Introduction: Compact Pipe Nightstand

Small, Simple, Neat and Necessary

I am lucky enough to have a "side of the bed," big enough to walk but just too small for anything typical at the store.

My 1yr old loves shelves at his height, and wires. I made some black iron pipe shelves in the living room to get my existing bookcase off the floor and anchor it to the wall, just in case. I love it and wanted more.

I had a basic shelf as a Nightstand, but it was too bulky, it didn't fit to be practical and I always knocked it when making the bed or getting into my closet.

The space available is small and awkward; I wanted something to put my phone, watch and incidentals on while in bed. I don't need multiple books at the ready. I needed wiring to be tidy-ish, and the ability to have it closer or farther away as needed.

Step 1: Supplies and Such

Materials used:

The black iron pipe I used was 1/2" because I didn't want it to be dwarfing. However, if you have a plethora of wiring to conceal, consider 3/4" to give you more room. 1/2" barely allows you to fit one USB type A while multiple micro usbs can be fished through

3 Flanges
2 close nipples (I got one slightly longer)
1 street 90
3 Tees
3 varying lengths of pipe.
•To set the distance from the shelf to the wall. (6")
•To drop from the top Tee to the first wall flange (4")
•To drop to the lower wall flange (10")
Wood screws
Screw anchors for the wall
The Table (Thin slice of a log, approx 14" in dia)


Degreaser (Dawn/Simple Green)
Heavy Brush / Steel Wool
Pipe Wrench
Screw Gun
Stud Finder

Step 2: Assembly

There are three kinds of tightening needed:

•Certain fittings need to be really snug to prevent tipping.
•Certain fittings need to be threaded just before snug to allow free swinging without flying off
•Certain fittings just need to be threaded.

The street 90 to the horizontal pipe to the top Tee need to be tight. Kinda important so you don't spill your beverage of choice onto your smart device of choice.

The top Pipe should be threaded evenly just shy of snug to the top Tee and middle tee. This allows free swinging of the shelf without the pipe tightening one way while loosening the other way to the point of falling out.

The rest of the fittings just thread up snug to avoid noticeable wobble. I put the longer of the pipe nipples at the middle tee to cantilever slightly away from the wall. Not sure why I did that in hindsight.

Step 3: Placement

Decisions decisions...

On one hand, you can locate the top Tee within the circumstance of the tabletop to conceal the structure, or push it forward giving you more rotation depending on your choice of tabletop.

I opted for more rotation, even though using the split in the wood would still allow cables to pass through neatly.

Mark your holes to pre-drill.
Pre-drilling is good for you.

Pre-drill but don't go through if you want a clean top. Put in your wood screws and don't over-tighten.

Step 4: Anchor

Locate a stud if in the vicinity or use anchors depending on your material.

It's suggested to have someone help you hold the stand to the appropriate height to get the first screw in the top flange.
Follow up with a level to ensure a proper swing while your assistant hasn't reached boredom yet, and set a screw in the lower flange.
Follow through with the rest of the screws / anchors.

Thanks for reading!