A really, really long time ago, I showed The Hero a picture of a table made from a tire. Those were in the early days of my Pinterest addiction, when I would print 100 projects each week and file them in 4” D-ring binders just in case I ever wanted to make them. I was ambitious.
About two months ago, The Hero replaced two tires on The Lady. I remembered the tire table project and figured, why not? If I messed it up, I could easily redo it with the second tire. I pulled out the picture and… no instructions, no Web site address, nothing. I literally had a picture with the note “I can figure this out”.
Sigh. I always make it harder for myself. To make this easier for you though, I’m going to tell you exactly where I made all the mistakes.
The first thing I knew I needed to do was buy the supplies. I went to Lowes to pick up a couple of pieces of wood, rope, water-activated Gorilla glue and hardware.
Mistake 1: not measuring anything and thinking ‘I’ll just come back and get more of what I need if I have to’.
I knew I needed to cover the tire with wood. I took the two planks and outlined my tire on each piece, cutting out each circle-like shape with the jigsaw.
Mistake 2: drawing the circles SMALLER than the circumference of the tire thinking the rope will fill in the gaps.
To create the table form, I used the Gorilla glue to secure the wood circles to both sides of the tire. The instructions said to use gloves because it would stain my hands. I also needed to be sure that wherever I put wood on the tire is where I wanted it to stay because the glue sets quickly and expands as it dries.
Mistake 3: not being quick enough on the set and realizing the circle was slightly askew.
After waiting an hour (and simultaneously trying to figure out how to avoid more mistakes), I started to cover the table with rope. I chose the spiral design on top because it seemed to be the easiest option. I bought three bags of 50-foot, ⅜” diameter rope thinking that surely 150 feet of rope would cover a 26” tire. Wrong. It actually takes about 5 bags. And Home Depot and Lowes don’t sell the same diameter rope. If I had to choose, I’d say go with the Home Depot’s ½” rope instead of Lowes’ ⅜” rope.
I also started with Super Glue and quickly realized that it wasn’t drying fast enough for me, so I switched to hot glue. And then I ran out of glue sticks.
Mistake 4: not purchasing enough supplies to complete the project in one sitting.
After getting enough rope and glue sticks (bought the 100-stick bag), I FINALLY reached the end and realized that the gaps I mentioned above were REALLY noticeable at the top of the table. I didn’t want to cover BOTH sides of the tire, so I decided to fill in the top gaps and stuff the bottom of the table with anything that would fit in the space: plastic bags, rope bag remnants, rope pieces… anything that would make rope wrapping easier. After many hot glue burnings, the table was complete.
Mistake 5: not filling in the gaps BEFORE I started wrapping the rope.
With the tire fully covered, deciding how tall the table should be was next. Table legs were more expensive than I anticipated (the cheapest ones were $3.68 each, not including hardware). When The Hero told me how tall he wanted the table, I realized I needed 7” legs. Another trip to the store. If it wasn’t late and Lowes wasn’t closed, I would have gone and purchased the legs right then and there, but I was beat, my fingertips were raw from roping and I really just wanted to burn everything at that point. Thankfully, the next morning, The Hero said he actually didn’t want legs and would be happy with two or three more tables that he could arrange however he wanted and distribute to his friends when they came over. I just sat there and stared at him a moment.
Mistake 6: trying to DIY everything for the Man Cave
Despite all the mistakes, we both love the new table. To finish it off properly, I’m going to put a coat of lacquer on it to tame the flyaway rope hairs sticking up everywhere. For right now though, I’m going to just enjoy finishing this project.