How To Make A Table From An Old Washing Machine Drum

  • By: Monica Shulz

Are you one of those people who hate throwing old appliances away? Well, we’ve got a good one for you today.

We’re going to show you how you can convert the drum in your old washing machine into a unique table. This way, you can give the washing machine a new lease of life and have a pretty interesting centerpiece for your patio or deck.

So, let’s get started on the project!

What You’ll Need

Before you can build the table from the washing machine drum, you will need a few items. They include;

  • An Old Washing Machine Drum.
  • 1” Square Tube
  • 2” Square Tube
  • Four 2” End Caps
  • Three M4 T-Nuts
  • Three Wing Nuts

Remove The Washing Machine’s Outer Drum

The part of the washing machine you need for the project is the inner metal drum. You need to remove it from the plastic outer drum.

Using an angle grinder, cut off the bolt holding the pulley in place on the outer drum. Remove the bolt and the pulley.

With the angle grinder, make a continuous cut around the circumference of the outer drum. Be careful to only cut the plastic outer housing, not the inner metal one.

Remove the outer housing.

Remove The Tripod and The Agitator

The tripod is a three-legged component attached to the back of the washing machine drum. You can remove it using an angle grinder to cut through the screws connecting it to the machine’s drum.

Also, some old washing machine drums may come with an agitator inside the drum. Remove the agitator along with the shaft it comes with.

Bend The Square Tube into A Circle

Clamp your square tube in the die of the metal bender. Measure the diameter of the washing machine’s drum at the top using a tape measure.

Using the metal bender, gradually bend the square tube into a circle equal to the diameter of the washing machine’s drum. Be careful not to overbend the tube to avoid kinking it up.

Fit the metal tube into a circle. Using the angle grinder, cut off any excess parts so you have a perfect circle.

Repeat the process twice. For the first one, make the circle’s diameter about an inch larger than the washing machine drum’s top diameter.

For the second one, make the diameter about 12 inches larger. These three will form the frame for the table.

Weld The Ends of The Circular Frame

Clamp the ends of the circular frame in your bench vise. Using a spot welder, weld the circle’s ends together on all sides.

Cut Out a Segment of The Washing Machine Drum

We can create a cool storage area under the table by cutting out a segment of the washing machine drum. This can be used to store board games, cutlery, etc.

Washing machine drums have three sections of perforated holes around their body. Using a flexible ruler, trace out one of the perforated hole sections.

Cut it out along the traced lines with an angle grinder. Grind down and deburr the section after cutting it to remove the sharp edges.

Cut Some Supports for The Table

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Place the largest circular frame on the workbench. Put the washing machine drum right in the center of the frame.

Measure the distance between the washing machine drum’s outer edge and the frame’s inner surface.

Clamp the square metal tube in a bench vise. Mark and cut out three sections from the 1” tube using the dimensions you just measured on the workbench.

Weld Some T-nuts To The Supports

Take an M4 T-nut and place it inside one of the supports you just cut. Make sure its outer edges are flush with the edge of the support.

Weld them together. Do the same for the remaining two supports.

Attach The Supports to The Drum

Remember the screw holes you removed the tripod’s screws from? We’re going to use those to attach the supports to the drum.

Take an M4 bolt and screw it into one of the holes. Using a socket wrench, screw the bolt into the T-nut in the supports,

Screw the bolt into the T-nut until it fits in tightly and the support is stable. Do the same for the remaining three holes around the drum.

Weld The Drum to The Frame

Place the drum, with the supports attached, in the center of the largest frame. Make sure each support touches the inner surface of the frame, so the drum is centered correctly.

Weld the drum and the frame together where they touch.

Cut Some Reinforcements For The Drum 

These reinforcements will fit on the side of the washing machine’s drum to give it extra stability. Place the circular frame whose diameter is equal to the drum’s diameter on top of the drum.

Make sure it fits in properly. Using the tape measure, measure the distance from the top of the circular frame to the drum supports at the bottom.

Using an angle grinder, cut out three supports from the 1” square tube with this dimension.

Drill Some Holes In The Frame

These holes in the frame will help secure the reinforcements to the body of the washing machine drum. Place one of the reinforcements on the bottom support.

Mark the point where the reinforcement and the top frame intersect with each other. Repeat this for the other two supports.

Take the top frame off and drill some holes in it at the points you marked using an M4 bit. Insert an M4 bolt in the holes and hold them in place with a bolt.

Attach The Reinforcement To The Washing Machine Drum

Take each reinforcement and drill a hole in them, so the M4 bolt on the frame can hold them in place. Put the M4 bolts in them and secure the joint with a wing nut.

Next, make sure the reinforcements are sitting squarely on the bottom supports. Weld them together where they touch to form a permanent joint.

Cut Out the Legs For The Table

Clamp the 2” square tube in the bench vise. Cut four equal sections for the table’s legs from the tube using an angle grinder.

The legs should be about 30” long. You can increase or reduce it depending on your preference.

Weld the Legs to The Drum

Place the legs on each corner of the drum and make sure they are equally spaced from each other. Before welding the legs, tilt them at an angle of about 10-15 degrees to the vertical axis.

Once you’ve tilted the legs, hold them in place and weld them down. Make sure you weld them all around.

Weld the Circular Frame To the Table Legs

The third and last circular frame will form a brace for the table’s legs. Put it over the table legs and slide it down.

When it’s about halfway down, hold it in place with a magnet square and make sure it is level. Weld it to all four table legs.

Inspect the table legs to make sure the welded joints are stable. If they aren’t, reinforce the welds.

Add End Caps To The Legs

Cut about 9 inches off each tale leg from the end using an angle grinder. Make sure the cut is perfectly horizontal.

Top each leg off with an end cap.

Drill Holes in The Frame

You need to drill some holes in the table’s top frame to secure it to the tabletop. Flip the table, so it’s standing on its legs.

Drill about six equally spaced holes around the circumference of the frame. Also, drill a hole in each of the drum supports.

Cut Out the Tabletop

The tabletop has a circular shape with a diameter of 36”. Depending on your preferences, you can increase or decrease its size.

Gather six 6” x 40” wooden planks that are ½” thick. Lay them side by side and ensure they are as close as possible.

Using a protractor or any other instrument, draw a circle with a radius of 18” on the pieces of wood. Next, use a band saw to cut out the parts of the outline on each piece of wood.

Assemble The Tabletop

Put wood glue on the sides of each of the six pieces and assemble them to form the tabletop. Clamp them together until the glue dries.

Once the glue dries, sand the board to remove any excess glue.

Cut Out A Base For The Lower Compartment

Remember the compartment we cut into the drum? We’re going to make a base for it.

Measure the internal diameter of the drum. Draw a circle on a ½” thick particle board using that diameter.

Cut out the circle from the board using a band saw. After cutting the base, cut it into two, so you can easily fit it in.

Finish The Tabletop and The Base With Wood Stain

Staining the wood gives the table some color and has the added benefit of protecting the table against the elements. So, cover both the base and the tabletop with a coat of black wood stain.

Install The Base and The Tabletop

After the wood stain dries, we can install the tabletop and the base. To install the base, slide both halves into the lower compartment.

To install the tabletop, place it on the machine drum and ensure it is properly centered. Next, drill in some screws to hold the table in place via the holes in the frame.

Be careful about the size of the screws you use to avoid piercing the table’s surface.

Final Product

Your sturdy outdoor table is now complete. Now instead of ending up in a landfill somewhere, your old washing machine drum is now enjoying a new life.

For more exciting projects, check out the Home Workshop Channel on YouTube. You can also gain access to additional useful projects on their Facebook page.

Photo by Home Workshop / CC BY 3.0