Making a Stop Sign End Table

This post is going to be a slight departure from my usual posts about all things nerdom: I hope that’s okay with everybody! It’s a furniture-related post, my first end table. This table was practice for bigger furniture projects, which are video-game-related, so stay tuned in the coming months for those!

Anyway, back to the table at hand. Seven years ago I moved into a new apartment and saw one of those big construction dumpsters in the parking lot. The apartment complex was renovating much of the property, and for some reason, they got rid of a stop sign. I picked it from the trash, hoping to make it into a table one day. Crucially, I lacked the tools and know-how to do this.

Fast-forward to a month ago. I moved into a new place again and realized I’ve been lugging this stop sign around all these years. So my dad and I put our heads together and came up with a great way to turn this stop sign into a table.

First, my dad constructed a wooden frame around the sign. This softens the metal edges (they are quite sharp), plus gives the sign a bit of a raised lip.

Stop sign table top

The finished table top. Wooden trim, painted white, lines the edges.

Stop sign table back

Back detail of the table. The wood supports hold the frame in place. Plus, the wooden panel serves as a way to attach the base.

By giving the trim a raised lip, we were able to pour clear glaze across the surface of the table, making it smooth and protecting the sign. The sign itself has a few imperfections, and the glaze application isn’t entirely consistent, but the table top looks so much better. The stop sign has about a quarter inch of glaze.

Close-up of stop sign table top

Close-up shot of the molding and glaze.

Next we mounted the top of the pedestal. My dad had an old bar stool (long ago missing the seat) that worked well. I wanted an industrial pedestal rather than legs, as the stop sign is quite wide and legs would get in the way.

Top of pedestal attached to back of stop sign.

The top of the bar stool is attached with three screws.

To give the table top some added height, we added a small length of PVP pipe, raising the table about an inch and a half.

PVP pipe attached to bar stool.

The PVP pipe can always be removed, or shaved down, if the height needs to be adjusted.

Constructing the pedestal was the easiest part of the process. We cut a piece of wood to the shape of an octagon and screwed it to the bottom of the base. The octagon was painted white to match the sign’s trim.

Bar stool pedestal with white octagon base attached.

Stop sign table pedestal.

Because the stop sign is an awkward shape (and heavy! The top probably weighs 35 lbs, the bottom at least 10 lbs), I wanted the top to detach from the base for easier moving.

Here’s the stop sign completely assembled! Because of flaws in the pedestal, the table top isn’t sturdy: it wobbles a bit. However, put a lamp on the edge, just a little bit of weight, and the wobble goes away.

Assembled stop sign end table with lamp on top.

Completed stop sign end table!

Profile view of stop sign table.

Profile view of the base, pedestal, and table top.

The project turned out great and I’m very happy with the new table! Now, what sign should I turn into a table next?


2 thoughts on “Making a Stop Sign End Table

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