DIY, furnishing, thrifty

Coming Together: Our DIY Industrial Pipe Console Table

05/05/2014

Before: a vintage table that didn't really fit behind the sofa; After: a DIY console tableFrom the moment our new sofa was delivered and we figured out that it fit best in front of the bank of windows in the living room, I knew that I wanted a console table behind it. As a stop gap measure I placed a drop leaf table behind the sofa and then I started my search for a proper console table. In the four months since then, I’ve found a lot of console tables that I’ve liked but none within my price range (read: cheap!). So I did what I always do when I can’t find what I want – I built my own!

I knew that I wanted a very simple table behind the sofa. Something with a dark wood top and simple legs. Enter the industrial pipe table to save the day.

Now, I’m not exactly a novice when it comes to building furniture out of pipes and boards. A few years ago I built pipe shelving for our city apartment. That shelving unit involved quite a bit of trial and error as I tried to get everything just right. With that experience behind me, I was certain that my console table would come together quickly and easily. Ha! While the console table was indeed easier than the shelving unit, it still involved a last minute return trip to the hardware store and a bit of sweating and swearing. To get started I gathered my supplies:

supplies for an industrial pipe console table

I thought I had the table all planned out. I drew myself a sketch, made a list of what I would need and gathered everything together. I confidently photographed the supplies, proud of myself for getting it right the first time. Except that I didn’t get it right the first time. I had to go back to the hardware store to exchange a few pieces for others. But, hey, nobody’s perfect, right?

Here are the supplies I did use:
1 – pine board measuring 12″ x 8′ (cut down to 7′ long)
1 – can of dark walnut stain for the wood
4 – 24″ pipes
4 – 36″ pipes
4 – 6″ pipes
1 – 8″ pipe
6 – three-way connectors
4 – floor flanges
4 – end caps

It wasn’t until I was about to assemble the table that I realized that the pipes that were acting as cross braces would need to be connected. That was what required the last minute trip to the hardware store. I returned the two coupling nuts shown in the photo above and picked up two more 3-way connectors and an 8″ pipe.

the DIY console table comes together

With all of the supplies gathered, I was finally ready to go. I started off by cutting the pine board from 8 feet long to 7 feet. Then, I stained the board and allowed it to dry overnight. While the board dried, I thoroughly washed all of the pipes. If you’ve never worked with these kinds of pipes, you should know that they’re very, very dirty and greasy. I used plain ol’ dish soap to remove as much of the grease as possible from the pipes and then dried them with an old towel. By the time I was done my hands were black and the old towel was filthy. Yuckers!

detail of the base on the DIY console table on Mr. and Mr. Blandings

Once the stain on the wood top had dried and all of the pipes were clean, I started piecing the table together. I wish I had photographed the assembly process a little more thoroughly. I did, in fact, have every intention of doing so. But, as with most projects, once I got started I couldn’t be bothered to stop and snap pics. Without photographic documentation, the assembly is a bit of a blur. All I know is that I started screwing pipes into one another until I had a table base. After the base was assembled, I connected it to the table top by screwing the flanges directly into the wood.

DIY industrial pipe console table on Mr. and Mr. BlandingsWith a bit of trepidation (would it work? would it fall over?), I flipped the table over and was pleased that my DIY design was a success. The assembled table is very solid and looks so much better behind the sofa that the big drop leaf table that had been acting as a stand-in. I added felt pads to the bottoms of the feet to keep them from scratching the floor. The pipe base is mostly hidden by the sofa and the dark wood top plays nicely with the sofa and white trim and windows.

DIY console table on Mr. and Mr. Blandings

 

— J. Blandings

Images: Mr. and Mr. Blandings

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22 Comments

  • Reply Jenna 08/15/2014 at 10:46 am

    Attempting to make this table. I can’t seem to find these specific pipes. The only options at Home Depot are galvanized steel and PVC. Where did you find these pipes?

    • Reply Jason 08/15/2014 at 11:06 am

      I got our pipes at Lowes, Jenna. But I’m surprised Home Depot doesn’t stock them. Most hardware stores carry the black pipes in addition to PVC and copper. Good luck!

    • Reply Chris Alonso 05/18/2015 at 11:33 am

      As an HVAC Contractor I use these pipes on a daily basis. Look up your local air conditioning supply warehouse or plumbing warehouse… ex. Locke’s, Carrier Enterprise, Johnstone, Palmer’s.

      While the parts hoses will not sell you anything involving and actual air conditioner, you can actually buy anything else… FYI you can get great filters for your house for about 2 dollars a piece here vs buying them at lowes or walmart for 7 dollars a piece. Little life hack for all y’all 🙂

  • Reply April 04/26/2015 at 4:45 pm

    Hi, I love it! Thanks for the tips! What is the final height of your table ?

  • Reply Claudia 05/22/2015 at 5:04 pm

    Thank you soooo much for this lesson!! We made it, placed it behind our couch and put a couple of counter-height stools behind it for extra seating / eating space when we invite folks to watch sports at our house. Everyone loves the table!!!!!! Thank you again!!

  • Reply Brigitte 06/21/2015 at 7:18 am

    I love your table. I am planning a trip to lowes soon. Thank you for sharing .

  • Reply Petra 07/01/2015 at 8:54 pm

    Love it! Can you please tell us what the cost breakdown is for the project?

  • Reply Justine 11/16/2015 at 1:49 pm

    I just made your table (thank you for sharing it!) and it worked out great, except my 8″ connector for the H shaped support is making the flanges too wide to screw into the 12″ wide board. I’m going to run to HD and grab a 4″ pipe instead, but I was wondering if you had any idea what I might have done wrong?

    • Reply R. Walter 06/30/2018 at 12:53 pm

      The length of the cross brace (total) needs to be no longer than the distance that your uprights will be when screwed into your top. The 8″” pipe added to the two tees made the bottom of your base too wide for the flanges at the top of the base to fit your board.

  • Reply Stacey 01/01/2017 at 10:56 pm

    Love the table! What would you say the final cost ended up being?

  • Reply lau 02/15/2017 at 8:16 pm

    What is the finished height of this table

  • Reply plannercreative 08/01/2017 at 5:15 pm

    What was the total cost of this project?

    • Reply Jason 08/01/2017 at 6:47 pm

      The plumbing pipes were the most expensive part but all told I spent less than $100 making this table.

      • Reply plannercreative 08/06/2017 at 11:53 pm

        Awesome! thanks for the reply!

        • Reply Jason 08/07/2017 at 8:53 am

          Absolutely! If you make a table of your own, please share it.

          • Kevin 08/21/2017 at 7:39 pm

            What is the total height of this table? Was looking to make my own as a stadium seating type feel in my bar..
            Thanks

          • Jason 08/22/2017 at 6:36 am

            Our table is about 42 inches high – just tall enough to reach the back of the sofa.

  • Reply Kim 09/20/2017 at 7:40 am

    Going to try this for behind my sectional- thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Jenny H 11/10/2017 at 7:53 am

    I love, love, love this table but the cost of the pipes makes me question if it’s worth it. You need a lot of pipes and they are not cheap. Beautiful table though!! Thanks for posting.

  • Reply Courtney Hamilton 07/01/2018 at 2:12 pm

    Could you make this with PVC pipe?

    • Reply D.B. 08/23/2019 at 6:00 pm

      I wouldn’t. The PVC pipe isn’t threaded and will have to be spray painted to match the rest of the harfware, making it hit and miss.
      Not to mention lack of overall frame stability and sturdiness.
      Metal pipes are a way to go with these kind of structures.

  • Reply musefulmom 09/30/2019 at 9:05 am

    What size pipe are these? 1/2, 3/4, 1, or 2 inch?

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