How to Build a Coffee Table Using Pipe Fittings
Thinking about building your own coffee table but aren’t quite sure where to start? Then, you’re in the right place!
This guide will cover everything you need to know on how to build a coffee table using Kee Klamp fittings and pipe.
The advantage of using Kee Klamp is that these fittings only require an Allen Wrench or a hex key to assemble. You don’t need to have any prior building experience or own any expensive tools to build your own coffee table.
Just order your pipe to length, the fittings you need, and assemble your coffee table in under a few hours. To get you started, we’ll cover coffee table frame options, ideas for table tops, and tips for assembly.
So let’s get to it:
Coffee Table Frame Options
There are many different types of coffee table frames you can build using Kee Klamp fittings and pipe. Really, you’re only limited by your imagination.
With that said, however, let’s cover a few of the main designs we have seen customers build in order to inspire your own creation:
Basic Table Frame Kit
The first table frame idea uses our Basic Table Frame Kit:
This kit is useful in all types of table and desk builds. To order, you simply set the width and depth of the table top you plan to use and set the height you want the completed table to be. The lengths of pipe will be calculated for you and you can use this kit to build your coffee table frame. Then, you can pair it with any table top you choose.
Additionally, you can configure whether you’d like standard legs or legs with casters so the table can be easily moved.
Overbuilt Table Frame
This table frame is similar to our Rugged Table Frame Kit yet differs in one key way: the table top sits inside the frame instead of resting on top.
In order to do this, the table frame makes use of a set of M50 fittings. These fittings slide over the pipe and have a tab on one side for mounting. The table top attaches to these fittings to allow for a recessed look.
Here are the fittings you’ll need to complete this design:
X Table Frame
This table frame is a completely custom design which creates an “X” at the bottom of the frame. This allows a platform to be placed over this “X” to create a lower shelf.
Additionally, the design features casters, enabling the table to easily be moved whenever necessary.
Here are the fittings you’ll need to assemble this frame:
Two Platform Frame
This frame incorporates a two platform design that features a table top and lower “shelf” beneath. This lower shelf provides additional storage for remotes, books, or anything else you want to get out of the way to help reduce clutter.
Here are the fittings you’ll need to replicate this design:
These are just a few common table frames we’ve seen built by customers. That doesn't mean you’re limited to these table frame ideas. With Kee Klamp fittings, there are countless design options you can come up with.
Table Top Ideas
Once you’ve decided on a frame, it’s time to choose what type of table top you want to pair it with. We’ve seen customers build coffee tables using all sorts of different tops. Here are a few unique ones we’ve seen:
Bowling Alley Top
This coffee table top was built by Leo in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. This exceptional top was built using an old reclaimed bowling alley lane, which is sure to make for a great conversation piece.
Slate Table Top
This coffee table features a slate top that the owner, Bob from Shawnee, Kansas, has had for nearly 30 years now. The top pairs well with the steel finish of the pipe and Bob appreciated how quickly he was able to put the table together.
Reclaimed Wood Top
These two tables were built by John for his home in Flat Rock, North Carolina. One is a coffee table and the other, an end table. Both tables feature a rustic top built from reclaimed wood.
Reclaimed wood is a popular choice for many of the projects we see from customers including tables, desks, and shelving units. This material is usually a bit cheaper than buying new wood and it provides more character to the piece of furniture.
If you want to build a coffee table using reclaimed materials, Craigslist and thrift shops are good places to look.
Concrete Table Top
This coffee table features a concrete table top and is just one of three concrete tables in the Simplified Building office (there is also a concrete conference and side table to match).
The concrete top is definitely a unique choice, but it is certainly not a perfect surface. There can be some informalities in the surface and it is very heavy, so this is something to be aware of if you go with this option.
We’d also recommend using coasters with this type of table top since the concrete can be a little sensitive to water and circle marks will show after a short period of time.
Tips for Assemblying Your Coffee Table
It’s tough for us to provide exact directions for building your coffee table as each design will vary and the assembling process will differ based on your chosen table frame and table top.
However, we’ve provided a few tips below that should make the building process go a bit smoother:
- Layout all of the fittings, pipe, and tools you will need before starting. This will help keep you organized and save time having to look for the components you need.
- When building Kee Klamp projects, you only need an Allen Wrench or a hey key to assemble the frame. Unlike traditional pipe fittings that use a threaded connection, Kee Klamp fittings slide over pipe and secure in place by tightening a set screw. This generally makes Kee Klamp fittings easier to work with and provides some flexibility as the fittings can be readjusted should you make a mistake.
- Keep a measuring tape and/or level handy. While you only need an Allen Wrench or hex key for assembly, we would also recommend a measuring tape and/or level just to make sure your frame is level and square.
- Lay down a blanket or cardboard. If you’re putting together your coffee table frame on a hardwood floor, we’d recommend laying down a thick blanket or some scrap cardboard so you don’t scuff up your floors during assembly.
Get Started Building Your Own Coffee Table
Well, that just about covers it! We’ve touched on coffee table frame designs, ideas for table tops, and assembly tips. Hopefully, by now, you’re inspired and ready to build your own coffee table.
But if not, no worries! Try checking out this list of over 40 different coffee table ideas you can build with pipe.
Additionally, if you have any questions or need help with your own design, don’t hesitate to contact our team. We offer free design assistance and will work with you to come up with a perfect design to suit your needs.