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industrial style standing desk

Materials:
1 x NUMERÄR countertop, birch (96 7/8″ x 25 5/8″ x 1 1/2″)

I’ve seen similar industrial style standing desks made from piping, but I think this execution is somewhat unique despite its simplicity, and has turned out to be too practical and too beastly NOT to share it. It’s NOT the kind of hack that saves you money, effort or time, but it does meet a specific goal and leaves you with an end product surely worth well more than the investment and looks/feels awesome!

There are videos all over the internet about using piping & connectors for DIY building, and a million resources for general building skills, so for the sake of time, I’m going to instead write more about specific tips on how to go about this project and potentially avoid making rookie mistakes.

I designed the general layout so that everything is somewhat flexible in that you choose your own measurements (maybe compromise on slightly different sizes halfway through), and it all works as long as everything is symmetrical. It would take hours to go back and find my exact measurements, and even if I did, it probably wouldn’t help you unless you had the exact same personal preferences and apartment layout that I do. Plus, none of the measurements were nice whole numbers that make for a pretty building list anyway.

• 1 x NUMERÄR countertop, birch (96 7/8″ x 25 5/8″ x 1 1/2″)
(approx. 8 ft long, 2 ft deep)
• 2-3x 10ft Black metal 1″ diameter pipes (cut & threaded at Home Depot or Lowes)
• 8x Black metal 1″ floor flanges
• 6x Black metal 1″ T-joints
• 1x silver galvanized metal 1″ joiner (optional for brace)
(All available in the plumbing section at Home Depot or Lowes.)

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

• I planned for my cross bar to be about 2/3 down the height of the desk, with the top at standing height. The farther down, the more sturdy, and with the surface height at standing level, this was a perfect height for a combination of sturdiness and convenience in that people can sit on either side (on a stool) and have their feet meet the pipe as a foot rest at as close to the natural position as possible. Also, the bottom 4 pipes could be removed to turn it into a sitting desk (maybe a little high still).

• When calculating the surface height of your desk, take into account the thickness of the wood (1.5″) and the thickness of the two flanges and long end of the T-joint that make up total length of the leg. Then subtract roughly the length that each thread of each pipe will fit inside of each flange and T-joint. As long as the pipes making up the 4 separate legs are equal lengths, you don’t need to worry about the table being uneven because you can adjust all of the fittings to even the legs out once it’s done. The more precise of a height you want, the more specific your math should be.

• Connect all of the piping with their connectors and complete the entire frame before screwing anything. Place it upside down (make sure the side of the table you want as the surface is face down), and line of the underside with the flanges where you want them. Mark the holes where you’ll drill pilot holes.

• I used 16x 1″ long screws to connect the top flanges to the wood (4 legs, 4 per flange). It felt wrong using such a short screw, so I almost used a 1.25″, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t crack through the surface, so I played it safe. I was extra careful to set everything in place upside down, mark holes, and CAREFULLY make nice pilot holes. Spend the extra time getting it perfect so you don’t crack through the surface or end up driving screws in and out multiple times. In the end, mine came out sturdy as a rock.

STRUGGLES…

Both the desk and shelf are built using black 1″ thick metal piping from Home Depot. The cheapest way to get this [by far] is to have it cut and threaded at Home Depot or Lowes from the 10-foot long pieces. This was the most difficult hurdle of the project if the store you visit is anything like the 4 total HD’s and Lowe’s around Atlanta that I visited. They can sense you’re doing a DIY when you request a list of cuts to be made on metal piping while wearing gym clothes, and this apparently equates to trying to order 10 frappacinos at Starbucks (In that, they technically offer it as a service, but they hate doing it… not that I’ve tried the Starbucks thing…). I don’t really blame them for that, so I hated to ask for it, but I did.

T-connectors were used for every pipe-to-pipe connection on the desk, and “floor flanges” are used where the pipes meet the floor, and underside of the countertop (screwed in). A joiner was added at the center of the support bar (really just for looks since it only makes the cross bar more complicated and potentially less sturdy). Use one long bar for the brace if you want.

~ Jay P