Plumbing Pipe Coffee Table





Introduction: Plumbing Pipe Coffee Table

we needed a new coffee table as ours was horrible. all ones I could find in shops and online (that i liked) were out of my price range :(

I went through a phase where I liked (and still do like) the "industrial" look-and-feel, esp. when combined with some nice wood !

I decided to build the frame using some general plumbing pipes and a nice piece of wood (oak) for the table top.

Step 1: Collecting the Pieces

I bought most parts pipes and components/fitments from local diy store that (i thought) i would need to build the table frame

all pipes and fitments that i used for the frame are standard 1.5" plumbing pieces that can be purchases at any good diy store apart from the flanges (used for the feet and table top fitment) were not so easy to get hold of in europe as they are not a standard eu fitment. after some research and help from the internet, I managed to get hold of 8 that would fit my pipes (although were not cheap)

all pipes and fitments come threaded as standard which makes the frame very easy to build as you just have to "screw" the pieces into place ... the hard bit was deciding / knowing what parts (types and sizes) are available and what would work (what i needed) for this project

all parts additionally come galvanized (zinc coated) as standard, which is good for such parts for there intended use, but in relation to this project would be problematic as I had planned to paint the frame.... therefore a lot of scrubbing and cleaning is heading my way :)

Step 2: Frame Mockup

starting to create a "loose" mockup for the table frame to see if my idea would actually work

the mockup is about a couple of cm longer and wider than what i had planned, however the components are only "loosely" threaded together, so i'm sure I will loose these cm's when the frame is tightly threaded together ...

Step 3: Cleaning

frame dismantled and ready for cleaning. as these parts are all galvanized (zinc coated) they all have a greasy coat whice needs to be removed otherwise the painting process will be a disaster.

removing the stubborn price / info stickers was harder than cleaning the parts :(

I used some general parts-cleaner to clean the parts followed by a thorough degreasing and then back into a fresh parts-cleaning bath

what a difference a good clean makes !
no signs of grease or any other coating - now good (i hope) for painting

Step 4: Final Assembly

I needed to be sure that all components were tightly threaded together, not only so that the frame would be solid - tight enough to not come undone but not too tight to strip the thread (I added in some loctie for good measure), but also as I had to loose the couple of cm's i had during mockup

I was in a bit of a dilemma, the threads on such components are never perfect (even after the threads have been cleaned and prepped), they are not designed to be perfect ... therefore the components never fit "flushly" together, however I also like the "rough" look of having some thread visible which adds to the "industrial" look-and-feel that I was originally aiming for :)

assembly complete and ready for painting - I will paint the flanges separately as these don't have to be fitted tightly as have to be adjustable for balance / height reasons ....

Step 5: Paint

primed and painted in a high gloss black finish (hammerite from the can)

Step 6: Table Top

instead of using (and possibly damaging) my nice table top, I knocked up a test table top from some scrap wood I had lying around to test some ideas regarding the best way to securely fir the table top to the frame

custom socks - prevent scratching the floor, but also allow it to be easily dragged around (its too heavy to lift) to move the table when required

Step 7: Finished

once a solution for the table top was found, I applied it to the finished wood - looks great (I think) !

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14 Discussions

thanks !!! just out of interest, do you deliver to Europe (Germany) and if so what are the costs ?

good one, have seen these in furniture shops for a high price!


2 years ago

This needs an instructable?

I live in the US. I love the design and look of your coffee table. The plumbing pipes painted black look fantastic. Great work!


2 years ago

Looks great, nice work! can I ask where you got the pipes and fittings from? I'm in the UK and struggling to find some!

2 replies

Hi, I live in Germany but am from the UK :) I got all the pipes from the local Baumarkt (B&Q or equivalent) - I think you should be able to get all you need - If not your local plumb center will have / be able to get them for sure ! What you will have trouble getting (I also did) are the flanges (used for the feet) as they are not a standard EU part so are not sold / easily available (I think they are a US part). I got mine online (from ebay) just have a search for plumbing flanges and see if you can find anything. Good luck and let me know how it goes !!!

Thanks so much for the reply, I intend to make an industrial curtain rail with the pipes so the flanges are important for wall mounting. Thanks again for the info and keep up the good work! And watch this space for a curtain rail instructable!

Great idea . keep the good work .Cheers.

First: exquisite look and somewhat simple - perfect combination!

Second: how exactly did you fix the final wooden top to the base? 'Simple' screws or something more elaborate?

1 reply

Simply using screws. I drilled and sank 4 additional (but smaller) holes in the flanges and screws to attach to the wood.

I thought of other (nicer) ways to do this, e.g. creating a holes and a metal thread within the wood, but the time/effort required did not seem appropriate as the solution used is v-strong and hidden.

Very nice work.


2 years ago

Makes me think back to when my father was a pipe fitter, in my younger days they had pieces of furniture made from old bits and pieces like this. He and the old guys just did it to save costs on draft desks and tables I'm sure they never even thought of selling them. Great job and great instructions.

This looks so good. And relatively simple to make too. Love it!