DIY

DIY Pipe Table Tutorial

August 13, 2014

This DIY pipe table is so easy to make and looks high-end! You won't believe how much money you can save by making your own.

Hello lovely readers! Many of you have complimented the DIY pipe table that we made for our new eat-in-kitchen area, so today we are sharing with you full details of how we made it.  First, let me show you our inspiration, which came from one of my favorite stores–West Elm. I fell in love with the West Elm Workshop Table. But the large size retails for $1,999.00. Yeah, that wasn't going to happen…

West Elm pipe table

Source: West Elm

SO, we decided to make our own, and we were able to do it for less than $200.00 ($180.00, to be exact)!  Let me tell you that this is an EASY project that took us much longer than it should have (isn't that the worst).  I'll explain why as we move through the tutorial.  This post contains some affiliate links.  Click here for my full disclosure policy.

DIY Pipe Table Tutorial

Materials Needed for DIY Pipe Table:

  • Kreg Jig
  • Galvanized pipe {detailed cut list below}
  • Black spray paint
  • (4) 2 x 10 x 8 pine boards
  • Wood stain {we used this stain in black}
  • Screws
  • Table saw {or circular saw and straight edge}
  • Miter saw {or circular saw and straight edge}

DIY Pipe Table Cut List:

Note that all plumbing is 1 inch in diameter.  Also, the lengths listed below INCLUDE the length that will be threaded.  You do not need to add length to account for threading your materials together.

Home Depot will cut your pipe to length AND thread it. But you should know that this can be time-consuming. Joe went to get the pipe cut while our girls were napping one day. He came home 3 hours later. I'm not joking. There were a few problems. First, Home Depot had a problem with the threading machine that had to be fixed. Then, once the machine was fixed, not all of the threaded pipes actually worked correctly (Joe was testing each one by screwing on a t-joint). Truth be told, not many of them worked correctly. So they had to be done again. There's a whole lot of cuts and threading. That's a long way of saying, be prepared to hang out at Home Depot or Lowe's for a while.
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DIY Pipe Table Base Assembly Steps:

1) First, you have to CLEAN all the grime and grease off of your pipe.

2) Assembly is pretty self-explanatory, but you can reference the “Anatomy of a DIY Pipe Table” photo below if you have questions about which lengths go where. Thread all of your pieces together. Bear in mind that the floor flanges will actually be on the top of your table–the flanges are what your tabletop will sit on. The pipe caps will go on the bottom of the legs. I mention this because it's somewhat counter-intuitive and seems like it should be reversed.

3) If you are working with galvanized pipe and want the look of a black base, you can spray paint your assembled pipe base. That's what we did, but I have to tell you that after 3 years of our metal kitchen chairs banging into it, there's definitely some chipping. So yeah, you are better off if you can start with dark iron pipe.

DIY Pipe Table legs

DIY Pipe Table measurements

Steps to make your DIY pipe tabletop:

1) Rip down one side off of the outer tabletop boards AND both sides of the middle board. This will give you nice, square edges so that when you attach the pieces, they fit snugly together. We had some, errrrr, “user errors” in this process, so it took MUCH longer than it should have. But, in the end, it all worked out.

2) Cut your boards to length. Our boards are 66 inches long.

3) Attach your boards. We used our Kreg Jig to attach our boards. We also reinforced the joints with two braces made from pieces of wood that Joe ripped down and cut to length. We screwed the lengths of wood directly to the tabletop.

DIY Pipe Table construction

4) After a light sanding, we stained our tabletop.  Use used Minwax Polyshades Gloss Wood Stain-Classic Black. This stuff is awesome because it is stain and poly all in one, which meant less work for us.  We applied two coats.

staining pipe table tabletop

5) After your stain has dried, attach your tabletop to your pipe table base.

That's it. I LOVE our table! It's the perfect size for the space and the finish on the wood top is amazingly durable, especially considering it gets wiped down several times every day.

DIY Pipe Table

DIY Pipe Table

DIY Pipe Table

We saved about$1,800.00 by building our own table and it's exactly what we wanted!  It's the perfect finishing touch on our kitchen makeover that cost us less than $700.00 to complete.  Want to see the full reveal?  You can check out part 1 here and part 2 here.  You can also learn all about how we painted our kitchen cabinets without sanding or priming here! (Want to see what our totally renovated kitchen looks like now? You can see it here.)

What do you think?  Are you going to make one of these for yourself?

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  1. Gerald Sung says:

    Hi, I was just wondering what the height of the frame was. Do the tee connectors add much height?
    Thanks

    • Tasha says:

      They do add some, but how much depends on the exact threading do to your pipe, which is done at your store.

  2. April says:

    Hello Tasha, what size diameter piping did you use? Was it the 3/4 inch?

    Thank you!

  3. Liz says:

    Hello! Where did you get the pipe from? I’m finding it hard to find pipe that fits under that budget of 180. Thank you!

  4. Katie Saint says:

    Do you have a tutorial on how you used the jig and joined the edges together? We are doing the shelf desk you have posted and are having a hard time deciding if we should glue the edges, where to clamp and where to drill and neither my husband or myself has used this jig before. Thanks so much for any reply you have!

    • Tasha says:

      I don’t have a separate tutorial but I love the directions that come with the jig. They are very useful and we reference them every time we use it!

  5. Nanner says:

    Hi love your table and your tutorial. I have made a smaller table to take to my son in Tucson. He just got his first apartment and didn’t have much room. For the length I used a 36″ pipe and width I used 6″ nipples which you can buy already cut and threaded.
    My table top I just used some reclaimed lumber and with wood glue and wood braces(3 of them). It seems very sturdy.
    For the treading of the pipe I went to a smaller local hardware store that did it and every piece worked beautifully 1st time. Yay. It did take I would say about a half hour to 45 minutes to get all the cuts in. Love love love it.

  6. john says:

    $180 without the tools

  7. Brad Pearsall says:

    Awesome read on the plumbing pipe table.

  8. Emily Mullen says:

    Hi! I am currently making a table top using 2 x 12 x 6 — do you think i should make the middle pipe longer? If so, by home much would you suggest?

  9. Sven H. says:

    Would it be the same if I got longer pipes to make the table higher?

  10. Peter says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial. I have a stupid question: How did you get the pipe frame stable and “square” prior to mounting the table top? I’ve built the frame, but it flops all over the place and won’t stand on its own, so I’m worried about how I will keep everything square as I mount the heavy table top.

    • Tasha says:

      We didn’t have that issue. it was extremely sturdy, even without the top. Try really tightening it down as much as possible.

  11. Skye says:

    Hi,

    I bought the pipes but they’re covered in grease. How did you remove it? Will cleaning it with dishsoap and water cause rusting?

    Thanks for the help. Amazing job! :)

  12. Leah says:

    I love it, but I might’ve gone with the lower connecting pipe more like the West Elm table. I wish I had room for a 5’6 table, I guess I could throw a mattress on it and use it as a bed at night since I’m only 5′ tall. ;-D I don’t have the tools to make a plank table top like yours, however. Got me thinking about making a smaller table, one that would fit in my space, maybe using a heavy piece of plywood and polying it to protect it from the brat cats. Maybe even finding a piece of glass to go over it, its amazing what cats can destroy.

    Do you have something under the pipe caps to protect the floor? (Not that the cats have left anything of my floor to protect, but I am going to have some work done on it and will want it protected later.)

  13. Stephanie says:

    What kind of spray paint did you use? Everything I’m reading says you can’t paint galvanized steel.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Tasha says:

      I don’t remember what we used specifically, but it was just whatever we had on hand. I will tell you there has been a little chipping where the chairs hit it. Thanks!

  14. Emily says:

    Love the table. I want to build a big one for our back patio that will seat 12. I was going to do 2x10x16 boards and just basically mirror the piping you did for both sides. Think that will be sturdy enough or do you have any recommendations? Then I’ll build four 8 ft benches.
    Also, I don’t have a kreg jig, is there any way around using one?

  15. Amy says:

    Hi is there a way to make pocket holes without Kreg jig? Or any other ideas how to hold the together? Also how did you attach the table to the frame?

    Thanks!

  16. Shaun says:

    I love your table and would love to duplicate it but will need to “tweak” the measurements. I l am looking to make a counter height table on locking wheels or casters measuring 30×54 inches. I really like the “balanced lines” of this table and am wondering if you can help me figure out how to duplicate a similar feel for a table meeting my dimensions. I am a novice DIYer but am very excited about this project. Thanks!

  17. vincent acero says:

    Like it a lot…

  18. Michelle S. says:

    Can I ask how you cleaned the pipe?

    Thanks!

  19. George says:

    Where did you buy galvanized pipe so cheap to make a table for $180 bucks? I have priced my table out and it is about $400 with the galvanized pipe.

  20. Amanda says:

    Hi! I’m new to this DIY thing, but I really love this table and I want to make one for myself. I just have a few questions. When you say to rip down off of one side of both outer boards and down both sides of the middle board, what exactly do you mean? Does that mean to cut off the edges of the boards or to sand them down really well? Also, when you used the Kreg Jig to attach the boards to each other can I assume that means that you drilled pocket holes? I know these probably sound like they should be fairly self-explanatory, but as I said before, I’m new to this so I hope you don’t mind. If you have any tips that would make this easier for a novice like me to understand and build, please, PLEASE share them!!! Thanks for your help!!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Amanda! Ripping a board down does mean to cut off the edges of the boards. And yes, a Kreg jig drills pocket holes. You are getting the hang of it! Good luck!

  21. […] and have them measured, cut, and threaded. Unfortunately I haven’t done this, so check out this lovely tutorial for more on how to make a DIY pipe table. Pipe legs are on my very long list of things to […]

  22. Ben says:

    How much weight do you think this table base would bear approximately? I have 2 beech tops that I have been thinking to attach them to pipe legs but am concerned with load bearing

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Ben! I can’t imagine a weight load that this table base couldn’t withstand. It’s heavy duty! I hope that helps!

      • Tim Kubiak says:

        Tasha what is the height of your table? I’m wanting to make a bar height table 40″ – 42″ high. If I know the height of yours I can adjust your measurements if need be. Thank you!

  23. […] of research. There were two tutorials, in particular, that he found helpful – this one from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body and this one from […]

  24. Rama says:

    Hi Tasha,

    This is a very nice looking table , thanks for sharing the information.
    Planning to make this as a office desk.
    Could you please let me know where can we get the Pipes and connectors from , any particular shop where we can get these.
    I checked in Lowes and HD in my area and could not find these, i believe these pipes will in the plumbing department. Appreciate your input on this information.

    Thanks
    Rama

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Rama! That is odd that Home Depot and Lowes in your area do not have the galvanized pipe. Did you ask someone for assistance? Ask for galvanized pipe that can be cut to length. I hope that helps!

  25. […] Source & Credits: Designer Trapped […]

  26. yolanda says:

    It looks great and so it the price, yes I would love to try making one,thanks for the tutorial. Great job.

  27. […] Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body finished the surface of this table in a dark stain which gives it a more refined look. She did the whole project for under $200 and its real wood and metal, not Ikea particle board and laminate. […]

  28. […] Table – This would be a custom build, but easily DIY-able with this tutorial (obviously different dimensions to fit the couch and skinnier like a bar) but with a base like […]

  29. Quang Tran says:

    Dear Tasha,

    Thank you so much for the guide!

    I cannot wait to this weekend to finish my own table after reading your article. anyway, can you please share me how fit/fixed the tube with the connector?

    I do appreciate your sharing, Tasha!

  30. […] DIY Pipe Table Tutorial – Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body […]

  31. Rachie says:

    Hi there Tasha,

    Absolutely fantastic table. Love the black. What is the height of your dining table and what seat height dining chairs/bench seat have you put to your table?

    Kind Regards
    Rachie

  32. Stacy says:

    Could you tell me what ripping your boards means?

    Could we just have Home Depot cut the boards to the desired length?

    What does it mean to thread the pipes?

    Thanks :)

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Stacy! Ripping the board means cutting along the long edge, where as cutting refers to cross cutting a board to length. You could have Home Depot cut the boards to length, but they probably won’t rip them for you. Ripping isn’t totally necessary, it just helps the boards sit more flushly together. Some people have also purchased inexpensive, hollow core doors for the table top, which is even easier. Here is a good description of pipe threading, which the store will have to do for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threaded_pipe. I hope that helps! Happy new year!

      • Sean says:

        HD/Lowe’s usually have a panel saw so they will in general rip boards. The cut is never very good and will wave a 1/2 inch from where you want it. So for a project like this it would not be advised to have the rip the board.

        Came out looking great. My one question is how much does the pipe sink into those joints? Like on the end of that table you have a: t-joint, 11″ pipe, t-joint, 11″ pipe, t-joint. How wide does that make the legs?

        Love the look of that table.

  33. Kristen says:

    Hey, so my husband and I just tried to make one of these tables and I’m a little confused about the dimensions of the boards you used… You said you bought 2 2x10x8’s and then cut them to 66″ but you’d have to get 3 of them and have them cut, because 66 inches of an 8 foot board is more than half and you wouldn’t be able to get 2 pieces out of one board. And also did you use 10 inch wide boards or 12?

    We somehow ended up using 3 2x10x8’s and cutting them in half to use 4 foot sections. (I think I read your measurements and must’ve read 4 foot sections on another blog and switched them up, or divided 8 feet into a number that worked to get at least 3 boards) But either way when we had the pieces that would butt up to eachother ripped we lost 2.5 inches, and now the table top is way too small for the bottom. Luckily we were going to make a coffee table too so we’re just going to use the top to make a coffee table and make another bigger top for the kitchen table one!

    Sorry for the essay I was just wondering if you were 100% on the size of the boards you used because we were super confused when we went to put everything together, haha.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Kristen! I am so, so sorry for the confusion. We purchased THREE 2x10x8’s and cut them to 66 inches. The 2 was a typo that I have now corrected. Thanks for bringing it to my attention and AGAIN, I am so sorry that you had to go through the frustration due to a typo on my part. When we ripped our boards, we didn’t loose that much, so the finished dimensions of our tabletop is 66 inches x 33 inches. I hope that helps. So happy to hear you were planning to make a coffee table anyway! Thanks so much for reading my blog!

      • Patty McGrew says:

        Are you sure you didn’t use FOUR 2x10x8s? Three boards 10″ wide wouldn’t make a table that’s 33″ or 37″ (as stated below in the comments) wide, right? Three boards (10×3=30) would be more like 27″ or 28″ wide (after ripping), right? I suck at math, so maybe it’s me. ?

  34. Kirsten says:

    Hi! Love this table! Can you please tell me what the finished dimensions are? Cant wait to make this after the Holidays!! Thank You!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Kirsten! The table is 31 1/4 inches tall {the height may vary somewhat because of the pipe threading}. The top is 66 inches wide and about 37 inches deep. I hope that helps!

  35. Eva ramgopal says:

    How tall was the table after it was finished?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Eva. Our table is 31 1/4 inches tall. There will be some variation due to the threading of the pipes, but that is our finished height. I hope that helps!

  36. […] But don’t worry, because she escapes to do awesome stuff like this DIY Pipe Table. […]

  37. Lynda says:

    Great table! Can you comment more on the painting of the pipe? You mentioned you cleaned them so I am wondering what you used to do that and then what was involved with painting them?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Lynda! My husband cleaned the pipes with a heavy duty de-greaser that a friend had. I have no idea what brand–sorry! We then spray painted them with Rustoleum black spray paint. I will tell you that the paint has chipped off a little bit where the chairs hit it, but I don’t know of a better painting option. I have heard some places with cut and sell you black pipe. Our Home Depot would not thread the black pipe for us since it is intended for use with natural gas {I gather they only thread it for professionals}. But, purchasing the black pipe would be the better option if that is a possibility for you! Hope that helps!

  38. Theresa says:

    Hi Tasha, I love your site!
    We have a beech slab that we bought for our kitchen table. It’s a weird size (to fit our narrow sunroom). 26″X30″ so we have to make a custom base for it. Your pipe table idea is perfect! We’ll need to make some length adjustments, of course, but my husband is keen on building one. We are also thinking of making our island this way too. I’ll let you know how it goes.
    Many thanks for your tutorial!

    Theresa

    • Tasha A. says:

      That’s awesome, Theresa! So glad you will be able to use this table base to fit your custom size table top! Let me know how it turns out!

      • Theresa says:

        Hi Tasha,
        My husband and I have completed our new kitchen table with a (bonus) matching island. They look fabulous! The dimensions for the table top that I mentioned before were incorrect. The actual dimensions are 86″X 30″. Yes, the odd size for that long narrow sunroom I mentioned. The sprinkler pipes we used were pre-cut by a guy my husband knows from his construction business. They were dark grey and we painted them with black tremclad. There was no issue with grease. The island is an upcycle from our former (smaller) kitchen table top which was an inch and a half thick maple slab, formerly from a restaurant kitchen reno my husband’s company worked on. We sliced that slab lengthwise to make a narrow island top and a shelf (resting on the cross bars) underneath. We even added an under-mount chrome wine rack. It looks quite posh, I must say. I’ve pinned a photo of it on my Pinterest board, “Modern Kitchens That Don’t Look Like Laboratories”. You’ll note that my kitchen floor is the same one you had painted over in your laundry room! In our case, these floors are going to be replaced with engineered hardwood, along with some other upcoming kitchen renos. Our next project will be a matching beech bench to go with our table. I will add a photo of the kitchen table to my Pinterest board when that sunroom gets finished (it’s a mess at the moment)!
        Sincerely,
        Theresa

        • Tasha A. says:

          Thanks so much for letting me know, Theresa! I am going to check out your Pinterest board now!!!! And I can’t wait to see the bench. Happy new year! Thanks so much for reading my blog!

          • Theresa says:

            Hi Tasha,
            I finally pinned the 7′ long beech slab kitchen table on my Pinterest board, “Modern Kitchens That Don’t Look Like Laboratories”. I mentioned your site as well.
            We did not have to make a pipe-frame bench as originally planned because we found a perfect bench on sale at Ikea (it’s black and goes with the frame of the table which we painted black).
            Wishing you good luck with your fitness goals. I’ve just resolved to be at the gym more often too!
            Cheers, Theresa

  39. […] to our eat-in-area, we have a table and chairs!  We are loving our DIY industrial pipe table {tutorial can be found here} and fabulous industrial metal […]

  40. […] Tasha from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body needed a table for her eat-in-kitchen area and fell in love with a pipe-legged beauty from one of her favorite stores–West Elm. Unfortunately, the large table retailed for about $2,000! Tasha says, “Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen… SO, we decided to make our own, and we were able to do it for less than $200.00 {$180.00, to be exact}!” […]

  41. ARod says:

    love your table great job but must tell you what really caught my eye was your stenciled floor I did that same stencil on wall in my living room and now I’m really really loving it on your floor great job

    • Tasha A. says:

      Thanks so much ARod! Isn’t the Hollywood Squares stencil amazing?! So happy with how it turned out on our floors. Thanks so much for visiting!

  42. Kitty says:

    Great plans! I am currently building this table and I’m wondering what the finished height is? It seems kind of short. Thank you!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Kitty! I finally remembered to measure the finished height–so sorry for the delay! From the floor to the bottom of the table is 30 inches. To the top of the table it is 31 1/2 inches (because the table top is 1 1/2 inches thick). There is some variability in height depending on the threading and how far you screw the pieces together, but that is the finished height of our table. I hope that helps!

  43. Irene says:

    Great table! Can you tell me the overall height of the pipe portion of the table? I’m curious how much is added with the T joint. Thanks!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Irene! The finished height of our table is 30 inches from the floor to the bottom of the table. The bottom caps and t-joints add a fair amount in terms of inches. There is some variability in height depending on the threading and how far you screw the pieces together, but that is the finished height of our table. I hope that helps!

  44. […] DIY Pipe Table TutorialA table like this retails for $1999.00 at West Elm follow the link below to make your own for a fraction of the cost.https://designertrapped.com/2014/08/diy-pipe-table-tutorial.html […]

  45. Your table is amazing! I didn’t realize what all was involved. Fabulous tutorial!

  46. Brilliant! You always have the best projects!

  47. Stacy says:

    I am planning to make a coffee table along this same line – just have to get my measurements together this weekend. I think I have found a place online to get the pipe (I’ve been using a lot of it lol) a lot cheaper. I will let you know how they work out. In the meantime… I love this table – I am a huge fan of the industrial farmhouse feel.

    Stacy

  48. Lottie says:

    I love this! I really love piping/wood together for a rustic industrial look (and definitely love the cheaper price tag too, such a good idea!)

    Lottie x

  49. Leslie says:

    Oh I love this! Girl you did an excellent job and you you saved a ton of money! I love these tables, there’s a boutique that has them downtown and I love them! Happy Wednesday.

  50. So awesome! I LOVE industrial pipe projects (I may have completed a few myself) and this one is super awesome with your Kreg jig work!

  51. Fantastic project Tasha! I LOVE the end result, and how practical it sounds. I may well have to make this one day – the exact measurements are so helpful. One (perhaps stupid!) question though – what do you mean by ‘ripping down’ the edges of the wood? Thanks!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Anna! Ripping it down means cutting off a small amount of each of the long ends of the board {as opposing to making a cross cut}. I hope that helps! PS- It was not a stupid question :)

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