A Note From Kristin: When we first started Live Simply our intent was to strictly share real food recipes and homemade products. Products I was inspired to share based on our journey to simplify our natural lifestyle. Over the past two and half years Live Simply has remained pretty much a food and DIY natural product related blog, but our life also extends beyond this realm.
Early this year, Dustin started making a few furniture pieces for our home, starting with a headboard from old wood planks. I just had to share his handiwork on Instagram. The response from Instagram readers immediately started pouring in, “I need that!” We decided to post the tutorial on the blog. Since then, many of you have expressed interest in Dustin’s projects, so from time to time we’ve decided to include them here on Live Simply. After all, life is about more than just burrito bowls and homemade laundry soap, sometimes.
This edition of “Dustin Made Something Amazing” features a tutorial for a DIY Black Pipe Coffee Bar Station. To guide you through this project I asked Dustin to share a complete step-by-step tutorial.
Hey, it’s Dustin here! I’m excited to share another DIY tutorial with you. We love coffee! In-fact, my brother owns a coffee company that supplies local businesses with freshly roasted quality beans and equipment. Coffee-making can be a very comprehensive and scientific art. It’s far from the days of Folgers in my parent’s home.
You must invest time and energy into brewing the best cup of coffee possible. We have a higher end coffee maker by Bonvtia. This makes several cups at a time and is perfect for guests and parties. For smaller quantities and a more “perfect” brew, we have our Chemex (ideal for 2-3 cups). For more fancy tastes we have a KitchenAid Nespresso maker for special occasions. Finally, no true coffee snob would be without a burr grinder for fresh ground coffee every morning. With all our coffee-making tools, we really needed a beautiful coffee station to make our morning magic.
How to Build a DIY Black Pipe Coffee Bar Station
Step 1: Measure and Plan
First, measure the size you’ll need for your coffee station based on the size of your area. You can make the coffee station any width or height you desire. I decided to make our coffee station the same height as a normal kitchen countertop (36 inches). The width we needed in order to fit the station in our dinning room area was 6 feet. We chose a depth of 17 inches, which is the width of three 2×6 boards (I used pine boards in the photos but ended up using cyprus for the final product. Yea, I had to make it twice). We didn’t want it too deep to interfere with walking room around the dinning room table.
After a lot of planning of the design and construction, I came up with a cost effective and durable framework for the black pipe layout. It includes 3/4 inch pipe, and flanges to secure to the top and bottom wood shelves and a center brace to secure swaying.
When planning our recent kitchen remodel, we didn’t want a microwave hanging above the range or have it stored in a cabinet (yes, we still own one–we’re working on that phase of natural living). We wanted to move it out of the kitchen and have it sit on the middle shelf of the new coffee station. Perfect!
Black pipes don’t come in every size unless they are custom made. We choose a 12″ pipe for the bottom shelf and and 18″ pipe for the middle shelf to fit the microwave.
Step 2: Materials
- ¾ Black Pipe
- One 60″ pipe
- Four 18″ pipes
- Four 12″ pipes
- Four 4″ pipes
- Six Straight Tee Joints
- Eight Floor Flanges
- Nine 2″x6″x8′ Wood Boards (We started with pine but ended up rebuilding in rough cut cyprus wood.)
- Kreg R3 Jr. Pocket Hole Jig System (where to buy)
- Kreg 2-1/2-Inch Coarse Screws (where to buy)
- circular saw
- stain in desired color
- oil-based paintbrush
- 80 grit sandpaper
- hand sander
- wood glue
- wood screws
Step 3: Build the Shelves
I found this life-saving tool, Kreg Jig System, to secure the 2×6 boards together. I was going to try dowels or wood biscuits but this came in so much handier and easier.
First, set up the jig system to the width of the wood per the user manual. Clamp down and drill out the holes 1 foot apart. Next, glue the sides and clamp together. Then, place screws in each hole and secure. I let the clamps hold for at least 2 hours until moving to the next shelf assembly.
This is a cross section I made to show you where the hole gets drilled out and where the screw is placed. I highly recommend the Kreg Jig System when joining boards together.
Start assembling the pipes with the long middle brace and work out to the side legs, but stop with the straight tee’s and bottom legs. Use the top side of the straight tees for a template to mark out where the holes need to be for the middle shelf.
I wanted to maintain one continuous pipe framework for durability, so I decided to run the pipe threw the middle shelf. I had to bore a hole out of the wood for the pipe to slide threw. I took it a step further to add a larger opening for the shelf to fit over the straight tee. The center hole for the pipe needed to be 1 1/8″ and the size of the straight tee’s lip is 1 1/2″.
Step 4: Cut and Stain
Next, cut to order. We started with 8 foot boards and had to cut about 1 foot off each side to get our 6 foot desired length. This gave a 5 inch over-hang from the pipe legs.
Choose a paint or stain that you desire. We stained the pine boards I made but didn’t end up liking them. We wanted something more rustic and natural-looking so we rebuilt the station in rough-cut cyprus wood. We did not stain or seal, it’s been 7 years and still love the results. We love it!
Step 5: Finish Assembling and Level
You can finish assembling the pipes by securing the bottom flanges with wood screws (make sure they are not longer than the wood boards; you don’t want them poking through the shelves), slide the middle shelf over the straight tees, slide the upper pipes threw the middle shelf and screw onto the straight tees. Secure the top shelf to the final flanges with wood screws.
Leveling the top shelf is important; you don’t want things rolling off your coffee station. The pipes may be off-level due to many factors. Mine was slightly off in the left front corner. You can make adjustments by simply unscrewing the bottom flanges. Start with the flanges completely tight on each leg, then unscrew (making the leg rise) the flange until level, the threading on the flanges will give you about 3/8″ of play.
Then sit back and enjoy the brew and view.
The Final DIY Coffee Station
We are still enjoying our coffee bar, six years after this bar was initially built. It’s endured plenty of coffee spills, kid mishaps, and rearranging/redecorating. Here’s what our coffee bar looks like today. It functions as kitchen storage, a microwave shelf, coffee station, and wine/cocktail bar.
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