DIY Pipe & Wood Table Pt 1

****UPDATE**** Check out our revised version of the Pipe & Wood Table

We are hosting my family's Christmas at our house this year. We currently have a 4 person dining table. No way could we all perch around that table no matter how many chairs we pushed against it. We needed to scrap the kids table, and nut up and get a grown up table.

INSPIRATION:

Restoration Hardware's Flatiron Dining Table

We put pen to paper and designed a simple tabletop with industrial black pipe legs. I had taken inspiration from this Restoration Hardware Flatiron table. Except we went with a basic "H" leg construction with a cross beam near the bottom of the legs.

We had originally wanted a nice thick reclaimed wood top, and had sourced a supplier, however that fell through and everything else we could lay our hands on was "city priced"  (you know when you go to an antique store in the city and a simple item is priced 10 times higher that you 'd find it at a flea market in the country? That's "City Priced".) So the cheap ass me wasn't gonna pay city price for wood, so I nixed that idea and instead we decided to use 2x12" construction lumber. We don't have much invested in the tabletop, so if we get our hands on some nice reclaimed wood in the future, it won't hurt our pocketbooks to swap it out. The legs are hardware store "black pipe" gas line pipe and fittings. These can be sourced at any large hardware store (orange & blue) and as they can cut and thread the pipe for you at the store, its super easy to work with.

We made a 72" x 34.5" table that is 30" high. This is a standard 6 person table, but 8 can easily be squeezed around it.

Shopping List
1 - 3/4"x10' black pipe $18.99
1 - 3/4"x6' black pipe $13.80
4 - 3/4"x6" nipple (heehee) $1.64/each
8 - 3/4" Floor Flange $3.99/each
6 - 3/4" Tee $1.64/each
1pkg 3" felt furniture pads $4
2 - 2x12x12 spruce $17.50/each
Wood finishing materials (to be discussed in pt. 2)

Wood Cut list
3 - 2x12x6'
(Cut 2x12x12's in half to make 4 - 6' long pieces, and you can use the left over piece to make a bench.)

Pipe Cut list
The hardware store will cut and thread your pipe for you. There is a (substantial) fee for this. At our home depot it was $1 per cut and $2 per thread. We ended up having about $40 in cutting fees, which was actually more expensive that the pipe itself, but a necessary evil.)
1 - 3/4" pipe 51" long
4 - 3/4" pipe 20" long
4 - 3/4" pipe 10" long

The crazy machine that cuts and threads your pipe!

We got our pipe and wood cut, gathered all the rest of our supplies and like a strange hardware store parade, headed to the checkout. A word to the wise, the pipe is greasy and dirty and yucky. Make sure you put your nice wood on a separate cart, and bring a tarp to protect your car. Also have some dish soap and goo gone ready at home to thoroughly clean and de-sticker your pipe when you get it back. Be prepared to get little metal splinters that will hurt. A lot.

Pipe, and flanges, and wood stain oh my!

We decided to use the Kreg Jig for attaching our boards together to make the tabletop. This is quick and oh so very easy, and all the screws are under the table where no one other than the dog or a crawling child will ever see them. We laid out our three best boards on saw horses in the garage.

best three boards laid upside down ready to be Kreg jigged together

We decided on placement making sure to alternate the crown of the wood (the crown is the way the grain curves, look at the end of a piece of lumber and you'll see the grain pattern). Once we were happy with how our board would be arranged, we flipped them over and aligned them, making sure they were square. Our saw guy at the local hardware store didn't fare so well with making all the boards the same length, so we lined up one end, and let the other end overhang knowing we'd trim it down later. Then we marked our kreg jig screw placements.

We put two screws in 8" from the edge of the boards, and about every foot for the rest of the table. We alternated which side the screws came from so that we would get a more stable and solid tabletop.

The Kreg Jig is super easy to use. We set the jig and drill bit to 1.5" thick wood, clamped out the jig (with protection on the "good side" so the clamp wouldn't mar the table top) and drilled. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezey.

Kreg Jig Clamped

After all the holes were drilled, we re-aligned everything, and got to screwin!

Screwing together boards using Kreg pocket hole system

After the tabletop was screwed together we trimmed off the scraggily cut edges using a circular saw. Then we gave the table a good sand with the palm sander. We wanted to leave a few of the rough wood's imperfections, but ensure everything was nice and smooth.

After it had been sanded, we took it inside and got working on the legs.  We thoroughly cleaned the pipes using a combination of citrus grease cutting cleaner, dish soap and goo gone. There was a lot of errant stickers and tape on the pipes along with the grease, so all these tools were needed. Be careful for any sharp metal or burrs, definitely wear protective gloves and eye protection.

To start out, attach each the 6" pieces of pipe to flange. Next up attach a T to each of the 6" pipes.

Flange + 6" Nipple + T

Screw a 10" pipe into the side of each T. Attach another T to 2 of the 10" pipes. Attach two legs together by the middle T, then do the same to the other set.

Attach two feet together by 10" pipes and a T

Now attach the 20" pipe to the top of the T's and another flange while the dog enjoys a peanut butter filled bone.

Forgot to take a good pic of this step! Oops, but you get the point.

Make sure all your legs are exactly the same height. You may need to tighten or loosen a few joints to get everything equal.

Here's the tricky part. Grab a friend and attach the long 51" piece to the two open T's. One of you will have to spin a set of legs around to get this done. You will look like an absolute fool doing this, but its the only way to get it done. Once everything is screwed together, you're ready to attach your legs to the table.

Legs Assembled

Legs + Tabletop

Flip your tabletop over, and set the legs on top. Make sure everything is square, straight and level, and screw in your flanges using 1" screws.

Apply your felt furniture pads to the bottom of the feet flanges, and flip your table back over. Now you're ready for finishing! (we will be finishing the table inside due to the cold cold cold temperatures of our unheated garage.)

So here it with its legs attached and waiting for its finish work. Whatcha think?

Ta Da! Table

table table table

One great thing we quickly found about this table is that if you have an uneven floor like we do you can unscrew certain parts to even the table out so it won't wobble!

Promise, we'll be back soon with how we finished the table, and a cost breakdown.

**UPDATE** Check out how we finished the table.

****SUPER UPDATE**** Check out our revised version of the Pipe & Wood Table

29 Responses

  1. Looking for base for my outdoor stone table 84x36, any suggestions?
  2. Here is something I am wondering based on all the DIY pipe frame projects I have seen...how is it that it gets tightened sufficiently given that you need to ensure the pipes are perpendicular, etc. Do you need to use locktite or something similar?
  3. This is awesome! My only question is, how strong is it? Would you be able to stand on it? How could you add support?
    • Ahhhh, I see what you did on V2 there. That answers my question... Awesome table!
  4. Great DIY I'm planning on doing a table like this but I noticed on the cutting list 4 peaces measures are missing ... The 4 bottom ones for the legs or the the 4 ones for the sides . I d like to know the mesures please ... Thanks
  5. on the assembly if you start from the middle T'sand work your way out it will be easier.once you do the 51 inch piece with T's then go out at with your 10"nipples and then attach T's.tighten and level out. then you you can finish with up rights and only takes one person
  6. Hi Kristen, That's a beautiful table and a great tutorial, thank you very much! I would love to do a similar table but am wondering about the way to add-up the length of the pipes. For the height you guys used one 6" pipe, one 20", one tee and your table top is 2" thick which adds up to 29" and in your introduction you're saying your table in 30" tall, does it mean the length of the tee to add to the assembly is 1" once the pipes are screwed in it? Thank you very much, and thanks for sharing your projects! Charles
  7. I am in the process of making a console table but have run into the problem that once the legs (very similar to yours but without the center support) and wood are put in place (altho not screwed down), the entire piece is NOT stable! The entire piece can sway back and forth. Any suggestions?
  8. I saw the same Restoration Hardware piece online and liked it. Interested in making this in a 54"long x 34"wide x 36"tall version. Wondering how to change up the pipe dimensions... Any advice would be appreciated. Nice job on your blog!
  9. Finally, someone who posts Canadian prices! Nothing more annoying than finding a DIY you love and finding out it's going to cost you an extra arm or leg. Amazing table and perfect for my kitchen! Thank you so much for this post!
  10. Check around before paying those outrageous prices for cutting and threading... the Lowes new me will cut and thread at no cost. Be polite and don't do this on a super busy Saturday morning; mid-week evenings are usually much quieter.
  11. I just wanted to say thank you for putting the directions this up. My husband and I made this into a table to put my espresso machine on. We used a block of pine we found at Lowe's for the top, and put several coats of polyurethane on it, but I think I will try to get a remnant of granite for it. It turned out great, I can't believe how cool it looks and plenty sturdy for my heavy espresso machine. We did put an extra crossbar on it for added sturdiness. This Old House had directions for an island too, but I like this one better.
  12. Hi! We're tweaking this design for a smaller table -- all we'd need to do is shorten the length of the crossbeam, right? Also, for the height, did your table end up being higher than 30" when adding the tabletop? Ours is 1" thick and I don't want it to sit higher than 30" once put together, so should I shorten the leg lengths to total 29" as well? Thanks for this great design, very excited to try it!
    • Never mind that last question, I just realized I had confused the nipples (heehee) and 10" pipe! So I actually need to get the 10" pipes shorter if my table isn't as wide. Thanks again!
  13. NPO
    Great table idea, Thanks!! But one thing seems like it it simpler than you make out... you mention that the only way to attach the center pipe is to "Grab a friend and attach the long 51″ piece to the two open T’s. One of you will have to spin a set of legs around to get this done. You will look like an absolute fool doing this, but its the only way to get it done." Can't you just start at the middle and work out? i.e., unless I'm missing something, you can start with the 51" piece, attach the Ts to either end, then attach the 4 short side pipes, then the 4 T's at the corners, then the 8 leg pieces and flanges. And just a heads-up... Here's a link to a nice butcher-block top for the pub table I'm making. The frame will be similar, but with a leg in the middle since it's long and narrow: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20057854/
    • You're just more clever than we are! :) Oh and great use of the butcher block! I mention using it for a quick and easy table project here http://www.storefrontlife.com/make-your-own-custom-table/ It is a really well priced option!
  14. Thank you for posting this. I am a DIYer myself and recently made a media center out of pipe and wood. I have been looking for ideas for my husbands desk. This will be perfect! A little tip I learned is that Lowes doesn't charge for pipe cutting.
  15. Ryan
    What are the dimensions of the table top? I am thinking about doing this to an IKEA Gerton: Length: 61 " Thickness: 1 1/8 " Width: 29 1/2 Also, what size screws did you use? The thickness of my table top is only 1 1/8 so I want to make sure it doesn't go through the top / gets a good grip.
    • Hi Ryan, Our table is 34.5" x 72", and for screws I like to use 1/4" less than the thickness of your board. I always to a test on a scrap first just in case my math sucked!
  16. Pete
    Hi there! This is a wonderful project - I'm doing something similar now but having a really hard time getting the legs straight - tried unscrewing various piece, but still, the legs look crooked. Is it possible I just got bad pipes/flanges?
    • Hey Pete, If its not cross threaded, it sounds like you may have some badly threaded pipe. Did you get pipe custom cut & threaded, or are you using off the shelf pieces? If you got it done custom, I would take it back to the store and tell them it was threaded crooked, and try another store.
  17. Elaine
    Love your blog! I am a major DIYer, too and want to make your table. Do you think the base is sturdy enough to support a 7' top? or even an 8? I suppose I could make a third leg in the middle, but I am wary of having too many junctions and the table swaying. Your input?
    • I would think so! If anything, adding more support near the top would your next step. Similarity how we did the cross beam at the bottom, you could do one at the top, right below the tabletop. This would stop any attempt of the table trying to tilt like a parallelogram!
  18. Casey
    i'm thinking of building this table for a theatrical project. What size screws did you use with the Kreg Jig? I want to make sure it's secure enough for people to stand on the table.
    • Hi Casey, For 1 1/2" thick material, Kreg recommends using 2 1/2" Kreg screws. They are very strong!
  19. Eric
    Is the table sturdy? Does is rock or sway? I'm trying to figure out a good table for a frame shop and this is an idea for the front design tables. Doesn't need to be rock solid, but sturdy enough and safe enough to put pictures and frames on while designing. Will have a 4' x 8' table top, two layers of nice plywood. Thanks for your great post.
    • Hi Eric, It is very sturdy! The pipe legs are very strong. I end up doing a lot of projects on the table as it is such a large surface, and I have never had an issue, even when painting delicate items.
      • Hey! I love this table and I'm about to make it for my own apartment I just moved into this week. Just one question, none of the places around here seem to carry spruce lumber, how do you think pine wood would compare? Both from a construction / staining perspective?
  20. Tonyelle
    Awesome DIY post! Those just might be the simplest and most clearcut directions I've ever seen. :) The pictures are also very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to put this guide together! By the way, your table came out pretty amazing!!

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