diy black pipe console table

Pk and I recently undertook a fun diy project. We made a console table out of black pipe and wood salvaged from a barn that belonged to his family in Michigan. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

One of the great perks of building your own furniture is that you can customize it to fit your needs. There are so many sizes and fittings of black pipe, you can basically create any shape you want. We wanted a pretty shallow depth table for this space because it butts up against a bookcase and seating area. The barnwood we had was 62 inches long and about 14 inches wide and we bought pipe to fit it, but if you’re building your own, you may want to get different sizes based on the size wood you choose. Black pipe can be cut and threaded to any length you choose. We chose 3/4 diameter pipe because we liked how substantial it looks.

Here’s our material list –

4 – 3/4 diameter 21″ nipples for the legs (we had 24″ lengths cut down and threaded)

6 – 3/4 T’s

1 – 3/4 48 nipple” for the cross bar support

4- 3/4 5″ nipple for the legs above the joints

4- 3/4 3″ nipples for the horizontal support

8- 3/4 floor flanges to act as feet, and to connect the base to the table.

1 can of Rustoleum High Performance enamel in flat black.

Wood screws (we used inch and a half long screws because our wood top is so thick.)

Our material cost was about $125 (black pipe isn’t cheap!) but that’s still a whole lot less than some of the other console table options I liked and we were able to customize the length. I also wanted to be able to fit our ottomans underneath so we could have a bit of extra seating when we need it.

Our process was pretty straight forward. Once we decided on 3/4 diameter pipe, we just played with the fittings at Home Depot until we got the look and stability we needed to support our heavy wooden slab.

We initially thought we wanted a shelf too, but once we spied this huge slab in our pile of salvaged wood, we knew that keeping it simple was a better idea. It’s got so much character; saw marks, wormholes, etc. We didn’t do anything to it except give a wipe down and a quick coat of teak oil to even out the color and bring out a little   bit of depth.

I initially thought we would cut down the board to be closer to 52 inches, but once we had everything put together, we decided to leave the edges as is.  Once the base was assembled, I took it out to the backyard and seriously cleaned it. Black pipe always has a ton of cutting oil residue so before I painted it I gave it a really thorough cleaning with a degreaser. I used Rustoleum High Performance Enamel spray paint in flat black. I only had to do one coat to even out the color over the whole base.Once it was dry we simply screwed it on out board upside down and voila! Gorgeous, rustic/industrial table. Because the pipe is threaded we were able to level the table to accommodate our seriously sloping floors. The slab itself is a little warped, which presented a challenge in terms of leveling, but if you’re buying dimensional lumber that won’t be a problem for you.

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you might remember this picture of the same spot in our living room from holiday time. We had a larger farmhouse table.


and now


I think the round mirror will go back up, and I’m thinking about slipcovering the ottomans. I love the scale of the table and how the black pipe picks up the black of the bookcases. I also love that the wood is from one of Pk’s Grandma’s barns in Michigan. The pipe furniture look isn’t for everyone, I know, but right now its working with our casual/luxe living room style. I just made that up. Our style could probably be more accurately called doing the best you can while living in a tiny house with a toddler, dog, cat, and trying to decorate on the cheap. But i digress…


The slab has to be at least 100 to 150 years old, and who knows how old the tree was when it was cut down and milled into this piece of wood. I love having a piece of furniture that’s connected to Pk’s roots and I especially love that we were able to come up with an option that used a material we already had on hand. Have you guys ever built anything out of pipe?

I finally feel like our living room is starting to come together. After so many months of renovations (enclosing the porch, remodeling the kitchen, and putting trim in the living room/sunroom) it’s so nice to finally start decorating and creating a space that works for our family.


update – 5/22/2014

This project was selected for the Bob Vila Thumbs Up Competition!


61 responses

  1. Thanks for the sweet note on my blog – I’m SO glad I hopped on over to check yours out! This console table is AMAZING – am definitely pinning it for the future 🙂 And I love your kilim rug, too!

    • Thanks!It kind of makes me want to build tons of pipe furniture but I’m resisting the urge. We have a big pile of barn-wood left so hopefully we’ll get a few more pieces of furniture out of it.

  2. Helen it is stunning! I might just have to comission a similar one for our place. I absolutely love it! When/where did you get those beautiful ottomans? Did I miss that post? Cheers, Gillian

    • The ottomans are classroom furniture from a school where my SIL used to teach. I paid $10 for both! They are originally from cb2, but are discontinued. I added casters to the feet and now Lucy likes to roll them all over the living room.

  3. Perfect! I made something with black pipe too, and while not cheap, it’s definitely not something everyone has in their house. The wood is just the right complement to the iron.

  4. How tall and wide is the construction of the table? I’m wanting to make this. Unfortunately I’m not understanding the measurements. It looks like 21″ on the supply list is the longest pipe size. Your reply would be greatly appreciated Kathy

    • Hi Kathy,
      The longest pipe measurement is 48″ for the cross bar support, listed above. The overall height of the table base when assembled is about 28.5″ high and about 48 or 49 inches wide. The 21″ lengths refers to the legs below the T-joints for the cross bar supports. Additional 5″nipples (listed above) add to the height of the legs(above the T-joints).
      I would really recommend doing a dry run of assembly at your hardware store so you can have the pipes trimmed and threaded to any length you want. We did trim our cross bar a couple inches so that when assembled with the tees the overall width would still be close to 48″.
      I hope that helps! Good luck.

  5. Thanks for the reply. Just wanted to make sure before I started the project this week.
    I love this look and can’t wait to try it. Thanks for posting !

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    • Hi Stacy – We actually didn’t put anything under the flanges, but ours were quite smooth. It would be easy to put some cut to fit adhesive felt (available at most hardware stores)on the bottom if you were worried about scratches.

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  11. Hi Helen, I wanted to let you know I featured your console table today on my blog post about DIY industrial pipe furniture, I just love this! Have a great day! Sharon @

  12. Hi there! This is a wonderful project – I’m doing something similar now but having a really hard time getting the legs straight – tried unscrewing various piece, but still, the legs look crooked. Is it possible I just got bad pipes/flanges?

    • Hi Pete,
      It took a TON of adjusting to get ours straight. I even went so far as to have a new pipe rethreaded for one leg. It really depends on who threaded them, in my experience. My local Home Depot didn’t charge me when I went to have it rethreaded – they just made me a new one.
      Best of luck on your project!

    • Thanks for the idea! I made one out of a long narrow piece of pine (8ft x 9″). My problem is the table is very unstable/wobbly. In order to get all feet on the floor some of the pipes are fairly loose and then because it is so narrow it is easy to tip. Unfortunately, our Home Depot doesn’t do the cutting/threading because of a past employee who injured himself so I had to by pre-cut pipe. Any suggestions on making it more stable??

      • Hi Angela – you could try some pipe thread tape to stiffen things up a little bit – it won’t help much but might a little. Did you use pipe floor flanges for the feet? You may want to try switching around which pipes go into which flanges to see which combination gives you the most stability. Otherwise maybe a slim L bracket under the table to fix it to the wall. Best of luck!

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  19. hi!! Just ran across your post and noticed your rug, I have the same one! I have pets and I’ve had a hard time vacuuming it. Have you had any success keeping it clean??


    • We have a Dyson vacuum. I try to use it every 3 or 4 days, but I have noticed that the beater bar is causing a bit of pilling. It’s not bad yet, but I think we will only get another couple years out of it.

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  24. My husband is going to give this a try. I want the Pottery Barn Griffin table but do not want to pay the price. Do you mind telling me where you bought your seating ottomans. I really like them under the table. Thanks Barb

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  26. Very cute and you made it sound so easy. I’m loving the pipe look that is so popular right now and definitely want to incorporate something like this in my new home. Is there a reason you bought black pipe vs. galvanized?

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