Wheel table

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Project by Tom Regnier posted 03-14-2021 02:35 AM 1104 views 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This wheel was part of an old elevator system in a mill building I work in and dates back to the 1850-1860’s. I thought the wheel with it’s combination of steel and wood might make a good project so I got permission to dismantle. It was a bit tricky to get down because of the sheer weight but it all went rather smoothly. I got the wheel home, put it on my workbench and started to carefully brush off and clean the century of grease & oil. I was really psyched to see this reddish patina underneath. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do with it and with the help of my wife we came up with this upright table design.

I originally was going to try and make some type of a wood base for it and went through a bunch of design options. One day I was looking at a project of Christian Becksvoort’s on IG and saw some beautiful metal hinges he had forged by Dereck Glaser, a metalsmith from Winthrop Maine. I checked Dereck out on IG and was really impressed with his work and that led me to his Etsy site (DGForge) where I purchased a few items and wrote him about working on this project with me. We started the collaboration back in July of last year and with the travel restrictions it was all by email that we worked. The wheel is a beast at 85lbs and the Jatoba table top I made is another 40lbs so Dereck had to take my final design to have the wheel suspended by a curved base and also build a support for the table top. I think his work on this was just perfect…strong, simple and just a bit decorative with the curved legs.

So after almost 8 months of planning and collaboration, I met Dereck up in Freeport Maine last weekend to pick up the base and it was really great to meet him and see this “thing” we’ve been emailing about for so long. I can’t say enough about Dereck and his work….a real pleasure to work with him and see the project through.

I got home that night and immediately dry fitted the wheel into the base and put the table top on and it fit like a stone in a pyramid…perfect!

The steel parts of the wheel I put a linseed oil mix on to give it a sheen and protect it. The outer part of the wheel which is all wood, I lightly sanded and put a coat of clear oil on. The Jatoba top is 15 1/4×45 and just under 2” thick. I bevel cut the ends just a bit and used Tried and True varnish oil as a finish.

This project was a really special one for me…not my usual.
thanks for looking and here’s a bunch of photos throughout the process.

20 comments so far

View pottz's profile


20624 posts in 2224 days

#1 posted 03-14-2021 03:11 AM

man that’s as cool as cool gets.the history behind it and the look and patina of the wheel with his frame and your top is just beautiful.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8414 posts in 1822 days

#2 posted 03-14-2021 04:40 AM

That’s a cool table, Tom! Plus you got a cool collaboration and a great story to go with it.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


10387 posts in 3649 days

#3 posted 03-14-2021 04:59 AM


-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View doubleDD's profile


10696 posts in 3283 days

#4 posted 03-14-2021 05:22 AM

Very unique table. The story is a great as the table.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


8095 posts in 2060 days

#5 posted 03-14-2021 09:34 AM

Wheely nice TR.

Just a shame you couldn’t hide those cords… and my bourgeois nature feels it deserves a bigga TV… perchance a 75”+...

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Tom Regnier's profile

Tom Regnier

522 posts in 3787 days

#6 posted 03-14-2021 10:40 AM

Thanks for the kind comments.The wheel’s story led me to do a bit of research on the mill building which is equally fascinating. Holyoke Mass was a planned industrial city with a unique canal system for hydro power with huge mill buildings lining its banks. My building is one of them….the city struggles to keep itself viable in today’s economy but recently the cannabis industry has come in buying up real estate for cultivation. My building was the Clinton Silk mill and during wartime made parachutes…time marches on!
LBD—I’ll get those chords hidden…cant stand looking at them.

View mikeacg's profile


2037 posts in 2297 days

#7 posted 03-14-2021 11:34 AM

Wow Tom! Certainly not something I expected from seeing your past work (I have a great example of your little carved boxes from a swap that I use daily!). I’ve been toying with making a display table for the store from a Model A front axle complete with wooden spoked wheels. After seeing what you did here, I am even more inspired to tackle that project… If I could just get to my garage! Oh well, the snow is starting to melt so it won’t be long…


-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl,

View recycle1943's profile


5845 posts in 2862 days

#8 posted 03-14-2021 11:46 AM

what an outstanding project and story resulting in a deserving ‘museum’ piece of history

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4044 days

#9 posted 03-14-2021 11:56 AM

Very cool! I always like seeing wood and iron combinations

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Eric's profile


1914 posts in 1113 days

#10 posted 03-14-2021 12:01 PM

Beautiful table, a great salvage of history, Wonderful job.

-- Eric, building the dream

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1522 posts in 2874 days

#11 posted 03-14-2021 04:09 PM

so glad you saved that. And you did it justice , very well done, and a great design.

A home run .

-- Jeff NJ

View BurlyBob's profile


9322 posts in 3505 days

#12 posted 03-14-2021 04:46 PM

Really fantastic!

View hairy's profile


3317 posts in 4772 days

#13 posted 03-14-2021 07:33 PM

Cool table , and a great story.

-- there's someone in my head but it's not me...

View Ivan's profile


17004 posts in 4107 days

#14 posted 03-14-2021 09:22 PM

Sure one beautiful job, my friend!!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Tom Regnier's profile

Tom Regnier

522 posts in 3787 days

#15 posted 03-15-2021 12:17 AM

Glad you all enjoyed my table…its not every crowd that appreciates saving some history and making something that dosen’t have instructions with it!

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