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If you love the modern vibe of a pipe desk, there’s good news – you can make your own in 5 easy steps! You don’t have to be a professional to put together an industrial desk for your home or office. Even a brand-new DIYer can master the techniques needed to create this truly unique piece of furniture.
Ready to dive in? Here’s how to build a DIY pipe desk.
The first step is to prepare your building materials. You’ll need to gather 4 pipes of equal length to use as the desk legs, as well as 8 flanges – four to attach to the desk top, and four to act as the “feet” for the pipe legs.
If you’re using authentic steel pipes and iron fittings, like the ones included in our pipe kits, you’ll need to clean and seal them before using them in your furniture project, as demonstrated in the video below. This will remove any protective oil or residue left over from the manufacturing process and will prevent rusting in the future.
You will need:
-Cleaning wipes or paper towels
-Cleaner (non-soap spray cleaners work best, like window cleaner)
-Clear coat (any enamel-based spray coat; we recommend semi-gloss)
First, spray your cleaning wipes or paper towels with your cleaner. Then, thoroughly wipe down all pipes and fittings until no residue comes off on your cleaning materials.
Once the pipes are completely dry, spray them with your clear sealer in a well-ventilated area. If you would prefer to spray-paint your pipes for a different look, an enamel-based spray paint will also work to seal the pipes. Wait for your pipes to completely dry before assembling your pipe desk.
After the pipes and fittings are ready, you’ll need to make sure you have everything you need before you begin building. In this case, you’ll need:
-Pipes, cleaned and sealed
-Flanges, cleaned and sealed
-Desk top of choice
All of our pipe leg kits come with pipes, flanges, and hardware, so if you purchase one of those you’ll just need to provide your own desk top and drill. Not sure where to find a desk top? Our RESTORE pipe desk kits come with a sustainably-harvested wood desk top in your choice of hand-stained finish, or you can buy the wood separately if you have other legs you’d like to use.
Lay your desk top on the floor with the top side facing down. Decide where you’d like to place your flanges – how many inches of overhang would you like your DIY pipe desk to have? It helps to use a tape measurer and mark off the correct placement with pencil so you can erase and reposition as needed.
Once you’ve decided where to place your flanges, it’s time to attach them. Use a drill to screw the flanges into the desk top.
If you’re using a glass desk top, you’ll need to use a different method to attach the flange. Since you can’t drill the flange into the glass, you’ll need to use some type of adhesive to keep the flange and pipe leg in place.
You can either use a pad with double-sided adhesive or use glass glue with a regular rubber pad to keep the flange in place. Alternately, you can secure wood to the bottom of your desk top with an adhesive and drill the flanges into that.
Manually tighten each pipe into one of the four flanges attached to the desk. They should be tight enough not to move around or wobble, but don’t overtighten – you want to be able to adjust them later to even out the pipe legs of your DIY pipe desk if they’ve been tightened unevenly.
Once your legs are in position, all that’s left to do is attach the floor flanges! These will function as the “feet” that keep the DIY pipe desk legs from resting directly on your floor. No tools needed for this step – you can hand-tighten the floor flanges as long as you make sure they’re secure.
After that, your new DIY pipe desk is complete! Stand it up and see how it looks in your space. If the legs are slightly uneven, you can loosen or tighten the pipes as needed until they’re all exactly the same length. With real industrial pipes and a solid top, your industrial desk should last a lifetime with proper care.