Proof that LEGO building skills can help you with so much more in life.
At the end of November, 2022, we told you about YouTuber Chaos Causes’ newest project: Turning a Honda VFR400 engine into a coffee table. It’s a cool idea in theory, of course—made even cooler by the fact that he wanted to do the work himself, not just get it from someone else.
Of course, that also meant a whole lot of elbow grease had to go into DIYing it—as well as learning at least a little bit about subject areas he didn’t previously know about. In this video, he’s completed the project, and the end result is quite nice, if not exactly how he envisioned it at the start.
At the end of the first video, CC had taken the engine apart as far as he wanted, and then sent the parts out to be vapor blasted. While he had a theoretical idea of how vapor blasting works, he’d previously had no experience with it. Since that was the case, he didn’t factor in all the time that he’d need to spend cleaning the blasting media and debris out of the bolt holes and other orifices so that he could put the engine back together.
Add that to the list of learning experiences that CC had while accomplishing this project. He doesn’t consider himself to have any great amount of carpentry, electrical, or plumbing skills, either—but he had to do a little bit in each of these areas to get the vision to come together.
To construct the base of the coffee table, he got some reclaimed wood from a friend, cleaned it up a bit, and then stained it to better show off the engine. Putting the base on adjustable feet gave a little additional height to lift it up off the floor, but figuring out how to mount the engine to the base was the next challenge. Once he’d worked that out, it was time to figure out how to put the special, extra-strength coffee table glass top on.
At the beginning of the project, CC had said that he really wanted the engine to be a structural element in the coffee table—and also, that he didn’t see the point in using an engine in a coffee table if it wasn’t going to be a structural element. The completed design does utilize pistons to help hold the coffee table glass up, but for the most part, the engine ends up mainly being a display piece (with lights) under glass.
Practically speaking, this makes the most sense, given how this engine sits. After LEGOing together a bunch of various pipes and connectors from a plumbing store, and then wiring in some sufficiently hipster-ish light bulbs (you know, with visible and decorative filaments), the final project was together at last. Like a lot of projects, it took more time, effort, and money than CC had initially expected. However, also like a lot of projects, he seems pretty pleased with the results. What do you think of it?