Coffee table with Pirelli tires
Lorenzo and Sarah, two nice friends, told me they decided to go to live together in a new house, partially furnished, they also told me the intention to gradually furnish the rooms.
Some days ago, invited me to see the apartment that impressed me for the nice ambients inside. It’s full of different areas which can be used in various ways.
They are interested in DIY style, so I decided to give them a push by crafting a coffee table for the sitting room, one of the first rooms they’d like to furnish.
By some week, I’ve put a pair of tires in my warehouse I thought to use in some way, maybe to craft a small coffee table to place near my sofa, at the and I decided to use these tires for them.
I got the tires from Gianni, a dear friend who remembered I told him I’d started eventually to search for used tires to create some DIY craft. He’s been so nice to remember it and recover them for me.
More then in other cases, tires must be very well cleaned, because in their lifecycle they are in contact with asphalt and the poisonous fine powder from car’s exhaust pipes.
The black powder in my fingers is for sure lampblack (carbon powder), it’s the reason why tires are black. This is a gift, and it must be in a prefect state when I’ll give it to them, and of course it cannot be poisonous and toxic!
I’ve cleaned tires with a plastic brush, than soap and a sponge. I’ve had hand soap only, and it worked nice, the more of the dirty was in the inner side of the tires, I thought viceversa.
To avoid soiling again the tires, I’ve attached them to a hook fixed on the ceil of my warehouse, that’s perfect because it will be dried easily and without touch anything.
Once dried, the tires are nice, they are full of details, it’s old owner forgot to swap them, and they became consumed just by one side, the other side will be now kept visible.
I thought to paint the writings with a white color, Lorenzo loves graphic design, and tires have a lot of nice functional graphic design.
This is the most hardest part of the work, render white writings is not easy because I’m not sure yet how tires works acrylic colors, I hope they not loose color after I give the gift. I’ve applied a coat of adhesion of plaster, then I’ve used titanium white acrylic color.
I‘ve used a soft brush and a little bit of color during the painting, because writings were eroded and it was very easy make a mistake an go outside the letters, fortunately the work went well!
When I recycle an object, my intention is not only to use it in a different context, I want it as something beautiful, like a peace of artwork, beautiful and functional.
Because it’s a coffee table that should be placed on a sitting room, I decided to mount a hard steel brushed which will be used as a the wheel rim, as a cover and it will let it’s owner to put his feet up without bruise or scratch it.
I’ve also decided to place another hard steel brushed between the two tires, to let the table became also a container.
The comfort before everything!
Now it comes a problem on how to mount tires with precision and stability. I’ve decided to bolt them each other with three bolts, It will be enough.
The problem is I cannot drill two tires vertically at the same time, so I’ve applied three white color points to be used in one tire to mark the other one.
So I used the first tire to set the other three points just by placing it above the other one, that ensures me to be more precise the do it just with the eye precision, and it’s more easy to the job right. Once I’ve resolved how to do it, I can go on without problems.
Drilling the tire will produce a lot of dirty and burnt plastic smell, You’ll need to clean where you do that job.
Finally, I’m arrived to the finishings, after some research I’ve bought a clear coat matt spray to be applied to tires to give them a more brilliant surface without make them lucid.
I’ve used Drip Smalto Acrilico Spray, that it’s been perfect for my scope.
The result was better than expected, the spray made the surface smooth and dry and removed the chewy effect.
As I just said some paragraph ago, I see a sense in an object when it’s functional to its use. Thinking on a coffee table to be placed in front of the sofa, this object must be built to sustain keys, coins, joy-pads scratches.
Also, it must be comfortable, it should be used to put feet up without being afraid to wear out, scratch or dirty it.
That’s the reason why I chosen to mount steel plates, once I’ll brush their surface will be scratch and fingerprints resistant.
I’ve bought the plates at LAAI, an artisans company who creates steel stuff in Forlì where I live.
When the guy at LAAI gave me the plates, he said to clean them with some solvent to remove the oil used on manufacture phases.
It’s been an hell to remove all the oil. Dunno why exactly, but I needed to make a lot of work to remove it.
Then I’ve scratched the plates with a sanding pad, created to scratch steel surfaces the guy at LAAI gave me.
Brush the steel surface means scratch it with a circular movement with the sanding pad which will make the surface scratchproof, just because it’s totally scratched!
It’s been not so difficult, after two coats of sanding pad I got the result I wanted.
Clean the steel residues from the surface it’s been an hell again.
I needed 5–6 hands of solvent to remove it entirely, it’s been more difficult clean it than scratch it.
Now I need to mount the steel plates on the tires, once I’ve bolted the first one between the two tires the job is basically done.
The coffee table is entirely detachable, so the plates can be switched in case it’s needed for some reason.
Three bots are enough to make a solid coffee table, also the inner steel plate will be stable and will work perfect for its propose.
To let the table works also as container, I need a grip for the steel plate used as cover to open it.
To do it I simply used a paper clip covered with an electric cable, to give it more grip on the steel.
Tadaaa! This is the coffee table finished, it’s been very funny to do it and the final result is nice, I’m pretty sure Lorenzo and Sarah will like it!
I’ve just made some test with some random stuff I have at home and it works!
It’s solid, minimal, clean and it doesn’t seem the typical furniture “See but not touch”, it’s the kind of furnitures I don’t like.
Knowing Lorenzo make me think he will use the coffee table with the same stuff inside!
Approximately, I’ve spent 100€ in iron plates and spray.
I hope this tutorial will be useful for who’d like to make DIY furnitures like this.