Industrial Style 2-tier Coffee Table W/iron Piping




Introduction: Industrial Style 2-tier Coffee Table W/iron Piping

About: Instagram @_colurer_, or on my design-y blog at Freelance designer working on my hobbies-- recording an album, repurposing antiques, lighting design, and some general woodworking pr…

This was my first attempt at any type of table building. I made a custom coffee table for my new place because I could not find a table which would fit the narrow space I had between the couch & television, and after about a month of shopping I was tired of searching shop after shop for one. 

The items are pretty simple, the only real added difficulty was the 2nd recessed shelf I decided to add for more storage, but all elements followed a similar process so you could easily do a table without the additional shelf.

White Pine board - Sanded. Plank 1: 48" x 16", plank 2: 36" x 12"
Iron piping - 18" x 1" (4x) // 6" x 1" (2x) // 1" flange (8x) // 1" pipe cap (4x)
Sandpaper - 150 & 220 grit
Wood stain
Polyurethane finish
brushes or rollers
Wood Screws
Steel wool & dish soap
Flat Black spraypaint

Step 1:

Sanded white pine boards, unfinished. Picked these up at Lowe's for about $35.

Step 2:

Adding Pre-stain conditioner. I added this because 1) I read that it is an often neglected step - may not be a problem, but I didn't want to risk issues with the stain later on. And 2) The internet told me to.

Step 3:

After stain. It ended up coming out darker than I wanted, so after the stain dried I spent a half hour re-sanding the wood over the grain to pull out some of the color again. It was a pain, but I actually ended up liking the control I had over where the grain would show through, and how much of it I wanted to expose.

Step 4:

Industrial Piping. You can get this at just about any hardware store, in MANY different sizes. It's a great, cheap option for inexperienced builders like myself. One detail you will need to take care of is cleaning the oil off of the pipes, they come standard pretty dirty and oily. I just used some wire scrub pads and dish soap, was quite easy.. and VERY necessary.

Step 5:

After a few coats of flat black spray paint the pipes will be ready. Be sure to rotate in between sprays.

Step 6:

The underside of the tabletop, marked for the screw holes and drilled. Be careful not to drill through or.. you will hate yourself.

Step 7:

All 4 main legs attached.

Step 8:

Building the 2nd shelf. This one has the shorter legs (piping), and are recessed from the center so they won't be visible (or get in the way) from the couch where I will be sitting. Be sure to measure evenly.

Step 9:

Attaching the 2nd shelf, as you can see I put the recessed shelf a bit off center.. this was to give my legs a little extra space beneath the table.

Step 10:

Stood up! The best feature about using the piping as legs is you can turn them to tighten or loosen, thus adjusting the height which allows you to balance all of the legs and prevent the table from rocking.

Step 11:

Final shot of the grain from above.

Step 12:

In action.

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    5 years ago

    Over time, how is that floating shelf holding up?


    Reply 5 years ago

    It's actually holding up great, have not had to tighten or adjust anything - and it's frequently full of heavy books. I believe it's going on 3 years now..

    Nicely done! I really like the floating shelf. I'm going to have to try this for my office. Again well done!


    8 years ago

    so, when you sanded after staining, did you sand across the grain or with the grain?


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hi! I sanded with the grain, and focused on certain areas that I wanted to pull out in order to be a bit brighter


    8 years ago

    Great table, love the recessed shelf idea too. Does anyone know where to get similar piping to this in the uk? Ta


    8 years ago on Introduction

    That's a nice job! You had a need, and figured out how to meet it yourself using readily available materials and basic ingenuity [w/o resorting to IKEA--not that you shouldn't when they have what you need]. Now that you've had a taste of working with wood, and metal too in this case, what are you going to build next? Don't stop--cultivate that ability. Check out "Furniture You Can Build: Projects That Hone Your Skills (Getting Started in Woodworking)" at Amazon and some other basic woodworking and shop books [or borrow them from a public library] and other sites for Projects and Plans [many DIY magazines have them and I think Sears/Craftsman listed a good number of them and may yet--check Craftsman Club online]. Learn to make some things from found / reclaimed wood. When we first got married 40 years ago and had little money between us, two smaller wooden wire cable spools, free from the power company, finished up beautifully and we used them for decades. Didn't take much in the way of tools or supplies, and fueled my desire to continue woodworking, and even copper-smithing, and DIY around the house in general. Way to go. Show us when you do your next one. You can contact me for more detailed sources of free plans that I've used over the years or recommended to others. Keep up the good work, and thanks for sharing that with us!