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Friday, May 17, 2013

Wood and steel end table

If you hadn't already figured it out, we are in the middle of a living room remodel. We've always had a mishmash of furniture we've picked up here and there, none of which fits well together. But now my wife and are are focused on styling the room in "mid-century modern". Or at least inspired by that era.

This end table is meant to replace one we picked up at a garage sale years ago. I decided to use cherry so it will complement the credenza and the coffee table, but not match them. My goal is to work within a style, not create matching pieces.

Steel conduit

The steel pipes are inexpensive 1/2" steel electrical conduit. Initially, I thought I would paint them silver or even a bronze color, but decided I liked its raw galvanized mottled look.

They just float in 3/4" holes in the legs. (1/2" conduit is actually slightly less than 3/4" in outside diameter.)

Tapered legs

Since my credenza and coffee table each feature turned legs, I decided this table would have square, tapered legs. Again, I'm not trying to match my furniture. I made a simple jig to cut the tapers and explain it in the video.

To give the table top its thickness, I used a torsion box construction made from 3/4" pine plywood. This makes it sturdy, yet lightweight. And less expensive: the only cherry plywood in this project is a 1/4" piece for the top.


Follow this week's progress

If you would like to see this project's video updates use #endtable on Twitter or Keek.



  1. Let the speculation begin!!!

    Post your best guesses about what Steve wrote in his message for the generations.

  2. The paper read:

    "Hey jerkface. I built this table with my own two hands, and now you rip it apart? You know what? Screw You buddy! Here's a penny. Go buy a freekin' clue!"

    1. Haha! That would have been an awesome note!

    2. Steve is there any way you could provide some kind of material list for this and possibly other furniture items you have made? I would like to try out some myself but a huge part i am looking for is knowing what and where to buy

  3. "Help!!! My wife is making me build all this furniture!!!"

  4. I love this table! I have no idea where you get your design ideas from Steve but you really produce some cool stuff! The note and penny idea is such a great idea also, I can't imagine what you wrote but it would drive me crazy to own this hearing the rattle and not knowing what it was.
    I'm guessing you may have written something like "was it worth destroying this table for one stinkin penny???"

  5. Was there any problem removing the spray lacquer from the conduit? Or are you just that good with a rattle can?

    1. not sure if he tried to remove it; i am guessing acetone or lacquer thinnner would work just fine. But I've sprayed clear lacquer on unfinished steel and once it dries it is pretty invisible. So unless there were drips or runs I am not sure the overspray would be all that noticeable.

  6. Great project Steve. Your creativity is inspiring. Call me Norm but I love any project were I can use a nailer. It is so much fun and it seems frowned upon by the woodworking establishment. Does the conduit provide any structural function or is just because they look so cool? There is no way my pipes would all be parellel if I tried this; they would all be off by 1/8"!

  7. Steve I love all of your projects, what staple/nail gun would you recommend to get? I have been looking and not sure which one. thanks Tony

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