Monday, April 21, 2014

DIY Black Iron Pipe Workbench & Chalkboard

I can't believe how long it's been since I last shared a project on the has been crazy lately!

I have quite a few projects in the works to share and I'm happy to say I finally got my kit lens back from the repair shop (not a fun experience).  

Meanwhile, my computer is going  When it rains it pours, ya know?

Anyway...on to the project...

So, I've been debating on whether I want to show the before and after of my basement on the blog because its just not that impressive.  It's a basement.  In an old house...not fancy...I try to avoid it to be honest.  The room with the furnace I refer to as the 'killer room' ...'nough said.  

But...I have been working like crazy to re-organize the space and make it more useful...which is where this project comes in.  I now have a real grown-up workbench...pretty fancy...I absolutely love how it turned out.


Here's a supply list if you'd like to make your own:

Pipes (all 1" diameter - black iron pipes):

I had 2 10' pipes cut down but you could probably get away with less if you do the math beforehand:

  • 6 - 14"
  • 2 - 16"
  • 2 - 18"
  • 1 - 36"

Pipe Fittings:

  • 8 - 1" floor flanges
  • 6 - 1" tees
  • 4 - 1 1/2" nipple fittings
  • 2 - 1 inch couplings
  • 2 5/4x24x48
  • Minwax Dark Walnut stain
  • Foam brushes, rags for wiping
  • 16 - Screws to attach the wood to the pipes (#10x2" wood)

I scrubbed all of the pipes just to get the writing off and some of the gunk but that's totally optional.  Next, you just screw all of the pieces together (if you mess up which you probably will just unscrew and start over - I speak from experience ;) ) 

I applied two coats of stain to the wood.  I'll probably end up adding a coat of poly for durability but that's also up to you.  

Here's the finished project:

The large brush on the right was my grandfather's.  I can only imagine the look he would have given me if I said I was building a workbench out of plumbing pipes!  My father on the other hand immediately started doing calculations with me...he's pretty used to my shenanigans by now ;)

The chalkboard was made using some old trim I had for years (I think I bought it on clearance at Michael's, you can find similar stock at Lowes).  I cut it down to make a frame and attached it to the wall with small nails.  The light blue paint is Rolling Sea by Valspar and the darker blue is Indigo Cloth by Valspar - both were free samples and the chalkboard paint I had leftover from another project.  The chalk holder is an old wall-hung soap dish.  

I'm not 100% sure the chalkboard will stay like this...I'm not a huge fan of how it turned out (I think the bright blue is throwing I added some black and then some navy blue...we'll see...things change quickly around here!)

I've seen a lot of similar workbenches lately online and they're selling for don't get me wrong...this workbench was not cheap...but definitely a good deal and better quality (in my humble opinion) I just like saying, "I made it myself!" 

Before I go...can we just take a moment for my super-organized paint stash?  I really hope it stays this way...

Have a great week!


  1. The work bench is beautiful!! Where can you get the pipes cut? Can they do that at the hardware store?

  2. Aww thanks! It looks even more amazing now that it's all put together (for the photos I just had the wood resting on the pipes until I could get my Dad to help me with some of the drilling - I was scared I'd drill through the top of the wood!)
    I got the 10' foot sections of pipe cut at Lowes - they'll do it for free for you right in the aisle where the iron pipes are - just a takes a while - b/c you have to have them cut and re-threaded...I think I was in Lowes for about 2 hours :/) Hope you enjoyed the beautiful weather today :)

  3. You did a great job. I appreciate your work because I liked workbench and once time I also wanted to make a workbench in my garage but I have no idea how can I made this then I purchased garage workbench from an online store at cheapest cost. But now I knew how I can make this easily. Thank you so much for sharing useful post

    1. Thanks Michael, I appreciate it! Hopefully you'll try out this project too

  4. Great looking workbench. Can you tell me what the dimension are? Thanks

  5. Hi there,
    The top of the work bench is 24" deep by 48" in length/wide. The bench stands just over 36" tall (so it would make a great kitchen island too!)
    Thanks so much for your question!

  6. What did you scrub the writing off the pipes with?

    1. Hi there,

      I used a wire brush to get the writing off and also to get the annoying taped on bar codes off. It definitely takes some elbow grease!