Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Sometimes trolling pinterest leads to a false sense of confidence regarding your woodworking and furniture making abilities. 
Other times it finally inspires you to try something you otherwise wouldn't have.
After oogling farmhouse tables on pinterest for eons, last weekend M and I decided to take action. 
There was one small problem- we didn't want to invest TOO much money in one since in a future home, we know we'd want to have a much larger table for entertaining. That being said, our current table wasn't cutting it. 

Here it is again, as a reminder. Lots of crap on it for special effect: 

We actually bartered with the previous owners for this table, and got them to leave it behind. It fit the space well: since we don't have an actual dining room, it's just kind of butted up against the wall. It was fine for the two of us.. or even four people (we'd pull it away from the wall to seat 4 around the table), but any more than that and we were doing a "move all the furniture out of the living room, drag up a folding table, connect the two for one giant table" song and dance. No bueno. 

So, after hearing dozens of bloggers rave about the kreg jig - I decided I was brave enough to con Matt into a weekend project with me. A kreg jig is a small tool that allows you to drill pocket holes in wood. In other words, it's the preferred method to join a bunch of plans of wood together seamlessly from below without any nails showing. At first we discussed just covering our old table with wood to use it as a "form" for the table. I was a bit nervous to build something from scratch. As he was drifting off to sleep he said we should look at salvage yards for a metal base. That got my wheels turning, so as he snoozed.. I scoured pinterest for a game plan. 

Lo and behold I found this!

There were several tutorials on Pinterest on how to build an industrial pipe base table. They were modeled after a West Elm table that runs $2,000. O_O. 

The above pin used a butcher block counter top, but we wanted the look of planked wood. So, after spending some time over coffee sketching out plans and dimensions and calling Home Depot, we were off for supplies. 

The best part about this table was, most of the pipe segments we needed were already pre-cut lengths. This means the only one we had to have cut was the long support pipe that ran the length of the table- which Home Depot cut for us and threaded the end of the pipe for free. Our shopping list for pipe and wood went like this: 

  • 5 2x6 planks of wood cut to 30"
  • 1 1x3 plank of wood cut to 4 segments of 28" (to brace under the table top for added stability)
  • 4 3/4 inch pipe at 8 inches
  • 4 3/4 inch pipe at 18 inches
  • 8 floor flanges (4 for the feet for support, 4 to go into the bottom of the table to attach the top)
  • 4 threaded only pipe connectors (the entire piece was about an inch and a half of just threads to connect the feet to the base) 
  • 6 T-connectors
  • box of 3 inch screws for pocket holes
  • 1.5 inch screws for bottom supports
of course if you don't have stain for the wood, poly, or spray paint for the pipes, you'll need those in your desired color as well. All the pipe we bought was galvanized steel, and I wanted it darker, so we bought Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. Total for all the supplies was just under $200. 

We took the pipes and wood home and began assembling the base. (I should note - the original post called for 18 inch pipe, a connector, and 8 inch pipe to make up the height of the pipe base. We realized that would make it essentially a bar-height table and knocked out the 8 inch pipe- which made it the perfect height!) 

Taking out that 8-inch segment meant we needed something threaded to connect the T's at the base the flanges- this is where the small "thread only" connectors came in. 

Our original plan was going to be to attach the tabletop to the base as it was sitting above- in other words, that support brace wouldn't have been seen since it would've sat 2 inches below the tabletop. We realized the feet didn't feel sturdy without some braces, so we flipped the entire thing upside down (you'll see in the finished pic) and it worked wonderfully! 

{sanding the planks}
Before we screwed all the wood together using pocket holes, I beat the wood up a bit with a crowbar and hammer to give it an aged/weathered look.
{you can see the pocket holes above, each one has a screw in it connecting it to its neighbor board}

We also added some cross support underneath in the form of some 1x3 boards cut to 28 inches, so they came just short of the edges of the table. 

Next comes stain and poly. We only did one coat of red mahogony stain, wiped off pretty quick after application, to give us this look. Then comes the test of patience. Dry, light sand, poly.... dry... light sand.. poly. We ended up doing 4 coats of poly since this is going to get a lot of use, so we had to wait a few days to attach it to the base. 

We brought it upstairs for assembly, attached the top to the base, and added some carpet samples underneath the floor flanges to prevent scratching. If it's wrong to admit that I find myself just staring at it, then I don't' want to be right. 

We added about 15 inches in length compared to our old table, which still leaves plenty of room on that wall for it to sit..and only about 3-4 inches of width, which doesn't make much of a difference either in terms of space. 

While we were at it, I picked up some new chair fabric and recovered all the chairs. They were covered in a black felt-like material that held TJ's hair way too well and were gross. Slapped this pretty new fabric over it, and it really all ties together wonderfully.

This project actually got done 2 weekends ago. This past weekend, just in time for hosting Christmas (my real motivation for getting this done when we did!) we made a matching bench for the other side of the table. No more borrowing chairs or dragging inside our patio chairs- the table now comfortably seats 6 (7 in a pinch, since 3 could fit on the bench easily). 

Just wanted to stop in and share. :) 

I also may have an update soon regarding Zipper Merge Asshole and an update to my anticlimactic update: hint, it involves a police lineup. 


  1. This looks great! I soooo feel your pain with the no dining room. We have a decent size table, but it's not a fun setup when it comes to entertaining!

  2. The ikea desk we are using as a dining room table... isn't gonna cut it for much longer! ;) Love what you guys built and how it turned out!

    And really can't wait for the juicy updates :)

  3. It looks amazing!! I'm totally impressed at your mad woodworking skillz.

  4. That is awesome! You guys did a great job.