If you're like me you always find that your monitors are too low. I used to use an articulated monitor arm for three monitors however my new workspace is too deep to mount the unit. Additionally, I relocate so frequently around my office building, that it became troublesome to mount and unmount the unit. So I decided just to build a shelf and leave the monitors in their factory standard mounts. Easy enough with some recycled half-inch plywood galvanized pipe some flanges black spray paint, clear coat and some sanding.
Step 1: Taking Stock of the Pieces and Parts
First step was to take stock of all the parts. I decided to use half-inch pipe, five corresponding flanges to mount the pipe to the shelf, a nippler from half-inch to three-quarter inch for the feet and some old half inch plywood that had been painted green for number of years ago. I decided that I would not sand it down to bare wood but rather give it the recycle old antique look. Because of that I purposely did not fill all of the holes, only some.
Step 2: Cut and Glue
After deciding on a depth and width for the shelf I cut two pieces of plywood of relatively the same size. In preparing to go to the two pieces together I did a medium sanding and then wiped down with a pre-stain treatment. Using standard nothing fancy Elmers wood glue, I allow that to set for something like 24 to 36 hours. After that I did a fair amount of rough sanding to bring that antique look into the green paint. I smoots all the edges so you could see all the layers in the plywood, and then did finishing fine sanding.
After that I laid out the holes for drilling and went ahead and got that out-of-the-way. I could have drilled the holes after the finishing, but I preferred to do it before in the event that the pipe flanges might scratch up the surface after it was finished.
Step 3: Apply the Finish
I got lazy on this project and decided to use a spray on clear finish. I've never used it before and thought this might be a good opportunity to experiment. Quite frankly I also just didn't feel like getting paintbrushes dirty. The spray is touchable in about 30 minutes. The directions indicate that you can do a second application in about that time. After that window of time, they recommend you wait 24 hours for another application.
On the bottom I did two coats over a few days time, and the top I did three coats. The spray was easy enough to control, but as always be sure to ventilate your work area.
At the same time you can begin prepping the galvanized pipe for paint. I chose regular black, because it's what I had on the shelf. I also purchased a new product that I was hopeful would protect the tabletops from the galvanized feet. It markets itself as a spray on rubberized coating. Ultimately I don't consider it a waste of time and money, however it's less of a rubberized coating and more of a protectant that can be peeled off at a later time.
As you can see from the pictures I took a section of cardboard, used a holesaw to drill holes in it, and stuck the three-quarter inch end of the nipples out of the backside. I then took cotton balls and packed the threading to keep overspray from flooding the interior. This product recommended multiple coats; I essentially applied one coat per day over five days.
After that, I sprayed the legs and other side of the nipples (feet) in basic black.
As a side note, I would wipe the pipe down really well, as it tends to be pretty dirty from the manufacturing process. I don't know if the paint would not stick as well, but it's an easy precaution.
Step 4: Assembly and Setup
At this point, after the finishing steps, it's ready to put to use. I used 8 inch tall pipe, and in retrospect I think six-inch pipe would have been fine. One of the nice things about the threading is that you could adjust each leg so that the table is firm and does not rock. Even though it's relatively shallow in-depth it is quite sturdy. Overall I'm pretty pleased.