To people on the internet, I appear to be the guy who builds random furniture in his workshop and talks about it on Youtube. In part, that is exactly who I am, but I also am frequently contracted to take on projects for a wide variety of clients in the Pittsburgh area and beyond. I like to let my clients’ creative juices flow and often have trouble playing it safe on a project because I get excited about the possibilities.
That’s exactly what happened when a trendy new brand in Pittsburgh approached me to outfit their office. After some back and forth, we landed on a massive 15-foot industrial conference table for their office. As my largest project to date, I had to get creative with keeping this thing affordable and unique. The end design included a metal cutout of the Pittsburgh skyline and a veneered walnut tabletop that required a few new techniques, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about how this thing turned out.
I start this project from the ground up, kicking off my process by plasma cutting rounds for the base from a ¼-inch plate. This comes in large sheets, so I had a lot of cutting to do in order to lay the foundation for this project.
Next, you’ll want to begin building the steel pedestals. This begins by cutting down 20-gauge steel with the band saw for the supports. With that metal, I weld-up the pedestal boxes and add 2 of the panels, leaving 2 of the panels for later. The last two panels I weld from the inside to hide my weld marks for a nice, clean finish. Once built, I weld these pedestal boxes to the bases.
Once the pedestals are built up, it’s time to tackle the skyline. If you have access to a CNC, the possibilities here are endless - company logos, skylines, and more. I went with the magnificent Pittsburgh skyline and had that cut out with the CNC. I cleaned up this metal cutout with acetone before creating tabs to found the metal skyline onto the pedestals.
This table is massive, so I made sure to build a subframe to keep it strong and sturdy. I made the subframe out of square tubing - tacked and welded together - so it would sit flat with the tabletop. I cut holes in the tubing using my magnetic drill press and finished off the subframe with three coats of clear-coat enamel.
I thought a solid approach to this project (due to its size, my fear of the wood moving, and price considerations for my client) would be to create a substrate tabletop with walnut veneers. I glued up four sections of MBF for the substrate. The gameplan from there was to add skirting and an edge band like kitchen countertops typically have.
I cut the veneers from walnut stock, cut and planed to ⅛-inch. Once cut, I taped the veneers into the desired orientation, adding glue to the seams when I liked the layout. I think added globs upon globs of glue to the substrate and spread it evenly with a roller. I added the veneer to the substrate and places the entire thing in an air-tight veneer bag to set. Once dry, I filled the voids with epoxy.
Next, I began preparing the metal inserts. I started by scuffing the metal band with a grinder for an industrial look and applied contact cement to attach it to some MBF. I used a veneer roller to roll the metal flush to the MBF. Once done, I put it to size with a metal blade on my track saw. Before finishing up, I buffed out the metal inserts for a nice finish.
All that’s left from here is finishing touches. I used dominos to make up the 2 sides of the table and installed the metal inset. From there, I cut holes for the power outlets and installed them, carefully tucking wiring beneath the MBF for a clean look. I finished off the wood with a beautiful layer of Rubio Monocoat for one beautiful skyline industrial conference table.
And there you have it: one massive industrial conference table! Again, I’d like to thank Industrial Electric for sponsoring this project. If you liked this build, check out some of my other furniture builds:
Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.