Galvanized pipe desk - measurements / layout? (Pic)

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Old 04-07-18, 05:20 AM
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Question Galvanized pipe desk - measurements / layout? (Pic)

I'm planning to make a desk out of a butcher block and galvanized pipes, but I'm a little unsure of what the exact measurements / layout should be.
This is a rough drawing: https://i.imgur.com/3DkbhdS.jpg
Obviously the proportions of the drawing itself are way off, so ignore that and focus on the measurement markings.

Here's what I'll be using:
Butcher Block - Cut to 72"x30", 1-1/2" thick
Galvanized Pipe, 1-1/2" - Several, cut to size and threaded
Galvanized Tee, 1-1/2" - 8x, 3.6"x3.6"
Galvanized Floor Flange, 1-1/2" - 8x, 2.7"x2.7"

Here are my questions:
  1. Is this an okay layout? Will the pipes support the weight of the block, which I'm assuming will be around 80-100lbs (plus the weight of my monitors, computer, etc.)?
  2. Are 1-1/2" pipes the way to go? They're pretty expensive, but I figure they would help with stability.
  3. Are the sizes on Home Depot's site accurate, as far as the flanges and tees go? They seem off.
  4. How far in should the legs be attached?
  5. What size screws should I be using to attach the flanges to the block?
  6. What size should the pipes be? I could do some basic math to fill in the gaps, but it seems a bit more complicated than that. Because the pipes screw together, you'll obviously be losing a bit of length for each. How long are the threaded sections, and do they screw all the way in, or only partly? I'd like the desk to be as close to 30" in height as possible, but it's seems like it's going to be very difficult to be accurate with these.

Any and all help is appreciated!
 
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Last edited by ray2047; 04-07-18 at 05:33 AM. Reason: Add image.
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Old 04-07-18, 05:34 AM
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1. Yes, your idea looks good and 1 1/2" pipe will certainly be able to support 100 pounds.

2. You could go smaller in size to save some money unless you want the look of the larger pipe. One way the larger diameter pipe helps is with side to side stability to keep the desk from swaying side to side.

3. Go to HD and measure them if you thing their website is inaccurate. Quite often they change suppliers so it's very possible that what's in the store is slightly different.

4. How far in where? If you are having the pipe threaded the legs will screw into the fittings until they stop/tighten. You can adjust the length a little bit by how tight you tighten them.

5. I would use 3/4" or 1" #8 or #10 screws. Make sure you properly pilot drill your top and watch the depth when drilling. You don't want to drill all the way through the top.

6. The pipes will have NPT threads which are slightly tapered. You will have some adjustability by how far you screw the pipes into the fittings but there is no definite or exact length. All fittings and pipe are different so it will help if you get them from the same batch so they are a bit more consistent in how far they screw in before tightening.
 
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Old 04-07-18, 06:00 AM
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1. Yes, your idea looks good and 1 1/2" pipe will certainly be able to support 100 pounds.
Okay, good to know. I won't need extra support in the middle to keep it from bowing or cracking, right?

4. How far in where?
Sorry, should've clarified. How many inches should I leave between the edge of the desk and each of the legs?

6. The pipes will have NPT threads which are slightly tapered. You will have some adjustability by how far you screw the pipes into the fittings but there is no definite or exact length.
Ah, I see. Yeah, that's what's making it hard to get my head around the measurements. The problem is if I'm trying to get to 30", I have to account for the threads and without knowing how much I need to account for on each one, I don't know what sizes I should be shooting for. Plus the extra section and tees on the back legs... Hm.

Thank you for the response!
 
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Old 04-07-18, 06:36 AM
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I would use 3/4" or 1" #8 or #10 screws
Just to add you need sheet metal screws that have threads all the way because of the thinness of the flanges not wood screws that don't have threads for the upper one third of their length..
 
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Old 04-07-18, 11:22 AM
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Your top is 72" long and if you offset your legs in 6" in from each end you've got about 60" along the front that is not supported. The butcher block will span that on it's own without trouble and should do OK with a keyboard or other light items but it could break if you sit on the front edge. You could screw a steel support to the bottom front edge if you need more support.

Dealing with NPT threads makes exact measurements difficult. There are fittings that attach steel pipe intended for making racks, furniture and railing and uses set screws to grip the pipe. Most home centers now carry these fittings. With them you can just cut your pipe to the length needed. If your desk is a bit too high you can just cut off a bit more.

You can also go to your local store and screw some pipe and fittings together and see how much length that takes up. But I wouldn't sweat hitting 30" exactly as you'll likely be a bit off. Nothing you'll notice sitting at the desk and nobody will know it's a 1/4" off if you don't tell them.
 
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Old 04-08-18, 01:52 AM
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Your top is 72" long and if you offset your legs in 6" in from each end you've got about 60" along the front that is not supported. The butcher block will span that on it's own without trouble and should do OK with a keyboard or other light items but it could break if you sit on the front edge. You could screw a steel support to the bottom front edge if you need more support.
Yeah, that's what I was worried about. Unfortunately adding an extra support beam in the front would get in the way and make it hard to use as a desk. While I don't plan on sitting on it, it will need to support my desktop, several monitors, etc.

I'm curious though, does using something like a butcher block make the desk more or less sturdy? It seems like it would be inherintly more sturdy than something lighter or in multiple pieces, due to it's nature, but is the weight of it working against me as far as keeping it all together?
 

Last edited by Rex4748; 04-08-18 at 02:56 AM.
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Old 04-08-18, 05:42 AM
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I think the point Dane is try to convey is, you'll be ok to inset your legs further say 12" rather than only 6". That will give you more support in the middle & 12" wont be an issue on the ends. It will also still give you plenty of room to put your legs under the table. I wouldn't have an issue with planning that much space between the legs & worry about support in the middle. Especially with 1 1/2" pipe & a butcher block top.

One thing I wanted to touch on, is that your butcher block (your top) is the same size as your frame. I'd suggest adding enough to your butcher block measurements to have a little over hang or "lip". I'd say add 4 -6 inches to the over all measurements. That will give you 2 - 3 inches of lip all the way around.

There's no doubt in my mind that the pipe will support your project & office equipment. The butcher block will also make it more sturdy. Just so we are all on the same page here, how thick is the butcher block you have in mind?
 
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