Dumped & Found: Vintage Industrial Tray Table

What happens when you take someone like me to drop off a sofa at the dump?  You end up with a car full of junk bound to be a cool project someday.  Well this last weekend became this project’s someday, a vintage industrial tray table.  I started out with this slightly rusted tray.  It looks like a paper tray without a bottom.  Or maybe a vintage army tool chest stand.  I’ve Googled it and can’t come up with anything else like it.  Then I disassembled two pallets I found in a dumpster near my house.

Vintage Industrial Tray Table with Pallet Top

I carefully removed all of the nails by hammering them on the bottom and then pulled them out from the top with the back side of the hammer.  The wood was long enough to fill the tray with just one cut on each end, but I thought that a diagonal pattern would be more interesting to look at.  I dry fit them together and cut each one myself.  Yep, I even set up our compound miter saw with no help, well, a little from my 10-year-old.  And I made each cut with confidence (if you consider tightly squinted eyes that are actually closed and under hideous protective goggles confident).

Vintage Industrial Tray Table with Pallet Top

So secure them together I cut out a spare piece of Masonite with our table saw, again without assistance, thank you very much.  It fit snug in the tray.

Vintage Industrial Tray Table with Pallet Top

My goal with this project was simple, easy, and cheap and since we had this construction adhesive lying around, I figured it would be the perfect tool to connect the wood together.  I started with the corner making sure it was snug and worked my way to the other side.

Vintage Industrial Tray Table with Pallet Top

I did a light sanding over the entire wood surface to clean things up a bit.  Then I pressed all of the pieces in place using clamps until it dried completely.

Vintage Industrial Tray Table with Pallet Top

Here is my finished product.  It is metal, rusty, and hard on the bottom, but smooth, weathered and soft with the diagonal lines on the top.

Vintage Industrial Tray Table with Pallet Top

I love it and can’t wait to use it as a centerpiece on the table or another level for a buffet table.  The textures and patina are killing me over here.  And to think, all of this was from the garbage.  Sheesh!

Vintage Industrial Tray Table with Pallet Top

Linked Up: Tatertots & Jello, Junky JunkHome Stories A2Z


  • Very cool! Love your nail polish and I love that we both say patina. Too few people do you know.

  • The table become beautiful. I love such furniture.

    Yours sincerely,

  • This is so cool. I think you could take it a step further and paint your logo on it or something interesting.

  • Wow, it turned out beautifully. I Love it!
    I would LOVE for you to link this up at my Ginger Jamboree Link Party!!

  • I love this! I’m all about making something work, from nothing. Awesome job.

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