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2 years ago I built a desk with 1/2" galvanized steel pipe legs. Silly me did not think of the stability of the table during planning and I built it with 4 free standing legs, the legs are not connected together. This resulted in a table that is not completely stable and sways with a good push.

The legs are the perfect height and I'd like to avoid making additional cuts to fit tee couplings to connect them.

So my question: How do I connect the middle of a vertical pole to the end of a horizontal pole?

I can't think of the words for this type of connector but I'm thinking of something like this clamp I saw. Any other ideas are also appreciated

horizontal-vertical clamp

Image is from an electronic drum set assembly instructions. I remember the clamp from when I was a kid. Not sure the exact site.

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  • Can you not just disconnect one leg, make your connection and then re-attach ? A photo of your actual desk legs may help. Key Clamps, Structural pipe fittings ? Drill holes in legs, attach board across back legs ? fasten desk to wall – Alaska Man Jun 29 '20 at 20:34
  • It may require cutting your vertical pipes and adding threads for a tee. Then two horizontal pipes from the tee's connected in the middle with a union. Or go with the key clamps. – Alaska Man Jun 29 '20 at 21:00
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    @AlaskaMan Cutting the pipes is what he doesn't want to do. – Steve Wellens Jun 30 '20 at 4:35
  • Where did you see the clamps you pictured? (Providing the image source is expected at Home Improvement, BTW. Please edit your post to indicate that.) Go back to that source, see what they call them, and see if they sell them. Also, note that diagonal brace between the leg & upright? That's what you really need - diagonals. – FreeMan Jun 30 '20 at 13:15
  • @SteveWellens Yes i did read that. Just because he does not want to cut them does not mean that it is not a viable ( or the correct ) solution to the problem. Options for 1/2' pipe are limited. He is free to hack it if he chooses to and i am free to suggest a proper way to do it. – Alaska Man Jun 30 '20 at 19:23
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I'd call that thing a saddle tee.

Rather than making more rectangles, though, consider how you could introduce triangles. You already have a rectangle shape comprised of two legs, the floor, and the desktop. Splitting that rectangle into smaller rectangles won't improve the stability tremendously, but diagonal bracing would.

You might be able to keep the design aesthetic of the table and avoid the search for perfect, possibly non-existent fittings. If you're equipped to cut/grind/modify ordinary tee fittings so that they fit right and look convincing then you could use threaded rod passed through the pipe to hold it all together and provide the actual strength.

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  • Thanks, Greg. I think you are right in that I was going about my problem wrong. I maybe able to drill a hole in the pipe instead to fit some cross braces and keep the current height of the legs. Thanks for the ideas! – krakatahu Jun 30 '20 at 19:09
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"Structural pipe fittings" seems to be the most common generic term for that. Note that it may be difficult to find a lot of selection of 1/2" hardware, because the typical use for this stuff is constructing railings, and railings need to be thicker than that, but there's probably some 1/2" stuff out there. McMaster has some options that might work for you here. Other search terms for similar types of pipe clamps that may work for you are "kee klamp" and "cheeseburough".

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    Thank you, this gave me a good jumping off point for the type of fittings I had in mind. Seems like if I went this route there's no way around making new cuts if I want to keep the current height... Will probably go the direction Greg suggested – krakatahu Jun 30 '20 at 19:01

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