Industrial Pipe Side-table Tutorial [On the Cheap]

I love the look of industrial furniture with pipe legs and I’ve wanted to diy something similar for quite awhile to hold our records. Diy home decor is my drug of choice so, of course, I’ve clocked in mega hours reading pipe tutorials on Pinterest – but it seemed like the cost of building with piping was really high. Luckily, smarty-pants Brad figured out how to do it without breaking the bank. The results are just as modern, without the “bulk” all that pricey galvanized hardware can add, in our humble opinion.

Want to join in on the fugal fun? Check out the steps below:

Materials Needed:

  1. (2) boards cut to the width and depth you want your table to be
  2. (4) casters, we got 2 locking and 2 normal
  3. (1) 10 ft at 3/4 in. conduit piping – in the aisle with all the electrical cables, not the piping aisle
  4. (4) 3/4 in. elbows – black iron is cheaper, just spray paint chrome
  5. (4) 3/4 in. pipe brackets
  6. JB Kwik – in the aisle with the stains and glues
  7. Power drill and screws
  8. I in. wood bore drill bit attachment for yo power drill

Galvanized piping can add up, but 10 ft of 3/4 in. conduit piping was like $4.00. Hello, savings, my old friend. Just ask the nice hardware-store employees to cut them down for you. (They will not be able to thread them – keep reading for explanation). You’ll need 4 pieces at your height for the legs, and 2 pieces at the width of the wood top for the supports minus about 3 in. to account for the elbow joints on either side. Black iron elbows are cheaper than their galvanized steel counterparts. Grab those suckers and spray paint ’em.

Let’s breaka-breaka-breakity break this down. Our dimensions for this project were:

2 boards at 16 x 18 in.
4 pipe legs at 20 in.
2 pipe supports at 13.25 in. = 16 in. board – 3 in. (1.5 in. elbows on either side) 

When built, the table stands about 25 in. tall.

Because electrical piping is thin, it can’t be threaded. That’s why we’re using the JB Kwik to connect the fittings to the pipe. Follow the directions to combine the tubes and then carefully spread on the inside of the elbow joints. Slide the pieces firmly into place and allow to set. You’ll be combining what looks like two big U’s, with 1 leg pipe connecting to an elbow at the top, connecting to a short supporting pipe, connected to another elbow joint, connecting to another leg pipe. (See the finished picture above for more clarity.) 

Magic! Unless you’re especially green when you’re angry, there’s no way you’re separating those pieces.

Cool beans, now we’re onto some power tool action. On the bottom board only, take your pipe legs and figure out where they’ll go, keeping in mind the dimensions of the casters they’ll connect with below the bottom shelf. If your wheels have a 2 inch plate on top, you’ll want to make sure it won’t stick out from the sides. Trace around the legs and using your drill with drill-bit attached, bore out the circle. You want the circle to be tight so the legs won’t wibble-wobble on the bottom. 

Okay, Let’s connect the top piece to the legs now. Lay your board with the top facing down and screw the pipe brackets around the pipe to the board. You’ll use your measurement from the bottom board to figure out where they should sit. Make sure your screws don’t poke out the top. Also, pre-drilling the holes helps prevent the wood from splitting.

Now that the top part is done, you can screw the casters to the bottom of the bottom board. Use the JB Kwik to weld together the bottom of the legs to the top of the casters and you’ll be 1 on-trend industrial side-table richer. Take some glamour shots and share:

This is where it sits in real life in our kitchen/dining room, holding some of our records. (I secretly want to paint the wood coral) I think it’s versatile and would make a cute little bar cart too. How do you feel about the pipe-look sans floor flanges (those suckers are like $6 a pop)? Anybody have any ideas for the left-over piping?