I have had a spare car tyre lying around for a while now I made one in to a small herb garden and thought it was time to do something with the other. One thing I did need was a table for outside so decided the tyre could make a good base. I had a look on the internet for ideas but couldn't find the kind of thing I was thinking of. As a result some of this instructable maybe a bit vague like the material list and a few other things, as I started off with just the tyre and no other preconceptions of other materials I was going to use. I quite like this way of working, its very fluid and makes you really think of how to use/reuse bits and bobs you have lying around, plus you also have only a rough vision of how it'll turn out and the end piece is a bit if a surprise.
It also seems my spell checker doesn't like my spelling of 'tyre' - apologies US readers this does of course mean tire!
Coach bolts I had some left over from building some decking - 200mm x 12mm (8" x 1/2")
Timber top - I used some old slats from a bench my fried had given me a while ago - 3000mm x 50mm x 20mm (~9ft x 2" x 7/8")
Timber shelf/leg support - I used some beech offcuts I had - 1500mm x 50mm x 12mm (~4 1/2ft x 2" x 1/2")
Other timber as needed - I used some pitch pine and oak
Oscillating multitool - to cut tyre in half. Could maybe use an angle grinder or hacksaw
Table saw / hand saw - I used both
Electric plane / bench plane - I used both
Step 1: Cut the tyre in half
I couldn't find much on the internet about cutting a tyre in half, mainly how not to do it. Having bought an oscillating tool not long ago it had to be a contender. I used a wood and metal blade as I knew there would be some metal reinforcement in the tyre and hoped the blade would be string enough to cut through them. I started off by marking where I wanted to make my cuts and scored the tyre with the blade so I had a good line to follow. Putting the oscillations on max I started the cut, it was pretty tough going as most of the reinforcement is located near the rim. I found the best way for me was to cut with the tool for a bit and then bend the tyre by hand by the cut which seemed to snap some of the broken steel. After a while I got through this heavily reinforced section the rest of the tyre wasn't too bad. Be warned though the cutting does melt the rubber and produce some fumes so do this bit outside.
Step 2: Turn the tyre inside out
I had seen tyres that had been turned inside out before, knew it could be done so had a go to see what it looked like. I'm not sure if there is a good way to do this but I used a clamp, my foot and brute force. I tried starting from the middle but that wasn't easy so I tried from the end. I used a clamp to grab the sides and give me a lever then put my foot on the main tyre and wrestled with it until the end was inverted. I then carried on up the tyre until it was completely inside out. Gave it a bit of a clean and dry and brought it inside.
Step 3: Legs
When I was first thinking of this table as envisaged some kind of wooden legs but having got my tyre in front of me I thought that metal legs would be good and I had some coach bolts left over from building a deck last year. I marked the positions of my legs on the tyre and drilled the holes for the bolts. I used a wood flat drill bit and found that the holes needed to be oversized as the rubber contracted once the holes were drilled. For my 12mm bolts I used a 16mm drill.
Once I had put the bolts through the holes and put the tyre on the ground it was obvious I'd need something to support the legs. I decided to brace it in two directions so cut some wood offcuts, drilled holes in both sides at 45 degrees and put them over the bolts. I then measured for the transverse pieces and glued and nailed it all together.
I put bolts on both sides of the tyre to hold them in position and gives me height adjustment too. I put the wood over the bolts and added the nuts above the wood. After a little tightening and adjustment I was happy with the legs.
Step 4: Table top
As I had turned the tyre inside out the tops of the tyres weren't level so I decided to add some supports either end of the tyre to create a level platform, I also added a strip of wood between the two sides to keep it all in place. On top of these platforms I glued and nailed a 25mm x 25mm bit of oak which would bring the underside of the table top level with the highest point of the tyre.
I then cut the wood for the table top from some old bench slats to the same(ish) length and placed them on the top to get a feel for the table. I thought it would be good to mirror the shape of the tyre with the table top ends so marked out some cut lines by eye and cut with a jigsaw. I also cut a couple of pieces to add to the side to hide the internal framework. Once I had cut them all I planed them to remove the top layer (I had originally planned to leave them as they were but the cut ends looked too out of place) and then used a block plane to add a bevel to the edges. The only thing left was to screw the boards down to internal framework.
Step 5: Finish and finished
I next applied danish oil to all the timber for a bit of protection. I didn't bother sanding any of the wood as it was for outside and 'good enough' as it was!
I am very pleased with the outcome and it ended up being better than I had first expected