DIY Work Table





Introduction: DIY Work Table

About: peanut gallery

This work table made of birch ply and galvanized plumbing pipe is perfectly utilitarian.

Step 1: Materials

i gathered all these things from Lowes for around $90. both utility and aesthetics were a concern, which is why i opted for the nicer birch ply top and sturdy hardware. you could certainly make this table for less money and with some found materials.

- (1) 3/4" thick, 2' x 4' piece of birch ply (due to space constraints i opted for this pre-cut piece)

legs + hardware
- (4) 1" diameter x 36" length galvanized steel plumbing pipe (threaded at both ends)
**if you intend to use this piece of furniture more as a desk than a work table, you'll probably want to get 30" length pieces of pipe. 30" is the standard height of most manufactured work desks.
- (4) 1" diameter threaded flange
- (16) 3/4" stainless steel screws (i think they're size 14?)
- (4) black rubber floor protectors

Step 2: Attaching Hardware

time to attach the 4 flanges to the bottom of the table.

- lay the birch ply on a flat surface (or floor).
- arrange the flanges so that there is one on each of the 4 corners of the wood surface.
- measure 1" inward from each edge (horizontal and vertical) of the corner, using this mark to adjust the position of the flange.
- mark the curved outline of the flange as well as the position of the 4 screw holes.

- pre-drill all 16 screw holes about 1/2" deep to ensure that the birch ply doesn't crack when you attach the flanges.
- attach flanges with stainless steel screws using pencil marks and pre-drilled holes as a guide.

Step 3: Attaching the Legs

- while the birch ply with its newly attached hardware is still on the floor, simply screw the threaded galvanized pipe into the threaded flange.
- once all 4 lengths of pipe are attached, check each one to make sure it's screwed all the way in to its flange

Step 4: Rubber Feet

- now it's time to wrestle the rubber floor protectors onto the exposed, threaded end of the pipe
- these floor protectors come in a couple different diameters, so make sure you get the 1 1/4" size

Step 5: Seal the Top

- flip what is now your upside down table, check for stability, and voila!

- finally, i sealed the tabletop with 2 coats of Watco Danish Oil Finish (in natural). this is a good, clear, finish that helped accentuate the grain of the birch ply while also providing a protective barrier



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    15 Discussions


    11 years ago

    Would there be a way to make the legs fold under the table? I have been looking for a cheap one or possibly making one, any suggestions?

    2 replies

    I saw some folding legs in the furniture making area of Lowes today for about $20. Looked pretty sturdy, but unfortunately only one height. I'm guessing around 24 inches.

    try looking at woodworking supplies sites. I remember seeing card table legs (with the folding bits) somewhere. hth

    Just made a version of the table. I bought the pipes from lowes, and they came with these little orange end-caps, so I skipped buying the rubber feet. Worked great on carpet! YMMV on other surfaces.

    The table at 30" is a little high - I probably should have gone with 24". Maybe I'll just take the pipes back and trade them in for 24's (lowes has a great return policy). The good news is all I have to do is screw them off the table and the new ones will go right on super easy! Thanks!

    hey i tried this instructable! i made great a desk with an extra computer cabinet on the right side. its just a simple box with shorter legs on that side. Stained it black and got a desk with real wood instead of that particle board crap for about a quarter of the price!!! Thanks for this instructable

    my wife and i did something similar to this when we built a computer desk only we used heavy duty shelf hinges in place of the back legs so no wobble.

    Definately an easy and quick way to get a table up, like for a party or soemthing.

    there's a little bit of play from side to side, but nothing extreme. the galvanized pipe is screwed in to the flange at least 3/8" which helps add some stability. i just use it as a work space for different art/design projects.

    Apparently all it has to do is hold up his ball cap so I don't think he needs the support.


    11 years ago

    How wiggly is it? It seems like there would be some play back and forth as you worked on it, just because the legs don't have any bracing, and they are so long.

    1 reply

    I built something like this some years back, and as it is now, yeah, it's super-wobbly. What I did was to take three pieces of 1x12 pine boards and cut them to fit between each side and the back legs. Then I mortised 3 square slots through each short edge of each board. Then I fit the biggest, strongest hose clamps I could find through the mortoise and around each leg. It was still not as good as actual crossbracing, but it was totally adequate for a desk that I wasn't hammering or sawing anything on.

    Yeah, nice instructable, but if you were to put a great amount of weight on the table, would it be wiggly, shift to one side, then collapse?