In this video, Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva creates a shelf using black plumbing pipe and butcher block.
1. Use a table saw to rip the butcher block down the center.
2. Use the gauge block on the table saw to set your length and a crosscut guide to cut the butcher block to length.
3. Use a hand plane to ease out the edges.
4. Use a portable drill press to make holes in each corner of the butcher-block shelving pieces.
5. Sand down each piece of shelving.
6. For a finish, use a wipe-on polyurethane. Let it sit for about 3 hours, then put on a second coat.
7. Lightly sand down the black pipes to remove any residue.
8. Use spray-on lacquer to finish the pipes. Be sure to do this in an open area and use a mask.
9. With the pipes all dry, begin to assemble the shelf by placing the pipes through the holes on each side and tying them into the next piece using the couplings.
10. Snug up the connections with an open-end wrench.