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REPURPOSE | Trash into Treasures


A pair of wooden rackets serves up a sporty side table.

By Wendy Becktold

Lori Eanes

In the mid-'80s, I replaced my clunky wooden tennis racket with a lightweight graphite one. It was like getting a bionic arm, and I was just a teenage amateur. Nowadays, professional tennis players routinely pound out serves over 100 miles an hour with rackets crafted from space-age materials.

But lots of people still have a soft spot for wooden rackets. If you're one of them, you can dust yours off and sign up for a "woody tournament." They're cropping up all over. One of the most established (but invitation only) is the annual Woody Tennis Championships, which just completed its 22nd year and is held on grass courts in La Quinta, California.

Or you can do what I did and turn these relics into something that displays their vintage charm in a modern, functional way: a small side table.

I sawed off the heads and nailed them at a 90-degree angle to the handles. Then I screwed the two heads together to form the tabletop. Last, I attached them to a sturdy base that I crafted from the original presses. Now they score points in the living room.


No specialized woodworking skills required—assuming you can saw, drill, and hammer.

Wendy Becktold
For the table:
  • 2 wooden tennis rackets (the same size and shape)
  • Saw
  • Miter box or clamps (to ensure a smooth cut)
  • Drill Hammer
  • 2 nails (1 inch)
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper or sanding block
  • 1 machine screw (1 inch) and corresponding nut
  • Tape

For the base:

  • 2 wooden presses (the same size and shape)
  • 2 large flathead wood screws (to attach the base to the racket handles)
  • 2 small brackets (to connect the presses together)*
  • 4 machine screws (sized to fit through brackets and presses) and corresponding wing nuts
  • 2 machine screws (sized to fit through presses) and two corresponding wing nuts**
* I used two 2-inch L brackets and sawed off the extraneous metal pieces.
** For a nice touch, you can size these two screws to fit the wing nuts that came with the presses.

Based on a project by Nicholas Torretta at

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