Building an Industrial Conference Table with the Pittsburgh Skyline

John Malecki

Building an Industrial Conference Table with the Pittsburgh Skyline

John Malecki Builds a 15ft. Industrial Conference Table

min read
Jun 15, 2018

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.

This project was sponsored by Lincoln Electric. Affiliate links are posted on this page. For more information on my Affiliate disclosure, check out my Disclosure Page.

Project Overview

How to Build a Skyline Industrial Conference Table

  1. Cut Plastic for the Base
  2. Build Steel Pedestals
  3. Cut the Metal Skyline
  4. Build Subframe to Mount the Top
  5. Build Tabletop Substrate
  6. Cut & Install Tabletop Veneers
  7. Prepare Metal Inserts
  8. Build-Up and Finish

What You’ll Need for an Industrial Conference Table


  • Steel Panels
  • Square Metal Tubing
  • Walnut
  • MBF
  • Clear-Coat Enamel Metal Finish
  • Rubio Monocoat


  • CNC
  • Trim ROuter
  • Welder
  • Mag Drill
  • Angle Grider

How to Build a Skyline Industrial Conference Table: the Step-by-Step

Cut Plastic for the Base

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.

Build Steel Pedestals

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.

Cut the Metal Skyline

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.

Build Subframe to Mount the Top

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.

Build Tabletop Substrate

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.

Cut & Install Tabletop Veneers

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.

Prepare Metal Inserts

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.

Build-Up and 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:

Download the Plan

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.

min read
Jun 15, 2018
Sponsored by
John Malecki

I used to be an offensive lineman in the NFL, Now I run my own furniture business and am completely self taught. In my videos and posts you'll see a variety of wood and metal work as well as some tips and tricks. Enjoy!