dining table and chairs

8 seater (2.2m x 1m) table and chairs

There are two parts to the table. The wooden table top and the pipe frame. The two are made separately and assembled when both are complete. Attached is a pdf file with the plans to guide you through building the table. The following notes relate to these plans.

A few helpful hints

  1. You will need to have, or access to, a welder. The one I used was a basic home handyman model available at most hardware outlets. My welding is not that good but after painting the frame semi gloss black and being under the table it was not noticed.
  2. The pipe size I used was what I had on hand. The legs 48mm/ 1¾in and the apron rails 27mm /1in external measurement.
  3. I took all the pipe framed chairs and the table frame in and got it professionally powder coated. This process included sandblasting the pipe prior to painting which removed the rust spots and lacquer from the chair frames.
  4. The table top overlapped the frame by 100mm/4in at the end and 60mm/2½in on the sides. If you are making a different sized table keep the overlap at the end greater than the sides. This visually keeps the table balanced.
  5. Decide on the size you are going to make your table. A 2.2m X 1m holds 8 chairs comfortably. Three down each side and one each end.

The building technique

Pipe Table frame

  1. The overall height of the table is 760mm / 30in. To work out the pipe leg length add the wooden table top thickness, the thickness of the metal plate on top of the legs and the plywood disc thickness on the bottom of the legs and subtract that sum from 760mm / 30in. That is the pipe leg length. Cut four to length.
  2. The total length of the pipe frame is 2m / 6ft 7½in, subtract the thickness of the two pipe legs from 2m / 6ft 7½in. That is the pipe length required for the long apron rails. Cut four to length.
  3. The total width of the pipe frame is 880mm / 34½in, subtract the thickness of the two pipe legs from 880mm / 34½in. That is the pipe length required for the short apron rails. Cut four to length.
  4. Grind the galvanising off the areas being welded. It helps the welding if the ends of the apron rails are ground to fit into the curvature of the leg pipes.
  5. Refer to plan sheet 1 & 2. I used the floor and screwed a wooden template to hole the pipe in position while it was being welded. Use a spacer to raise the apron rails off the floor to the correct height. Keep the top apron rail as high as possible to the top of the legs and the bottom apron rail as low as possible. The wider they are apart the more ridge the frame will be. I have the bottom apron rail 610mm / 2ft from the floor (include the ply foot). Do a quick check to ensure the chairs you'll be using fit under this when you are sitting on them.
  6. Weld the two ends first.
  7. Reposition the template to allow for the longer apron rails between the ends. Use a spacer to raise the apron rails off the floor to the correct height. Using a piece of timber hold the ends upright and at right angles to the floor. You will need to attach the timber to a wall or brace to the floor. Spot weld the two apron rails into position. Turn the frame over and repeat. Check everything is square. Finish the welding.
  8. Turn the frame upside down and weld the pre-drilled metal plate to the tops of each leg. These will be used to secure the wooden top to the frame.
dining table feet

Making the Feet

Refer to plan sheet 2 and photo.

Two discs were cut from plywood one smaller that fitted inside the pipe and the other larger that sat on the outside of the pipe. These were glued together and push firmly into the foot.

The Wooden Table Top

This is a rustic table. It depends on your definition of rustic how smooth and finished you would like the top. The timber I used was 6in x 2in rough sawn Rimu that had been used under a floor.

I trimmed the edges on a bench saw to remove the row of nails and to get a square edge to glue the planks together. I do not have a buzzer so after the planks were clamped and glued together I used a belt sander to grind the timber smooth.

If you are buying timber, or have access to a buzzer, use dressed timber. To get a really fine finish after you have built the top take it to a cabinet maker to get the final sand. They should have a large bench top sander.

  1. Select the timber you are going to use and cut to length just a bit longer than required to allow for trimming.
  2. Glue and clamp.
  3. Measure and trim each end to size. I used a skill saw.
  4. Refer to plan sheet 3. The timber across the end adds character to the table and helps prevent any warping of the top.
  5. Cut the end timber just a fraction longer so that it can be sanded to length after it been secured.
  6. Mark the hole position to centre each plank. Bore a hole large enough to take your socket that you will be using to screw the bolt in with. The second hole bored in the end timber should be of a size that the thread of the bold is a firm fit. The hole being bored into the table top is end grain so, depending on how soft or hard and the thickness of your table top timber it general should not be very big. Apply glue and position your end timber. Bore and bolt one in to ensure the bolt tightens firmly. If it does not tighten the drill size you are using is too big.
  7. Selecting a clear finish for the top. For a table like this I used a two pot floor grade poly finish. I would not recommend an ordinary poly that is sold in a paint shop. The brand I used was Altex and bought through a marine supplier. It is very durable to heat and moisture.

The chairs

Chairs can be really expensive especially when you have to get eight.

I bought old pipe framed chairs and stripped them down to the wood.

The backs I sanded and put a polyurethane finish on them.

The seats I made a pattern for the rubber-padding and got the shop to cut them to size.

I made another pattern for a fabric cover that could easily be stapled underneath.

The pipe chair frames went in with the table frame and got sandblasted and powder-coated semi-gloss black.

See the finished chairs in the photo.


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