Massive U-Shaped Butcher Block Work Bench with Matching Shelf
If you've worked in the IT industry, then you're probably familiar with the need to set up lots of computers at the same time. So what do you do when you need to stage a bunch of computers to set up? Well this is what Tyson Smith did: He built himself an epic U-shaped butcher block work bench.
Tyson thought ahead and came to some solid conclusions about the space he needed in his office. As the director of IT, Tyson uses the massive workspace to stage devices for setup and troubleshooting. The desk doubles as a meeting area that has plenty of space to layout building plans.
Tyson chose to use Kee Klamp fittings for a couple of reasons:
Ultimately, I chose the Kee Klamp for two reasons. Traditional threaded fittings are very cool but weren't ultimately the look I was going for. My office is more "techie" so I wanted something that looked current and not old. "Modern Industrial" if you will, vs "Vintage Industrial". The other reason was that traditional threaded fittings would have taken a much larger effort with having to thread each pipe.
Tyson hits on two of the primary reasons that people use Kee Klamp vs. standard threaded fittings: 1) the look and 2) the ease of use. Threading pipe onto a fitting sounds easy enough, but when you have to get everything lined up perfectly in a larger structure it can be a real beast. Kee Klamp fittings are more costly than standard threaded fittings, but so much easier to use. Simply slide the fitting to the desired location and clamp it into place using a hex wrench.
Check out this short video, that illustrates how easy it is to use a fitting:
How to Build the Desk
Tyson used a couple of standard fittings to create the leg system for his desk.
Parts you'll need
- The aluminum plugs were used on the bottom of each leg to make the desk move smoothly on the carpet. If you're putting your desk on to a hard wood or cement floor I recommend using the 133-7 plug which is plastic.
The desk is somewhat modular in nature and uses basically the same construction on all three sections. To keep the inside of the desk completely clear from obstructions, the two side desks attach directly to the main desktop.
He painted the pipe himself and came up with a great looking contrast between the black pipe and the bright color of the aluminum fittings.
So what about the tops...
The tops are 2-1/4" maple butcher block workbench tops that I ordered online from grizzley.com. They came with a Durakryl coating that really showed their color beautifully, but I was after a different look. I sanded for hours on end to get the old coating off and then applied some charcoal oil based stain. Once that was all wiped off and dry I put three coats of polyurethane on to protect it.
Don't Stop with a Desk
Tyson didn't stop with the desk. He went on to create a shelf with leftover sections of butcher block. Using a very basic frame and some casters, he drilled holes in the butcher block to create a complimentary rolling shelf for the corner of his office.
If you've been inspired, checkout more desks and shelves in our projects area. Our in-house team can help you design and specify the parts you need for your next pipe-based project.