Step 1: The Plan & Parts
Here's the Parts List:
I used a half a piece of oak plywood that I had in my basement. So roughly 48" x 48"
I'm giving you the cuts and you can figure out what lenghts of pipe work best for you. This is just plain ole cheap fence pipe from the home store.
5 x 27" legs
2 x 33" horizontal supports for back
3 x 17" horizontal supports for sides
I'm a part owner of Simplified Building Concepts, so of course I got my fittings at a discount. Here are the quantities I used and links to where you can get them on the web site. If you are going to build this exact desk, let me know in the comment field on checkout and I'll throw in an additional 5% discount on the fittings
5 x L61-7 - Flange 1-1/4" - these hold the pipe to the plywood
2 x L10-7 Single Socket Tee 1-1/4" - these terminate the horizontal supports against the front legs.
3 x L21-7 - Side Outlet Tee 1-1/4" - these hold the horizontal supports to the back legs.
5 x 77-7 Plastic Plug - this goes into the end of the pipe and keeps the floor from getting scratched.
- Edge Tape (Iron on kind) - for making the edge of the plywood look nice
- Screws - for attaching the flanges to the plywood
- Stain - for making the table look nice. (I used Minwax polyshades stain & polyurethan in one)
- Hex Key - for tightening down the fittings
- Screw driver
- Wood Block
- Box Cutter (or sharp straightedge of some sort)
- Iron - for attaching the edge tape
- Circular Saw - for cutting the plywood
- Sandpaper, Tac Cloth and Steel Wool for smoothing our the stained surface.
- Pipe Cutter
After I was done my wife made a "skirt" for the desk with some fabric, some wire and some eyelets.
Step 2: Cuts & Staining
I measured 24" up from each side, drew a line across and then ripped a cut across the corner of my 4' x 4' section of plywood.
That left me with a nice superman shaped piece of wood.
I sanded the top before staining and wiped it down with a tac cloth. Then I applied several coats of the stain/poly combo. In between each coat i waited for it to dry and either lightly sanded it or used steel wool to smooth it out. In short, follow the instructions on the stain you buy.
Step 3: Edging the Top
I precut my pieces LONGER than the edge itself. So I would line up one edge and the leave some hanging off the other side. I would press the iron on to the strip on the edge and run it along slowly (this is in the instructions on the edge stripping). I then ran a wood block over the strip to make sure that it was completely smooth. I then used the box cutter to very carefully and accurately cut of the extra. I then lightly sanded the edge so that it was a nice smooth transition from edge to edge.
This was my first time doing this and I was very pleased with the results.
After I did this, I applied one more coat of stain and poly, this time applying it to the wood edge strip that I just placed on.
Step 4: Legs and Fittings
After the pipe was cut I assembled the legs and bracing (see picture)
- Fittings tighten down on the pipe with a set screw.
- You can set the brace at any height, I put mine lower to the ground.
After the flanges are screwed in I placed the bracing back into the flanges and tightened down the set screw.
In the bottoms of the pipe I inserted plastic pipe caps. These keep the pipe from scratching up the floor.. very important!