Picture of The $74 PVC Mega Awesome Super PVC Table
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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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)  crkrjak20011 year 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!

I really do not think it would be that hard to build it so the wires are inside the PVC...maybe have all the wires go through the top and then down the middle PVC pipe in the back with a hole drilled in the bottom of the middle piece for the wire to exit the structure....

I'm sure I could think of more ways if I sat & thought about it for a while....

Leathaldose3 months ago

how much weight can this hold? I have a tv that weighs just over 300 lbs, I need it off the ground will this hold it?

I live in corpus christi, tx.... where can I purchase the furniture grade pvc in corpus christi? Or, does it have to be special ordered? Where do you get your furniture grade pvc?

The official Digilent Makerspace tables. We managed to make them out of all plumbing grade PVC so the cost went down significantly.


I agree....I have nothing against the website where the connectors were bought from, I just think tha your local hardware store would make for a less expensive option without taking anything away from the structural integrity.

The ONLY problem I see with that is the 3 way & 4 way connectors....everything else would be just as good & lower cost to boot.

We found the 3 way and 4 way connectors at a plumbing supply store, so they are out there.

Also if you don't have a way to 3D print table caps you could use more 3 ways and drill the pipe to the table.

SIRJAMES0911 months ago

when changing the color of any PVC frame, if you paint it first with red primer, this primer will help the paint stick to the PVC better....

If you have plans for using stain to change the color, do not use the primer as it will keep the stain from sticking.

I have heard where some people will(prior to staining) take 400 grit or higher sand paper & rough up the surface of the PVC so the stain (supposedly) sticks better. I have never tried to stain PVC so I can say with any certainty if this is true or if it will work....or what it would look like when finished.

I have always left the PVC as is (minus the wording printed on at the factory)...if someone doesn't like it, too bad. ; )

there are colors available from formufit but only for 1/2" sizes

If you wish for another color besides the white, you could spray paint it with a red primer & then the color paint of your choosing

killbox1 year 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.
SIRJAMES09 killbox11 months ago

That's a good idea too! :)

Depending on where you live, where you shop, etc, a counter top mounted to this PVC frame, just might make it cheaper yet without sacrificing structural integrity.

jesusali1 year ago
You'd be much better off just slathering the PVC pieces with construction adhesive to adhere them to the door bottom.

I disagree.

even though most people would never see the underside of the door, doing that would be, in my opinion, sloppy work & could possibly push the table top out of level...a better solution would be to run a screw through an end cap into the door .

pgarrett21 year ago
Just a thought would a stud finder locate the slats so it is less hit and miss?
trevormates (author)  pgarrett21 year 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.

many of your newer made stud finders work n density of the wall/wood....the do not pick p on the nails in the wall but rather where the studs are.

Since a hallow core door is just what it says it is, hallow, I doubt that it would work...but then again, I have been wrong before.

abastos31 year ago
she shakes or was this flexible?
trevormates (author)  abastos31 year 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.

or add a 2nd vertical back piece....

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.

where I live, I have seen the PVC end caps with a rounded top....

I'm thinking these might be good for the bottoms of the legs in that it would make it easier to move about should the need arise, yet still be sturdy as a rock.

Grantus1011 year ago
I'm definitely going to make this, but I would like to know if anyone has had any problems with the sturdiness? Basically I wanna know if the desk wobbles at all?

for a hallow core door, I think 1 1/4" VC should do...1 1/2" PVC for solid core doors would be my recommendation.

Unless you plan on parking your car on the table, I think anything over 1.5 inches in diameter would be over kill & take away from the beauty of this table.

If all the pipe is cut correctly, and the fittings installed corectly, there should not be ANY wobble what so ever. just remember, DRY FIT FIRST.

SIRJAMES0911 months ago


I saw this same table(it looked the same to me) on another website...

there was no instructions or anything else with it, just the picture of it....

I will definitely be building this REALLY REALLY soon!

TY for sharing this!

I love it! : )

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

kaitlyn1franz made it!1 year 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.

jratcliff1 year 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.

ricknye1 year ago
Awesome. I need a large desk and have a couple old doors available. Just need to acquire the PVC.
aceammar1 year ago
i like the computer is it mac cause i have mac but its the macbook pro
ashuinfy1 year ago
Thanks for this, I'm going to make this for myself :)
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!
golempo1 year ago
bagus sekali..
awammes1 year ago
doctorkred1 year ago
dgateley1 year 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.
l8nite1 year ago
real nice build, your link to formufit just takes you back to THIS page
CarlaBean1 year 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!
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