Pipe & Wood Table V2

Pipe & Wood Table

We loved our DIY Pipe & Wood table and bench. However, we started to fall out of love with it after living with it for a few months. In order to get the table done on a budget & quick timeline we used framing grade spruce lumber from the big box store. Over time the wet wood warped, and our table was looking a bit topsy-turvy. Oops. The framing grade spruce also had rounded edges, which made for serious crumb catchers between the joints. Thirdly, we used Tung Oil to finish the table, and after a while, the tung oil started to smell, well, like spoiled oil. Nowhere in all my research did I find anyone saying tung oil would smell like butt after a few months. Lesson learned. (Although as a finish the tung oil was doing otherwise great, not a single water spot or mark on the table, if you can get past the butt smell.)

Pipe & Wood Table

If you know me (and my neuroses) at all, you will know that I couldn’t just leave the table. I can live with dust bunnies rolling around the house becoming dust monsters, and I can live with dirty dishes in the sink, but a wonky smelly table? Not a hope.

So here it is kids:

DIY Pipe & Wood Table Version 2 (6’x 34 1/2″)

Lumber Buy List: (purchased from a local Home Hardware Building Center. Check your neighborhood to see if you have a Home Hardware Building Center or another lumber yard . They will carry a larger amount of lumber than the big box stores, at about the same prices.) If you’re in Toronto, try Downtown Lumber (a Home Hardware) or Central Fairbank Lumber.

3 – Kiln dried pine 2×12’s @ 6′  (square cut edges, not rounded ones)
1 – Kiln dried pine 2×2 @ 8′ (support pieces)

Cut List:

3 – 2×12’s @ 6′ (our lumber yard rough cut them to just over 6′, then we did nicer cuts with our sliding miter saw at home. If you do not have a sliding miter saw, or a circular saw that can cut through that thickness of wood, have your lumber yard cut it for you with their good saw, not their rough cut one.)

3 – 2×2’s @ 26″, cut to a 45 degree miter on either end.


Lay out your table top boards and decide which sides you want up. Make sure to flip the grain so that one board’s grain is up, and the next is down. When you have everything laid out (and square!) mark for Kreg pocket holes every 8″ or so on the bottom of 2 of your tabletop boards.  Using the 1 1/2″ thick wood setting, drill your pocket holes. (see how to drill a Kreg pocket hole here.)

Deciding on board layout
Deciding on board layout

Attach your tabletop boards together with wood glue and 2 1/2″ Kreg Pocket Hole screws. Make sure your table is square before attaching the boards together. (You can check it with a square and by measuring corner to corner diagonally. If both sides are the same, your table is square.) Wipe off any excess glue that may have squeezed up between boards with a wet rag before it dries.

Once glued and screwed, attach the support pieces. We put one in the middle, and two right behind where our pipe legs would go. The ends are cut to a 45 so that its looks nicer, and you’ll be less likely to whack your knee off it later. We used some 2 1/2″ screws to attach the supports, making sure we got at least 2 screws into each board. These support pieces will try to keep your table from warping. Remember wood is a living organism, and changes during high & low humidity and heat. So you can never guarantee your wood will stay exactly the same. (That’s why you leave an expansion joint on your hardwood floors, or else they might buckle.)

Attaching the supports
Attaching the supports
Table Supports
Table Supports

We also filled the pocket holes with Kreg wood plugs. You wouldn’t see the holes, but if you ran your hand along the underside of the table you would feel them. They also might catch on pants or stockings. The Kreg plugs are easy to use. A bit of wood glue and careful placement and they were done. After the glue dried we gave them a sand to ensure everything was nice and smooth.

Kreg Pocket Hole Plugs (we used paint grade as they would not be seen)
Kreg Pocket Hole Plugs (we used paint grade as they would not be seen)
Here they are in action
Here they are in action

Now its time to sand. I like to sand outside in the summer, so out the table went. We sanded away, then I stained the table and royally screwed it up. OOPS. Time to fix my mistake, and try again.

Table top sanded (for the second time) and ready for stain.
Table top sanded (for the second time) and ready for stain.

After the sanding came two coats of Varathane Chocolate Stain (check out my finishing post to see all my steps in sanding, wood conditioning & staining.)

Here it is after one coat. The second coat of stain (plus subsequent polyurethane) really bring out the depth of the wood.
Here it is after one coat of stain. The second coat of stain (plus subsequent polyurethane) really bring out the depth of the wood, which you will see in the finished product.

I can tend to get a wee bit anal retentive, so when it came to polyurethaning the table, I had to stop myself at 6 coats. Any more would be a bit cray cray. Realistically as long as you have at least three coats, you should be good.

Now to re-attach the legs from the old table. A bit of measuring to make sure its centered, and a few screws and we’ve got legs people.

Legs Legs Legs
Legs Legs Legs

Want to see what it looks like all finished?! (ignore my terrible lighting, the dining room is impossible to shoot in.)

Dum da da daaaaaa

Pipe & Wood Table
Pipe & Wood Table V2
Pipe & Wood Table
Yay! Smelly & Wobbly Table No More!

***UPDATE*** We also made a new bench to go along with the table. Check it out here.

Benchy Bench Bench
Benchy Bench Bench



Materials & Cut List:
(see above)

Tools Used:
Miter saw
Kreg Jig
Orbital sander
Measuring Tape

Difficulty Level (on a scale of 1-5):

two out of five

Total Cost: $100 (for the new wood, we already owned the pipe, stain & poly)

Author: Kristen

Kristen & her husband El Granto & their Vizsla Odin live in a converted Storefront in downtown Toronto.

41 thoughts on “Pipe & Wood Table V2”

  1. So the wood from your first table was spruce from Home Depot.

    Was the second table top also spruce, but from Fairbank? Or was it pine ?

    How is the top holding up now? Any warping etc?


  2. Kristen: I’m Thinking about creating a dining room table base like the one shown, but with 1 and 1/2″ black iron pipe and fittings. Does anyone know how much length I should add to my measurements for malleable T connectors? That is, if I use a T to connect two 10″ pipes, how long will the final assembly be? (10″ + 10″ +? =). Same question with the flanges.If I add those, will they increase the height of the leg assembly?

  3. This is fantastic. I’m going to be making this for a friend. Do you have a list of the pipe sizes used? I’m familiar with wood, but have no experience with pipe.

  4. If I use a solid door for the table top ( which weighs a ton) is there any way to attach wheels to the table(legs) to make it easier to move? I noticed the Restoration Hardware version has wheels?

  5. when you talk about how long each piece of pipe is, does this take into account the threads? Or is this measurement the smooth part in between the threads. I am attempting to make a table somewhat like this and do not want to end up with a table too high or too short or too wide.

    Thank you

  6. hey, i made one from this tutorial :D, still not finish yet
    the table size i made, almost same with V1, around 72″x 33″ with 30″ height
    but i lil bit confuse with the pipe, i find 3/4 galvanized pipe but the thickness really have a lot variety start 0.5mm – 5mm, what thickness you use in this project? before i think i should pick the 1.5mm thickness, but yeah i want to know yours pipe thickness before i pick the wrong one haha

    1. Yea – I made this desk and put felt pads underneath the feet (and extra under the feet that were high & creating the wobble. Worked like a charm and un-noticable. I actually made mine a little different… I used galvanized pipe and also used pipe end caps for the feet instead of flanges.

    2. Where did you get your pipe? How tall does your table stand? We are trying to creat this pipe leg look on a table for family but with the pipe we currently have the table stands too tall. We are running out of ideas on how to get it to work.

    1. I used galvanized pipe…they’re using black iron pipe in this tutorial. Only difference besides one being black and one being silver is the black iron could rust…but most likely wont unless in extreme humid environments. Galvanized pipe will not rust ever. Use galvanized if you’ll be in a humid environment or for outdoor use.

      Also, the pipe size I used is 1″. I made a side stand and used 3/4″ and they look great next to each other. I’ve seen people use as big as 2-3″ pipe but the larger the diameter the more you’ll spend it seems. Pipe fittings are EXPENSIVE!

      Good luck. Also thanks to the writer of this blog article.

  7. Hi! I wanted to ask for this version, how did you get the table top so flat? No grooves in between the wood planks? Did you use lumber wood from the hardware store, same as the first version? Thanks for the info! I also was inspired by the Restoration Hardware table and might attempt to make this with the pipes going in an X in the middle. Wish me luck!

    1. Hey, I made one of these too…. I know this isn’t exactly what you’ll want to hear but you need to rip the sides off the 2x stock that you bought. I have a table saw and a planer… first thing I did was run the boards through a planer on both sides to get a flat surface and consistent thickness. Then rip (trim) the sides off on a table saw (only about 1/4″) to get rid of that rounded edge you get with 2x stock.

      You could get around having the large equipment in two ways:

      1. go to a local woodshop or cabinet maker and bring them the 2x stock. ask them to plane for thickness and rip the rounded edges off. Don’t know what they would charge but would only take an hour or at worst two hours so don’t let them charge you for any more.

      2. For the do-it-yourself route, to take care of the edges, you can buy a circular saw and rip the edges off yourself. You’ll NEED to clamp a straight edge along the board to run the circular saw. They sell them at your hardware stores and they’re made exactly for this purpose…just make sure it’s as long or longer than your 2x stock. If you’re unsure what I mean, go to a hardware store and ask for this tool: “a long straight edge that can be clamped to a board to cut a straight line with a circular saw”…make sure you buy clamps too :). For the thickness and rough surface, there’s not much that can substitute a quality planer… but they’re several hundred dollars for the cheapest one. To circumvent buying this, I would get yourself a belt sander and pick up some different grades of sanding belts 60, 120 and 220 if you can find them…any number near that is fine… the numbers may be different, say like 38, 100, 200. Anything near that range is fine. Start with the lowest (roughest) and work your way around with the belt sander. End off with the highest number THEN use a random orbital sander with the same grades.

      Sanding must be a labor of love…if you don’t get it glass smooth at the end with 220 and an orbital sander, you’ll see the scratch marks in the end. It may not come out perfect but this should look a little rustic anyways.

      Hope some of this helps!


  8. Looks great! I’m going to attempt to make a similar project but have the table/desk at 42″ high, but not as long. 48″ L, 24″ W.

    I plan on having the cross bar about a foot off the ground, for a nice little foot rest.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to ensure stability with the extra height I’m planning on?

      1. Not sure what they’ve done but I used a 48″ bar to run the span in between the “H’s” on my 6 foot desk. I actually used 2×6’s for mine because I couldn’t find any stores selling A Grade 2×10’s or 2×12’s. Tough to say if you used 2×10’s+ but 4″ is fine. Too close to the outer edge and it will look weird. The 3 cross braces underneath will add strength to weight placed in the center of the desk (monitor, computer, etc) so you don’t need to worry as much about that.

        Also, the iron pipe is super strong…if you’re using anything over 3/4 to 1″ piping, you will not have any wiggle. These pipes WILL NOT bend under any type of human pressure. That being said, you might get wobble… this is fixed by placing felt pads under the feet that are high. A little extra padding can’t hurt…the table will be heavy and all the felt pads will matte down to a consistent height. Weight on the desk after the fact will further even out the pressure.

    1. Hi Pat,

      It might wiggle a bit more, by the cross bar being lower down it stabilizes it. It wont hurt to try though! All you would have to do is swap the parts and if it wiggles, swap them back!

  9. Would this table be steady if I reversed the position of the 20″ and 10″ pipes with the shorter pipes closer to the table edge? This would give more seat room for chairs under the table on the ends.

    1. Yea this will work fine. I actually used different sized pipe on my “H’s”. For example, if you had a 30″ deep table and wanted 20″ “H’s”, you could use 16″ and 4″ pieces on either side of the “T” that holds the span bar that goes across the length. (If that makes sense). Don’t worry where the span bar is in relation to the “H’s”. As long as there are 4 legs coming down and you have the span bar in place, you won’t have wiggle room…the Screws would rip out of the board before the metal would bend. You’ll be fine.

  10. Thank you so much for this post. I am so inspired and I am 100% planning on trying to build this table. 2 quick questions
    1)When you screwed the legs into the table what length screw did you use? I am worried about using too long/too short of screws
    2) For the Kreg Jr kit, the thickest setting was 1.5 inches. Since your boards were 2 inches thick did that cause any problems?

    Thank you again for your post!

  11. I am so inspired by this post! Thank you so much for sharing. I am 100% going to attempt to build this table! 2 quick questions:
    1) When you drilled in the legs what length screw did you use? I’m worried about using too long/too short of screws and somehow messing up the top of the table.
    2) For the Kreg Jig kit that you used for the pocket holes, the thickest setting is 1.5 inches but your boards were 2 inches. That didn’t seem to cause any problem for you using the 1.5 inch setting right?

    Thank you again for making this post. I was so discouraged from making a table from other posts I’ve ready but yours really made it seem possible.

    1. We set the Kreg jig for 1 1/2″ thick material and it worked perfect. For the screws to attach the legs, we went with 1 1/2″ screws, an did a test run on a scrap piece of wood (I am ALWAYS afraid off screwing trough the surface!) It all turned out okay! Good luck, it’s a super do-able project, you’ll do great!

        1. Yep! We just pretended that the wood was 1 1/2″ thick and used the settings and screws for that depth. We had done it previously with our media cabinet frame (which is made out of the same lumber) and it worked great.

  12. Hello my fave DIYers. Happy 2014! You have inspired me to make a version of this table with some amazing 100 yr old 2″ thick fir, I found for cheap on Craigslist. I’m wondering a few things: any issues with cracking since then? What about using steel straps underneath instead of wood to keep the boards together? Biscuit joins vs Kreig pocket screws? Thickness of pipes was 1/2″ inside diameter? Any other advice hindsight? I’ll send photos when I’m done. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Lynne! I’m excited you’re going to take this on!
      Your reclaimed Doug fir sounds great! We did have some issues with our first version of this table splitting and gaping (it was fir, but not kiln dried). If your reclaimed wood has been stored inside, and is fairly dry, you should be okay. They sell these moisture meters that you can probe wood with and measure the moisture content, but for making just one table that seems like a silly purchase. I would suggest bringing the wood into the house for a few weeks and letting it acclimatize. Hopefully if it doesn’t crack then, it should be okay on your table. We have not had any issues with our kiln dried lumber on our current table.
      You can absolutely use biscuits. We would have, except we didn’t have clamps big enough! I think you could use anything for the support pieces steel included. Just make sure it’s not sharp or it may injure your guests if they whack their legs on it under the table.
      Keep us posted on your progress!

  13. Love it..exactly what I was looking for. Loved the table from Crate & Barrell – but along with a whole kitchen remodel, I’m trying to save a few $$$$ and what better way than to make our own table and benches !!!

  14. This blog is great!
    Thinking of making a similar table. What are the dimensions of this table? Mostly curious about the height.
    I’m planning on using 3″ thick salvaged joists for the tabletop. Thinking about 36″ wide x 60″ long. Not sure about table height though. It’s to be used as both a desk/work table as well as a dining room table. (NYC apartment living!)
    Any advice would be great (in addition to all the great info already here!)

    1. Hi Eric,
      Thanks for the kind words!
      The finished size is 6 feet long by 34 1/2″ wide, and it’s about 30″ tall. We’re tallish people, and there’s a good amount of leg clearance. You could make it taller by extending the pipe lengths. You can see the lengths of pipe we used here. We made a farmhouse table with friends who live in a downtown condo, and made it extra skinny to fit their space. That table ended up being 28 1/2″ wide and it is plenty wide enough to seat people on either side. I think you can be fairly flexible with size depending on your space. A 60″ long table should be able to seat 4 comfortably, and 6 when needed.

      Good luck with your project, it sounds awesome!

  15. Love the new version! Anyway you could make it extendable? A Table is on Jer’s DIY list once we have a shed to work in

    1. Thanks Julie! The easiest way to make it extendable (I think) is to make slip in extensions at either end. A few brackets and some more pipe, and it should be pretty easy!

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