DIY Industrial Black Pipe Bookshelf

industrial black pipe book shelf tutorialIn this DIY project tutorial I’ll show you how to build a simple DIY industrial black pipe bookshelf using black pipe and basic lumber you can pick up from the hardware store. Watch the video to follow along step-by-step.


To start, let’s go over some of the materials we’ll need to tackle this project. All in all, these piping should cost you about $75 at Home Depot or a similar home improvement store.

  • black pipe fittings industrial pipe bookshelf(8) 3/4″ x 12″ black pipe
  • (4) 3/4″ flanges
  • (12) 3/4″ couplings
  • (4) 3/4″ x 4″ pipe
  • (4) 3 1/2″ pipe
  • (4) 3/4″ caps

For the shelves, I found a piece of laminated pine at a local lumber store for about $20. Once constructed, the shelf stands about 36″ tall.

Preparing the Pieces

ripping pine on tablesaw industrial bookshelfThe first thing we need to do is rip the wood to the width we want, then cross cut the lengths of the shelf. The overall dimensions of each shelf are 12″ deep by 24″ wide.

Next I’m clamping the 3 shelves together so I can measure and drill the holes that the pipe is going to pass through. Make sure to double check while measuring before drilling or else you risk the shelves being unstable or unaligned.

drilling holes industrial black pipe bookshelfThe diameter of my pipe is about 1 1/16″, and I drilled the holes with a 1 1/8″ bit. If I were doing the project again, I would likely drill using a 1″ bit and then ream out the hole with some sandpaper. That way, the pipes would fit more tightly. The tighter the pipes fit, the more rigid and sturdy the completed shelf will be.

Mock Up and Refinement

assembling black pipe bookshelfNow we can put the pieces together. This is just to make sure everything fits well and was properly constructed.

After this, disassemble everything and finish work on the shelves. I sanded over each shelf to give them a nice rounded edge, and then applied a dark walnut stain. Once the stain has dried, I added a couple coats of matte polyurethane.

spray painting pipe shelfThe 12″ black pipes themselves had a protective coating on them, which I tried to sand off with sandpaper and acetone. Unfortunately, this created an uneven look across all the pipes. To fix this, I’ve cleaned off all the pipes, then spray painted everything flat black. Then I just sealed it with a spray polyurethane.

Final Assembly

assembling black pipe bookshelfThe last thing to do is reassemble everything and measure it to make sure everything is level. Then, find a good place in your home to display it!industrial black pipe bookshelf tutorial

And that’s it! Thanks for checking out this project. I think this simple shelf can add a lot of personality to any room, and it’s relatively cheap to do as well! If you enjoyed this project, please check out some of the other industrial projects I’ve been working on!

DIY Industrial Pipe Lamp

DIY Industrial Black Pipe Shelf

I hope you learned something from this project, and maybe it inspired you to create something of your own. Thanks again for checking it out, and I’ll see you next time!

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