I was looking for a new stand to hold a small copier used in our home office, and saw a really nice design in an end table in a furniture store. It was sort of an industrial looking design, but unfortunately did not come in the size I needed. So, I decided to make one.
The small table in the store was about half the height and width I needed, and this little table cost $169. The table I built was patterned after it, but even though it was twice the size of the store version, I built it for about $50 in supplies.
The design of this table is very sturdy and could be used for a variety of applications, including heavy machine stands, welding tables, engine stands, etc., or in my case .....a copier stand!
Step 1: Materials & Tools Reqired
The specific quantity of steel & wood will be dependent upon the size of the table, so the quantities provided were what I used for my particular project..
- (4) 8 foot lengths of 1 inch angle iron
- 2 square feet of fairly heavy sheet metal
- 64 machine screws & nuts
- (3) 8 foot lengths of 1x4 pine
- assorted wood screws
- (4) casters
- degreaser ( I used acetone)
- one can of brown hammered-finish spray paint
- polyurethane varnish
- welder & welding supplies
- rotary grinder & grinding stones
- flat file
- metal saw
- wood saw
- screwdrivers, wrenches, etc.
- drill & bits
- angle grinder (to smooth out the welds)
- broom -- to sweep up the mess I made drilling 64 holes!
Step 2: Start With the Legs
The first thing I made were the four legs using 1" angle iron. I made each leg 2 inches shorter than the height I wanted the stand to be, to allow for using 2" casters. I don't plan on giving the exact measurements I used, since what you might want to build should be sized for your particular purpose.
After cutting each leg to length, I welded a piece of scrap to one end and drilled it for the caster mounting (photo 2).
Next, I made a drilling jig from a piece of angle iron to ensure the holes I drilled in the legs would be even all the way around (photo 3). Photo 4 shows how this jig was used, and photo 5 shows the holes drilled into the legs.
Step 3: Frame the Top and Shelf Areas
Next, I built two identical frames from the angle iron. One would be used to frame the top of the stand and the other would frame a shelf down below (for paper storage). I cut each piece to length, mitered the corners, and welded them. After welding, I used an angle grinder to smooth out the welds.
Step 4: Make 16 Brackets
I then took some fairly heavy sheet steel (from my scrap pile), and using a metal cutting band saw I sawed out 16 corner brackets. After sawing, I smoothed the edges with a grinder, then took care of all sharp edges with a file.
Step 5: Assemble Legs & Brackets to the Top Frame
Using a carpenter's square, I clamped the first leg onto the inverted top frame, and drilled the holes needed to attach the corner bracket, then bolted everything together. I did this for each leg.
Step 6: Assemble Legs and Brackets to the Shelf
Next, I measured where I wanted the lower shelf to be and attached it with the same process used for the top.
Step 7: Paint the Assembled Metal Parts
After carefully wiping everything down with a degreaser, I sprayed the entire frame -- beginning first with it turned upside down (to get all the nooks and crannies), then standing it upright.
Once this paint was dry, I bolted on the casters (photo 3).
Step 8: Build the Wooden Top and Shelf
While the paint was drying, I built the top and the shelf from 1x4 pine. Each board was cut to length, then I glued & screwed reinforcing boards to the underside.
Because the top would be mounted flush with the steel frame and the shelf would sit inside the frame, the shelf had to be cut slightly smaller than the top (see photo 3). Other than the size difference, both pieces were constructed the same.
Step 9: Sand, Stain, and Varnish
After the glue had cured, I sanded, stained, and then applied three coats of polyurethane varnish to the top and shelf.
After the final coat of vanish had dried, I mounted the top to the frame using 4 wood screws from the underside of the frame.
Since the shelf sat inside the four legs (photo 2), it simply rests on the frame from the shelf.
Step 10: Attach the Top and Shelf
This turned out to be a very sturdy cart. While the 16 corner brackets are sort of a pain to make, they give the table excellent rigidity and sort of an industrial flair. This same design could be used for a variety of things, from barbecue carts to end tables.