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The $74 PVC Mega Awesome Super PVC Table

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Wow.  It’s been a long time since I’ve posted an Ible! I ended up using PVC again for an office project and thought I would share how and what I built with it, since I get so many questions in my inbox about PVC.

As the title states, this Instructable will show you how to build an VERY large table out of a hollow core door and PVC pipe and fittings. They can be used for anything, such as craft tables, train tables, light desks or for garage sales or even family dinners as a ‘kids table’.  It is entirely up to you.  We needed ten of them and we use them as desks.  This was our first one we built.

We built each one for $74.

We could have gone to Costco and purchased a bunch of folding tables for $39.99 each, but this one actually looks pretty nice and classy, has a stainable/paintable top and is perfectly smooth. Best of all its BIG, coming in at 36”D x 80”L.   Hence the ‘Mega Awesome Super’ moniker.

A couple of notes on this Ible:
  1. Hollow-Core vs. Solid-Core:  I chose a hollow core down to keep costs down, and since our tables weren’t going to be abused, they didn’t need to be as ‘tough’.  If you want your table to take more of a beating or is more of a workbench, I recommend a solid core door, however, the price is about $25 more and they are substantially heavier (which is not all bad and the structure will still hold).  You could also substitute an Ikea tabletop if you have an Ikea store near by.
  2. Fittings:  The PVC fittings we used are all from Formufit (formufit.com), which I have used in the past on my other PVC projects.  I chose these because they have the Table Caps, 4-Ways and the flat End Caps that are needed to make this with the fewest parts.  Their total on this project was $30, but that is because I used their crosses and tees.  You could cut the cost down if you used plumbing grade on those two items, but it wont look as pretty and I am not sure if the pipe inserts into the fittings at the same depth.
  3. Pipe:  I used plumbing grade PVC pipe from Home Depot to keep costs down.  Had I had a larger budget, I would have used Furniture Grade PVC pipe, which is prettier, stronger and last longer, but I didn’t.  If we build more in the future, we will probably do Furniture Grade pipe.
 
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crkrjak20016 months ago
Well done instructable! Easy to follow, step-by-step presentation. But $74 per table times ten tables versus the $40 dollar ones at Costco wouldn't work within my budget. If I only needed one table and had some PVC parts already laying around, then I would certainly try this. There are also computer desk grommets you can buy for the cables to drop through that will retain the great appearance.
trevormates (author)  crkrjak20016 months ago
Yes. We are going to get some of the 1-1/4" computer desk grommets from our local hardware store and install them into the tables to allow easy passage of cabling. Part of me now wonders if I could have somehow build that into the pipe-structure itself....future Ible!

If you have a 3D printer one of my coworkers created an STL file for the Table Cap here.

kaitlyn1franz made it!4 days ago

We made three of these tables for the Digilent Makerspace. However, since we wanted to use the tables as work spaces we moved the long PVC side to the middle. Your detailed picture made this really easy.

20140718_132105.jpg20140718_132121.jpg
bedmondson26 months ago
plumbing grade PVC internal plug cap that is threaded with some adhesive backed felt on the leg bottoms could substitute the furniture grade flat caps to save some money and your floor, plus it can add some adjustability for leveling.
jratcliff6 months ago

I have used acetate to remove the most of the ink from PVC before. Try it on scrape before test on your table to see if you like it.

The table looks nice.

ricknye6 months ago
Awesome. I need a large desk and have a couple old doors available. Just need to acquire the PVC.
aceammar6 months ago
i like the computer is it mac cause i have mac but its the macbook pro
ashuinfy6 months ago
Thanks for this, I'm going to make this for myself :)
abastos36 months ago
she shakes or was this flexible?
trevormates (author)  abastos36 months ago
Its not shaky. Thats why I added the middle row of horizontal support. I have found that the longer you make you pipe lengths, the more wobble you get. If you keep 1-1/4" under two feet, you are good to go.
pgarrett26 months ago
Just a thought would a stud finder locate the slats so it is less hit and miss?
trevormates (author)  pgarrett26 months ago
I'm not sure. I think it depends upon the stud finder. Most are small metal detectors tht use the metal in nails in the wall to find the studs. The slats are all glued together, so I'm not sure if it would locate it. There are some sonar ones, but those are out of my league. One thing I did find is that tapping various places on the door and listening for a hollow vs. solid sound did get us closer to a slat.
jesusali6 months ago
You'd be much better off just slathering the PVC pieces with construction adhesive to adhere them to the door bottom.
MercuryCrest6 months ago
This is a nice, straight-forward Instructable. I love it.

Using PVC means that the finished design can be customized for all sorts of uses. We may have to build a few of these for the Milwaukee Makerspace to replace our old, worn-out folding tables.
Heck yeah. I'm in need of tables for my new office, this would be a whole lot cheaper than the solid wood tables I keep seeing elsewhere. Thanks!
golempo6 months ago
bagus sekali..
killbox6 months ago
My dad built several desks and tables just about like that(probably 15-20 years ago), several of his were reusing sections of composite (fake) granite countertops with molded in backsplash. (made a great back stop to keep pencils from rolling off and down the wall and something to clip a lamp into.
awammes6 months ago
Nice!
doctorkred6 months ago
Fantástico
Fantastic
dgateley6 months ago
Wow! You just solved my bookshelf problem. I desperately need some. I'm tripping over books, have them piled everywhere and shelves are so bloody expensive. This general method makes for _such_ flexible options.

Just need to figure the best way to mount shelves within the frame. Bet I can come up with some brackets that can be glued into the corners of the t's to set the shelves on.
l8nite6 months ago
real nice build, your link to formufit just takes you back to THIS page
CarlaBean6 months ago
Love this! Just wanted to add that you could always use an oil rubbed bronze spray paint in the legs and it would take on an even more industrial look. And you wouldn't have to worry about which way the print faces! That said- you are brilliant! Thanks for sharing!
salmansheikh6 months ago
there are colors available from formufit but only for 1/2" sizes
ralphab6 months ago
As alternative supporting bars; use standard T's in the middle of the H ladder led assembly and another T where it attaches to the table in the middle of the top like a picnic table. Use screws thru the T to fasten to table at the middle. This would be very sturdy. Another idea when using hollow core doors I've simply glued a 6 -12 inch square piece of 1/2 inch plywood to the table and then screwed into it. Using a t-nut it could be collapsible.
NakanoYamato6 months ago
How much weight can it support? Is it solid or shakes?
I'm thinking on giving it a try. It's what i need to build in my apartment so my wife and i can use our laptops while we both discuss about our job.
hanlin_y6 months ago
Looks great!
vicesat7 months ago
Cool and cheap

But better with paint
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