Help me cut a hole in a wood & steel table
July 5, 2018 9:11 PM   Subscribe

So I ordered and shipped two wood-topped metal-legged bar tables that look like this according to contractor measurements. Turns out, the window area includes an unmovable floor-to-ceiling pipe at one end that isn't shown on the plans. Now one of my tables is either about 8cm too long OR needs to have a 8-cm diameter circle scooped out of its side.

If it was just wood, I'd whack the hole in, add an L-bracket underneath and call it a day. This thing is big heavy hollow bars of steel about 10cm wide each with an under bracket to the top and two extra bars at the feet. That's a lot of metal to cut, and would I be left with a functional table at the end?

The other alternative is to order a shorter bar table from the supplier and wait three weeks for it to ship over, then turn the pipe into a giant cat climbing pole. Ideas?
posted by dorothyisunderwood to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
I would keep this one and work around the pipe. Depending on the placement of the pipe i'm guessing you could remove one of the corner legs entirely and support the underside of the table with brackets to the wall indeed. If you wanted it very very sturdy you could commission a local tradesperson to do a custom welding job for you but that seems overkill. You should be able to do a good job cutting through the metal with an angle grinder.
posted by PardonMyFrench at 10:22 PM on July 5, 2018

Can it be disassembled, the wood cut and reassembled with the metal inside of the pipe?
posted by sammyo at 11:16 PM on July 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

The table in the linked pic doesn’t match what you’re describing in terms of general construction (those aren’t 10cm hollow steel bars) and we also don’t know where the pipe would intersect it, so we really don’t have much to go on. I certainly wouldn’t cut away 80% or more of 2 structural members and expect it to hold up for long. If the frame can be disassembled (i.e. it isn’t welded) and the pipe isn’t in line with the lower stretcher then consider reassembling the frame around the pipe so you only have to cut the wood. Otherwise order a shorter table, because finding someone local to cut, weld and repaint seems just as troublesome.
posted by jon1270 at 2:56 AM on July 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

Wish we had a better idea of the tableau. Is it possible to add an upright apron at the back that would butt to the pipe, bringing the table just an inch out from the wall (with the apron covering the gap)? wouldn't even have to be fastened since it would be trapped b/w pipe and wall at other end. Could live with it for a minute to see how it worked without making any changes to the table itself.
posted by bullatony at 4:03 AM on July 6, 2018

Return. Reorder. Cat pole.
posted by slkinsey at 5:24 AM on July 6, 2018 [4 favorites]

I would simply push the table flush with the pipe and call it a day. Yes, it would leave a gap between the rest of the wall and the edge of the table, but the size of the gap would most likely be minimal (unless it's a really fat pipe) and it would be the cheapest and easiest solution.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:24 AM on July 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

Put a 4” deep shelf on the wall so it’s flush with the pipe, and the bottom lines up with the table top.

Then EmpressCallipygos’ solution is even less noticeable and you get more space too.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:32 AM on July 6, 2018 [7 favorites]

If you are willing to spend the money, the cleanest result would be to pay a metal fabricator to cut the metal bars and weld in additional support as required. (Cutting the wooden top is easy and can be done with hand tools if necessary; it is the metal work that would require assistance.) If money is an issue, then any of the suggestions above would work.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:00 AM on July 6, 2018

Maybe order a smaller metal base (or have a metal shop shorten the one you have) but use the same wood top, giving it an 8 cm overhang on the pipe side, then cut the chunk out of the wood?
posted by Poogle at 6:00 AM on July 6, 2018

I'd look at replacing the top first with a top that is 8cm bigger, then cut a notch out of that.

Or even just get some similar wood, do a biscuit joint onto the existing top to add an extra 8cm on and then cut your hole in that.

Or just add a piece on the back so it's noticeably higher so it looks deliberate to avoid having to play around with matching. (Basically the SaltySalticid's solution but adding the shelf to the table instead of the wall.)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:54 AM on July 6, 2018

I'd personally go with SaltySalticid's idea to attach a shelf to the wall at table-level that extends the width of the pipe, or just return the table and get a new one that fits. Mangling the table to get it to fit sounds like an ordeal that will leave you with a table that can never be used for any other purpose without looking terrible.
posted by Aleyn at 7:08 AM on July 6, 2018

Do you have the space to place the tables at right angles to each other?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:09 AM on July 6, 2018

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