Today I wanted to show you how you can build a quick and inexpensive industrial pipe shelf for your room that gives it instant character and industrial feel. Enjoy!
Step 1: MATERIALS
To get started on this build you need black pipe and some kind of wood. I prefer to use some kind of reclaimed wood because I think the more beat up the wood looks, the better it stands out against the slick black pipe. Now of course it’s up to you what to go with but make sure you have enough length to cover how big the shelves you make are going to be. (In the video above, each shelf is 16.5″ long)
The best part of black pipe is it’s versatility. You can really make the shelf any design or size that you want. You could add 5 or 6 different shelves at different heights if you wanted to and make it like a whole wall kinda thing. Although if you did that I’d recommend you mount it from the floor to carry the weight. For this shelf, I went with 2 of the same length shelves at different heights. I like to use 3/4″ black pipe because it’s a little thicker and heavier duty looking. You could use 1/2″ pipe if you wanted to and it’d be a little cheaper. The size piping I purchased are as follows.
2 – 12″ pieces of black pipe
2 – 6″ pieces of black pipe
2 – 4″ pieces of black pipe
3 – 3.5″ pieces of black pipe
6 – 90 degree elbows
3 – 3/4″ floor flanges
1 – 3/4″ black tee
All in, the pipe pieces cost me about $50. The wood was free because it was something I had lying around from a previous project.
Step 2: LAYING OUT THE PIPE
Next I recommend laying out the pipe pieces the way the shelf is going to be constructed. You can adjust which pieces you use for what, and which shelf you’d like higher than the other. Again, just a matter of preference.
With the piping laid out I recommend measuring between the pipes where the shelf is going to go. Measure center to center on each end. Once you have that measurement, add a bit on each end so you get around a half inch overhang on the shelves. That will be the length you cut the wood.
Step 3: CUTTING THE WOOD
Cut the wood to the length of the shelves you’re making. In the video above each shelf is the same size so I cut each piece at 16.5″ long. You can use a chop saw or circular saw for this. Or whatever saw you can get your hands on really.
I’ve got this old piece of reclaimed walnut which has the old mill lines in it which gives it some great character!
Step 4: LAYING OUT AND DRILLING HOLES
This can get slightly tricky if you use reclaimed live-edge wood because it’s tough to make things square. That’s okay! You don’t need things to be truly square, you just need to make sure that you have enough clearance from the back of your wood so that it doesn’t hit the wall and your shelf not able to be hung. In my case, the floor flange and the 3.5″ spacer pipe came out to be about 4 5/8″ from the back wall so when I laid out my holes, I placed them roughly 4 1/4″ from the back edge of the wood so I had plenty of clearance.
Then I traced around the piping and marked the center point of those circles. Using a 7/8″ forstner bit (1/8″ wider than my pipe diameter), I drilled out the holes on each shelf.
Step 5: FINISHING AND ASSEMBLY
To finish my shelf, I chose to just lightly sand the wood starting with 120 sandpaper and going to 220 grit. I didn’t want to lose the old sawmill marks on the shelf so I didn’t overly sand it. Then I sealed the shelf with 4 coats of Minwax Satin Finish Spray Polyurethane.