Industrial Coffee Table
If someone asked me to define the style I had in mind when we furnished Sadler House, it would be tough to summarize. We wanted the house to be comfortable, yes. We wanted it to be grounded and unfussy. Most of all, we wanted it to feel fresh and light.
We also had a tight budget.
Have you ever gone shopping for a coffee table? Man, those can be expensive! After building the farmhouse table for the dining room, I importuned Dan to take on the coffee table. Even buying one used to refinish was looking to be much too expensive. Why not just craft our own?
While scrolling through the hundreds of tutorials on Pinterest, I came across a photo of a table someone made using wood and plumbing parts. That was it. I loved the spare and sturdy design.
All the materials we used for this table were found at our local home improvement store. If you wanted to, you could do this really cheaply using pine. We splurged a little and went with poplar, since it is more durable and has a cleaner look after being stained.
All-told, buying the materials for the table cost us about $125…although I must confess I have long-since misplaced the receipt (oops). Suffice to say, we got a beautiful new table for much less than we would have paid in a store.
Four 1×6 boards that are 4′ long (these are standard at home stores)
Note: all pipe is 3/4″
Four 8″ nipples
Four 6″ nipples
Four 4″ nipples
One 36″ length of pipe
Four end caps
Sixteen 3/4″ #10 wood screws
About sixteen pocket hole screws
Stain (if desired) plus rags to use
Shellac or poly (we used Bullseye) and a brush
Pocket hole jig (such as a Kreg)
Recommended: Face clamp
To Build the Top:
Using the pocket hole jig, drill holes according to the jig manufacturer instructions. They should look like this:
Screw the boards together using jig holes.
Put the table top up on sawhorses or a worktable and sand it well.
If you are staining your table, this is a good time to do it. This is a good stopping point for a break. You should wait a few hours (per manufacturer instructions) for your stain to dry before applying your poly or shellac.
Apply poly. Your top is done!
To Build the Base:
Make the legs first. Lay out your plumbing pieces as pictured. Each leg will have, in this order:
- end cap
- 4″ nipple
- 8″ nipple
Screw them all together. No tools required. Just make sure all the legs are the same length when you are done (it’s easy to over- or under-tighten and end up uneven). Voila!
Then you must build your two cross-members, in this order:
- 6″ nipple
- 6″ nipple
Next it is time to put the entire base together.
Lay out your four legs, your two cross-members,and your 36″ length of pipe as pictured:
It’s easiest to put the cross-members on the long pipe first. Then attach the legs.
Your base is done.
As your last step, flip your table-top over on the workbench so that the underside is facing up (ours is unstained in the pictures, but yours will be stained already). Center your pipe base on the underside of the table. Use the 3/4″ wood screws to attach the flanges to the table.
You are now the proud owner of a new industrial coffee table! If you need some inexpensive side tables, check out our tray table hack project.
Come stay with us in Maine and rest your own coffee cup on this very table. If Maine is too far away, follow all our DIY and coastal exploits on Pinterest!
-Alicia and Dan