Building a special coffee table...suggestions

OK I’m building a coffee table for my apartment that I’m moving into.

Its no ordinary base though, its a formula 1 tire used in testing that my dad got me for my birthday several years ago.

I’m turning the tire on its side (Dimensions are 20" tall on its side, and it has a 2 foot diameter). I’m going to put a 4’x2’ piece of something on top of it and mount it there as the coffee table top.

My question. What material should I use?

With glass, you risk shattering and it could get expensive.

With polycarb/plexiglass on it, Id need probably at least 1/8th inch.

I’m not planning on stacking 50 pounds worth of textbooks on it, more of just TV remotes, cups, plates, etc. I never priced polycarb, but I’m thinking it could cost a lot too.

Finally, the cheapest option would be a 4’x2’ piece of wood, paint it and I’d probably paint a logo of something on it. Obviously that covers the “GOODYEAR” on the tire and you cant see in the tire, which ruins the fun.

So, what do you suggest I use and if anyone has suggestions/tips/rough prices of polycarb or any other material you can think of, please let me know. I’m not moving in until August 1st, so I’m in no hurry.


Tire looks like just the one on this car, just the treads are gone, and its a goodyear

Is it just a tire or is there a wheel too?

Just the tire

You didnt hear it from me, but stop signs make pretty awesome table tops :slight_smile: My dad turned one into this awesome octagon table for me… just cut out a piece of wood to put under it to stabalize it. I’ve had it since junior year in college! (cleans up fairly well too!)

Polycarbonate would remind you of robotics every time u saw it rofl… :slight_smile: (or atleat it would remind meh lol cause we used alot)


If you use polycarbonate or acrylic, you’ll be annoyed when it gets scratched by just about anything that you put on top. Plus, some household chemicals will cloud or discolour plastic. The only thing that’s really practical (with similar aesthetic properties) is a thick piece of glass, probably on the order of 1/2" to 5/8" thick—you need to be able to put significant weight on it, just for safety (you don’t want it collapsing when someone leans on it, or worse, mistakes it for a seat, and you want it to be heavy and rigid enough to stay level and planar, even if the stuff on top is unbalanced). See if you can find someone who will sell you a 4’ circle of tempered glass, with a finished edge (rough, polished, beveled—anything without sharp edges).

If you must use thin plastic, because of cost, don’t extend out to 4’; instead, keep the overhangs small (2" or so, maybe), so that you don’t inadvertently tip the table by leaning on the top.

Alternatively, if you don’t mind damaging the tire, drill holes through it, and fasten the top with through-bolts—maybe using some 1/2" flat socket-head cap screws, recessed into the tabletop and secured on the inside of the tire with nuts. That will at least retain the look—but if I had a souvenir like that, I wouldn’t necessarily want to drill through it.

And, by the way, recent F1 tires are made by Bridgestone, or previously, Michelin. It’s been a while since Goodyear made tires for F1 cars themselves—maybe it’s another racing series that you’re thinking of? In fact, Goodyear makes tires called F1, but they aren’t F1 tires!

I’d visit a couple of salvage shops/yards for old doors, windows, mirrors -
windows in their frames (round) can be found -
Also a new round grate from a barbeque pit with a oil pan on top for holding glasses or magazines.

I planned on drilling through the tire anyway

I would say you should go to some thrift stores and used furniture stores to begin with and see if you can find a table top of some kind to use. I would say if you used a piece of wood even painted it wouldnt be sorta lame. The reason is since your tire is gonna be on its side its just gonna look like a big round piece of rubber, and most people wont even think about it being a sweet f1 tire.

If you cant Find a suitable tabletop And dont want to spend the money on a glass top (prolly expensive) I would say you could do the wood thing but cut out a window in the center so you can see the tire. As far as structure, Seeing as how i have never actually tested the strength of an f1 tire i would say it might be a pretty wobbly table if you drill through it, so some sort of nice structure to keep it stable might be a good idea.

I would Def say look in stores and stuff for somthing you could modify, if someone did the work for you already why hassle over making an inferior top. (a quick ebay search finds many glass coffee tables in the 50 dollar range)

You can purchase circles of tempered glass in various diameters. I recently bought a 4’ diameter one at Pier 1 Imports for just over $100 - a three foot diameter version is somewhat less costly, and sounds like the right size for your tire. Tempered glass is very tough, hard to break, but turns into little cubes if you manage to shatter it - safe

To mount it, I’d suggest dabs of a strong adhesive (like silicone sealer) or something stronger mounted to a few metal studs, which mount through the tire.

Take a photo when it’s done!

How about getting one of those round patio furniture tables with the expanded metal type top? I’ve seen them in various colors (black, white, green) and in various diameters (usually 3’ and 4’). Cut the top off and bolt it to the tire. You could probably find one used for pretty cheap and paint it some really cool color you like and even paint the car number of you favorite driver on it or something. Red against the black tire might look kinda cool.

I saw a used NASCAR tire (#6 Mark Martin) at my local Goodyear shop a few years back, and asked him what he planned to do with it. He wasn’t sure, but he said it definitely would not become a coffee table. A buddy of his tried to do just that, and the odor was too strong and noxious for such a small area.

I’m not sure if a urethane or shellac sealer would take care of this problem or not.

Keep us updated on your progress.

It is common practice for all racing series to “test” tires from other manufacturers in an effort to keep their sport competitive. It wouldn’t be a bit surprising to have Goodyear submit tires for these types of tests to the F1 series.

I am liking the patio table idea. They all have this really nice hole in the center for an awning. This would make an interesting way to attach the table top without having to drill the tire. Just run a threaded rod through a piece of PVC down the center of the tire into a plywood base. Paint the entire thing black so it is hidden in the background of the tire. You could even buy some lug nuts and use those on the top of the threaded rod for added effect. Or add a really nice hubcap to the top and you wouldn’t have to hide anything underneath. Hubcaps are cheap when you pick them up off the road. Being able to take it apart for moving I think would be an essential part of your design.
I agree with the smell, clear gloss polyeurathane should cure that and keep the tire smooth and shiny. Inside and out, please. ( I know you don’t care about dusting now, but you might in the future.

My dad got me the tire in 1996 and I guess it was sitting in the guy’s attic he bought it from for a few years. I bet you the tire is probably a good 15 years old. Fortunately, there is no smell to the tire anymore.

A little history behind the tire, it was used for time trial testing in England by Bertrand Gachot. He raced from 1989-1995 and from what Ive seen, he wasn’t very good in F1. It seems like he was always with a very underfunded team.