Add Casters to an Antique Trunk for a Mobile Coffee Table

Old wooden trunks are stowed away in many attics and often end up in yard sales or thrift stores at a great price. Give one an easy update by simply adding furniture casters to make it a charming (and mobile) storage piece for your living room.

Adding Casters to a Trunk

Adding Casters to a Trunk

Old wooden trunks are stowed away in many attics and often end up in yard sales or thrift stores at a great price. Give one of them an update by simply adding casters to make it a functional (and mobile) coffee table.

Materials Needed

  • old wooden trunk
  • 4 large furniture casters (new or old)
  • (16) 3/4" wood screws
  • drill equipped with drill and driver bits to fit screws
  • washers (optional)
  • pencil (marker or chalk)

Mark Wheel Placement

Flip trunk over on its side or top for easy access to the bottom. Hold one wheel in one corner of the trunk to determine best placement for caster base. Make sure screws will go into thick, solid wood, so wheels are securely attached to trunk. Mark each screw hole with a pencil, marker or chalk. Repeat for three other casters.    

Adding Casters to a Trunk

Adding Casters to a Trunk

Flip trunk over on its side or top for easy access to the bottom. Hold one wheel in one corner of the trunk to determine best placement for caster base. Make sure screws will go into thick, solid wood, so wheels are securely attached to trunk. Mark each screw hole with a pencil, marker or chalk. Repeat for three other casters.

Drill Pilot Hole

Using an electric drill equipped with a bit the same size as screws, drill pilot holes at each pencil mark. This is an important step when working with old wood, even if self-boring wood screws are being used. Tip: Old wood may split if a pilot hole is not drilled prior to inserting a screw. 

Adding Casters to a Trunk

Adding Casters to a Trunk

Using an electric drill equipped with a bit the same size as screws, drill pilot holes at each pencil mark. This is an important step when working with old wood, even if self-boring wood screws are being used. Old wood may split if a pilot hole is not drilled prior to inserting a screw.

Insert Screws

Line caster base up with pilot holes. Insert one screw about 3/4 of the way in. This allows room to adjust caster base placement, so it's easier to line up with pilot holes. Insert remaining three screws in the same manner. Once all four screws are inserted into pilot holes, tighten each down the rest of the way until caster is tightly affixed to trunk. If screw heads are smaller than drill holes on the caster plate, use metal washers between caster plate and screw head (Image 1). Repeat with three remaining wheels; set your new coffee table upright and admire your handiwork (Image 2). 

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