How to Make That Engine Coffee Table
by Zack k
The engine block coffee table; the ultimate display of clinically dangerous car enthusiasm. It’s the lap-dog version of a car, always waiting for you when you come home, because you can’t fit your car in the door. Or maybe it’s from a car you can’t afford. It is the wall poster for men. It makes you look like a badass, even if you had to hire some former high-school line backers to carry it into your house.
We all want one. It’s our baseball card collection. People cover coffee tables in magazines and books to show strangers their “super cool and fascinating interests!”, so why not have the coffee table do that. It’s almost like someone telling the story of the free self-defense class they took at work during a “team building” exercise, and you cutting one of their sleeves off with a katana, without actually moving.
Now I didn’t build this one, this guy did. I think it’s from a 1967 Plymouth Fury 3, but correct me if you know better. I found his post on reddit and since I’ve always wanted to do this, I thought some of you might find it interesting. I added some captions to go step by step with his build. Check out the pictures, and if you’ve made one of these, submit it in the comments.
1. Get an Engine
This is the first, most crucial and probably most personal step. What engine do I want in my house? Whatever you get, make sure it’s special to you, and there’s a real reason you picked it. Whatever you choose, someone will give you shit about it, but all that’s important is you have a real reason you chose it. Don’t say, “Oh, I saw people making these so I found this one in the Brookstone catalog. These pistons-these are the pistons right?- actually hold up the engine! Neat, huh? I just loooove industrial designs.” Take a lap.
You’ve probably thought about what engine you would pick. It’s a tough call. To me it’s not just having something related to cars and engines inside, I am basically displaying a car I feel is cool or special enough to put in my house. To see everyday. So it’s gotta be awesome.
Personally, I wouldn’t get a Chevy V-8; that’s like buying a Camry. I understand there’s people out there that probably have a soft spot for a Chevy (or any engine/manufacturer) but a Chevy 350 is an engine I have no connection to, and it’s too damn easy to find. Of course I thought about getting a Ferrari V-12 engine, but that just means I
still don’t own a Ferrari. I could see myself with an old Lambo V-12, an R32 (love the way it sounds) or a 428 Super Cobra Jet (same engine as in the kit Cobra I built with my dad and brother). I like what Lambos represent (though they’re far down my purchase list), R32s stuck with me for some reason and the 428 is obvious. I’m sure there will be some scoffs at my choices, but I really don’t give a **** (Can you guess the hidden word? Wrong.)
When you decide what to get, hopefully you already figured out how to get it (eBay, junk yard, good ol’ fashioned sexual favors). If you found the engine by itself, move to step 2. If you have to take it out of the car, get some tools and a cherry picker and get to work.
You have to take the engine apart, both for cleaning and because an engine with old hoses and wires under glass looks ugly and smells of laziness (and elderberries). I say go no heads, unless they’re awesome looking or marked an advance in technology or something. Take the engine completely apart, so that you can clean it up. Everyone will be scrutinize your handy work, so don’t leave crap on just for the sake of time. Doing this on the couch can also be used to end a bad relationship.
How clean you want it is up to you. I’ve seen tables with surgically sterile engines and ones that looked like they were built with the care and time constraint of a Pictionary drawing. This guy did it right and sandblasted the engine. This is probably the best thing to do. If you don’t have a sandblaster pay a shop to do it. It’ll save you hours spent with a brush and probably get spots you would miss. That moves this up from home project to art piece.
Most people leave the parts blasted or polished, but there’s no rules. This guy wanted to paint the rods and crank for some contrast. So paint did.
Engines don’t come designed to hold your Chamomile, and although you might be able to rest the glass right on the bare block, the best ones have supports to raise the glass up a bit. That means modification time. I’ve seen these with bolts coming up the corners, but the pimp way to do it is use the rods and pistons, the way the Native Americans did. That means welding. This guy welded 4 rods/pistons on the bottom to raise it off the ground, then 4 on top to support the glass.
I dunno, measure it out and go buy glass at a glass store.
7. Final assembly
If you did it right, this should mean putting it in your room of choice and laying the glass on top. You might need a friend to help carry it, unless you round house it into place like Chuck Norris. C’mon, don’t be a *****.
*TST not responsible for broken feet or backs.
Finito, er, dun!
Turned out pretty sweet. I really like the legs, and leaving the timing chain and crank breaks up the flat color at that end. This table won’t bring you an avalanche of coitus, but it does have convenient holes for storing you TV remote and Lonely Gentleman’s Quarterly magazine. I’ll be building one eventually, I already have the magazine.
Source: Reddit Find poster link name.)
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