Monday, April 23, 2012

38 Things: Make a Coffee Table (A Bowling Pin Coffee Table)

We have desperately needed a coffee table since we moved into our house nearly 6 months ago. (can you believe it?  Six months?  Wow, time goes by fast!)  Instead of buying something, I decided on my list of 38 Things I Want to do Before I Turn 39 that I should make something.  I don't like having a house full of furniture that looks like a showroom.  I know I can't make it all, but I like to have funky, one of a kind character pieces in my house to liven things up.
First, I sourced the butcher block top from a piece of IKEA furniture we bought for the kitchen.  We combined 2 island tables together with one large counter and this small one was left over.  Next, I realized I had a whole bunch of bowling pins collecting space in the garage and thought they would be perfect for legs.  Then I didn't do anything about it for 2 months until I convinced my friend Patrick to help me with attachments.

We cut 5/16th steel all-thread from Home Depot into 5 inch lengths.  Then we used a drill press (OK, Patrick used the drill press; I watched) to drill approx 2" through the top layer of plastic and into interior made of wood.  Next we threaded the all-thread into the bowling pins.  We did this by screwing on 2 nuts on one end of the all thread and then using a wrench to twist it into the pins.  Then I cut the all-thread lengths to 1 1/2"--that was enough to go through the block and washer and have enough room to be screwed tightly with the decorative brass nuts.  A very helpful man at Ace Hardware helped me to figure out the best hardware to use.  Finally, I worked out what pattern I wanted the bowling pins to be, drilled the holes and then assembled the whole thing! 
It only took a couple of hours.  The pins are a tiny bit wobbly and so we might make a triangular base for each end to stabilize them.  But I needed it finished since I was hosting my book club last night and it worked great to hold our books and drinks!


  1. this is awesome! my dad loves bowling and once designed a table similar to this..but he never built it. Im gonna do this for him. Thanks for posting this!

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