How to Build a Pipe Desk

Updated: Feb. 17, 2023

Made with black steel pipe and a piece of IKEA butcher-block countertop, this roomy pipe desk is the perfect home office upgrade.

pipe desk finished-how-to-build-a-deskFamily Handyman
Precut pipe lengths and off-the-shelf countertop make this pipe desk easy to plan and build in a couple of hours. A drill/driver is the only tool you really need, but a pipe wrench comes in handy for tightening all of the pieces.

You might also like: TBD

Materials for How to Build a Desk Project

Note: All pipes are 1 in. dia. and threaded on both ends; all pipe fittings are 1 in.

  • 70-in. pipe (1)
  • 8-in. pipe (4)
  • 6-in. pipe (4)
  • 24-in. pipe (4)
  • Tee fitting (6)
  • Cap (4)
  • Floor flange (4)
  • IKEA Karlby countertop in walnut
  • No. 12 1-1/4-in. wood screw (16)

pipe desk parts

Build the Legs

pipe desk leg cross pieces

Attach tee fittings to both ends of the 70-in. length of pipe; then add two 8-in. lengths of industrial pipe to both tees, as shown in the photos.

pipe desk screw pipes into tee fittings

pipe desk lubricate pipe threads

Note: For each piece of industrial pipe that you add, spray a small amount of lubricant onto the threaded end, and then tighten it in the fitting as much as possible. A pipe wrench and an assistant are very helpful when building this IKEA butcher block desk!

pipe desk legs with caps

pipe desk leg assembly

Next, attach tee fittings to all four of the 8-in. pipes. Orient the tees as shown, so the next pipe pieces can be installed under the assembly. Screw a cap to one end of each 6-in. industrial pipe; then attach the capped industrial pipes to the tees, as shown in the photo.

pipe desk 24-in. legs

pipe desk add floor flange

pipe desk leg assembly complete

Add 24-in. industrial pipes to all four open tees, making sure to tighten each one as much as possible as you go. Then add a flange to the top of each 24-in. industrial pipe.

Attach the Countertop

pipe desk countertop unboxing

pipe desk attach countertop to leg assembly

Unpack the countertop and lay it facedown on the floor. Flip the leg assembly upside down and place it on top of the countertop. The flanges should be resting on the underside of the countertop, as shown in the photo. Measure the distance from each edge of the countertop to each flange, making sure that you center the leg assembly along the underside of the countertop.

pipe desk pilot holes for countertop

pipe desk screw countertop to leg assembly

Drill pilot holes first, and then drive screws into all four holes of each flange. Once the countertop is attached, flip the IKEA butcher block desk right side up and you’re done.

pipe desk finishedFamily Handyman

Note: This homemade desk was built to be tall enough for bar stools and can seat several people. You could make a smaller version of this black pipe table by trimming the countertop and selecting shorter lengths of pipe for the legs.

pipe desk detail of countertop

pipe desk detail of legs

You don’t need a massive room to create an amazing home office. Check out these home office ideas for a smallish space.