? Hubby said I needed to make a hole in the top, because it looks more authentic. I think he’s right and wouldn’t you know it. The “O” in the graphic was slap bang in the center of where that hole went.
What do you think? Did I get it right? Does it look spoolish?
If you like the idea or want to make your own cable spool, don’t forget to pin it for later.
I’m glad I waited before having another beer, the graphic just makes it looks so much more professional.
I really hope she likes it. I’ve sent her some teaser photos, but she hasn’t seen it all dollied up yet. If you’d like to make something similar I’ve added some affiliate links below. Disclosure: If you click on them, we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more crafty ideas to share with you 😉
Wishing you all a beautiful, creative, wacky week, with love as always