"Industrial-Chic" Check-in Station
This is a portable check-in station for use at our church.

It cost aprox $100. Materials are primarily 2" PVC and 49" x 97" x 3/4" wood grain melamine.

(Melamine is a dense partical board vaneered with heavy duty plastic. This looks just like real wood.)
I bought this paint because I wanted the PVC to look like metal pipe--not plastic.

This is paint made specifically to chemically bond with plastic.

I would suggest painting this inside if possible.

Warning:  if you paint this outside in the sun it will dry too fast & not give a metallic hammered look.

Painting inside it looks very much like the cap on this can.
Melamine has an unfinished edge. I could have ironed on some edging but thought using 1" x 2" would add some visual weight and interesting color contrast with the wood grain melamine.

I opted for butt joints. Brush on some glue then shoot it with 1 1/2" brads in an air nailer.

Again, having a flat work bench helps here too.

It takes three 6' x 1" x 2"s

(The top is upside down in this image.)
Since the 1" x 2" edging hanges down and empedes the casters from swizeling, I chose to use some 1" x 2" scrap pieces for a base.

This also allows more material for the screws to bite into.

Glue 'em & shoot 'em with the brads.

PRE-DRILL the holes for the casters.
Be very careful when attaching things to the bottoms of this cart--if a screw goes through that melamine top there's no good fix!
One of the more tedious aspects---putting wood putty in the little spaces between the melamine and the 1" x 2" trim on the top.

Just wipe it off the melamine before it dries. Then carefully hand sand the trim when the putty dries.

I only did this on the top. The bottom wasn't noticeable.


I wanted the trim to stay nice and white so I finished it with Tongue Oil which won't tint the wood. Wipe on with a cotton cloth. Simple.
This is where the cords from the monitor, keyboard & mouse will down through the top inside the PVC legs.

Drill a 2" hole with a hole saw.

Pick these up at Staples $3

(This picture best represents the color of the top--with all the fluorescent lights in my shop it's hard to get accurate color.)
Very simple:

2" PVC tube
2" PVC T

That little cap is a little gem made specifically for DIY PVC tables.

You can get them here Formufit.com
(At the time only $2 ea)
Anytime you need several pieces to be the same length, always setup a jig rather than measuring each time. More precise & uniform this way.
Instead of trusting that each PVC piece would insert the exact same depth, I measured each one & marked with a square.
And here's the application...
Glued & ready to assemble.
Our Formufit "end caps" in place
Frame is ready.
To get that industrial (non-PVC) look, I used a hex-head screw so it would look more like metal pipe.
I cut out the bottom just to visually be less heavy & more modern.
This is the underneath side of the counter. The 2 pieces of melamine ensure my screws don't poke thru the top.
(Here you can see my 1st incarnation of this cart using 3" PVC & toilette flanges. The top is the same.)


Highly functional. Portable. Stylish. $100 ;-)