DIY Industrial Pipe Shelves
DIY Industrial Pipe Shelves….
The first thing I did was draw up what I wanted it to look like. Once I had my drawing I stared measuring and deciding how tall I wanted all the shelves. Then I added up how many of each piece I would need. I needed flanges, T’s, elbows, and straight pipe.
This is my rough sketch of what I wanted it to look like. You would be surprised how many T’s and elbows you need.
You can design your shelving however you want, so your supply list may be different. but the best tip I can give you id to DRAW IT OUT. You dont have to be an artist. A simple drawing is all you need. It makes it easier to see how it will all look and how it will fit together.
I decided I wanted the shelves 15 inches deep. Now, this is where a normal person will run to the store and buy all the pipe pre-cut. But upon looking into it, we realized we had a pipe cutter and pipe threader in our shop at work. We found that if we bought the pipe in 20 foot lengths and cut and threaded them ourselves, we saved a considerable amount of money. Like it was half as much! So, most people probably don’t have access to a saw that cuts metal pipe, or a threader, but we do!
Once we were done cutting, we washed them all with some dish soap and let them dry. We then spray painted all the pieces with black flat paint. This included flanges, elbows and T’s.
Then we started putting it together!! First thing was screwing the flanges to the floor and then start building up.
We screwed the flanges into the floor. These are the base of the shelves so you want to make sure they are in there solid. We then screwed a pipe into each flange. It was like putting together a puzzle.
We then connected a T to the pipe, and connected a piece of 15 inch pipe with an elbow on the end. This is what will support the shelves from underneath.
We then cut our wood for the shelves. I really wanted a rustic/industrial feel. We had some plywood on hand that was exactly what I wanted. I loved that it still had some of the stamping left on it and had a little wear. We decided to double them up so they’d be thicker shelves.
We used a keyhole saw to cut the holes in the wood and then ran the pipes through those holes. This involved a bit of measuring to get the correct spot.
***Sooo, a little helpful hint. When I was adding up the length of pipe, for the height of the entertainment center, I failed to add in the 2 inches each T added to it. This resulted in having to change a few things and Lance having to recut and thread some of the pipe. If we hadn’t had to do this, the project would have been much faster!****
About half done!
As you can see from our window it was getting late.
Once you set the first shelf in, you will then screw in your next piece of pipe, followed by a T. Then you will add the length of pipe and the elbow to support the next shelf.
Add the next shelf, and repeat the steps.
What is nice, is the shelves are pretty forgiving when it comes to leveling. You can just twist the T’s a few extra times or the opposite to adjust and get it level.
The next day, I sanded the wood and then sealed it with a polyacrylic coat. I wanted to keep a lot of the character so there wasn’t a lot of sanding. I just wanted to make sure people wouldn’t get splinters when touching it!
What’s interesting is this could have gone either way. I had to purposefully keep a lot of the character or else had I tried to patch and make it look like nice wood, it would have looked weird.
My goal with this project was to create a stylish shelving system for my television and other accessories in my family room. I am so happy with the result and would tell anyone thinking of doing this that yes! You should do it!
I couldn’t have done it without some of my favorite tools…..
*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience*
- Dewalt Cordless Drill– For 99 dollars, this is a great investment. We had our previous one for over 10 years before it died and that was only because my husband dropped it off the roof.
- Mouse sander– this is great for many, many projects!
- Miter Saw– Once I got over my fear of using this tool, a world of possibilities opened up. I can now use this with confidence.
- Table Saw– This is another one of my favorite tools. I use this for so many projects.
Slowly adding these tool to your arsenal will bring you many happy days of DIY projects. We didn’t strike it rich one day and buy them all. Each one was bough after much though and very gradually. One for Christmas, a fathers day gift, believe it or not..mothers day, birthdays, you name it. We love our tools.
Don’t forget these other super helpful tools:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this enormous project. These industrial pipe shelves were sure worth the effort. Thanks for taking time out of your day to see what I was up to at Twelve On Main.
Thanks for stopping by and remember…..
If you likes this post, you’ll love these….
How to Make Stylish Rustic Shelves with 2 by 4’s
How to Make Easy Rustic Wood Shelves
How to Style Decorative Shelves Like a Designer
*This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on a link, I may earn a few pennies toward the progress of my blog. There is no charge to you. All my opinions are my own.*
If you’re looking for industrial pipe shelves, check these kits out:
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Very nice! So you have the shelves attached to the floor and only at the top to the wall?
Hey Erlene, they are attached at the bottom too.
so the pipes are not attached to the wall at all ?
Yes they are attached at the very top.
You are a brave DIYer, cutting and threading the pipes yourself. Your tutorial is very helpful for the next brave soul. Knowing the pipe add inches is good information. It’s also great to know that simply turning the pipe on any area will help to adjust correct sizing.
Great project. I love the finished look. The sealer on the wood looks awesome!
Wow, what a difference. Great job.
This turned out amazing, Sara! Love it! What a huge undertaking but the results are so worth it.
Thank you for sharing this week at Brag About It link party on VMG206 (Mondays at Midnight).
~ Megin of VMG206
What an awesome project — they look amazing!
These are awesome! Thanks for linking to HSH!
It looks fantastic Sara – Thank you for sharing with Pin Worthy Wednesday
These are great! 🙂
Love your shelves and the tutorial so much I will be featuring it on tomorrow’s Making Broken Beautiful. Thank you for the inspiration!
The Curator’s Collection & Making Broken Beautiful (Thursday)
Terrific looking shelves and I love the detailed tutorial and tips. Featuring these tomorrow night at Best of the Weekend. Can’t wait to see what you link up this week 🙂
Did you cut the piping with the miter saw? If u did it u have to get a certain blade to cut it? Never cut pipes before so I have no idea what so ever. Also what’s threading? Feeling like a dumby
I cut the pipe on what I think was called a pipe saw. I think it was a miter saw with a different kind of blade, almost like a grinder blade. It wasn’t sharp. Threading is the swirly pattern on the ends that twist together with the other parts of pipe. If you purchase your pipe precut it will already be threaded. Since we had access to the tools we cut and threaded it ourselves, but you can purchase all the supplies precut in specific lengths.
Helpful info. Lucky me I found your site unintentionally, and I’m shocked
why this coincidence did not took place in advance!
I bookmarked it.
Oh I am so glad you are here! Thanks so much for stopping by!
WOW, what an awesome project! I love how this looks. What a beautiful transformation!
OK…so now I have tool envy! I was feeling all ‘tool time’ with the kreg jig that I got at Haven, but you just put me in my place. And not to get too of track…your shelf is fantastic. Was the perfect solution for that room.
Have a great weekend.
Wow !! This turned out amazing Sara! I love the industrial feel to it and how you have styled it!
Wow, these shelves are awesome! It’s so industrial yet intricate and I love your choice of using plywood that you had on hand. Thanks much for the inspiration! ????????
Thank you for posting this detailed tutorial. These shelves are beautiful. I’m getting ready to install something similar in my son’s room which also incorporates a desk into the design. I notice that the floor in your photos is carpeted. Did you cut away the carpet and padding to screw the flanges into the floor or did you screw them in through the carpet? I cannot tell from the photos. Thank you for any tips you can provide on this!!
Hi Jo, thank you so much! We just screwed right into the carpet. We did not want to have raw or frayed edges. It worked really well!
Beautiful looking shelves. What size pipe dis you use?
Do you think it’s possible to do this without screwing the base into the floor? Like maybe cut wooden blocks that are wider than the the flanges to spread the weight out? I so want to do something like this for my kid’s Ninja Turtle play room, but just got new laminate floors (like the guy is finishing up the last room right now) and I just can’t bring myself to put holes in them for something that may be temporary.
I am sure you could make something like that work, but I am not sure it would be sturdy enough.
Thanks for sharing great information about thetool. I am glad after reading this article.
This is beautiful. Maybe I missed it, but what size piping did you use?