Pipe Shelving

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Project by shopdog posted 03-31-2011 04:14 PM 13435 views 7 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this unit yesterday, for a client. It did involve some woodworking. I used 5/4×10 clear poplar, and I had to cut them to size, round over the edges, drill the holes, and sand. Drilling the holes required some measure of exactitude, as the outside diameter of the pipe was 1 1/16”, and I used a 1 1/8” forstner bit…for a tight tolerance…very little wiggle room. I brought one of those cheapo portable drill presses, but ended up free handing the holes.
For pipe, I used 3/4” black pipe from HD, except for the galv. flanges (they didn’t have them in black).
The fittings used were elbows and T’s, and flanges, and (6,8,12 and 18”) pipe.
It took 5 hours to install, after about 6 hours of research and prep.
I usually build built-in bookcases, but her budget was small. She handed me a photo that she printed from the web, so that was all that I had to go with as far as a plan. I enjoyed the build, and now I have a low cost bookcase alternative for people with small budgets.
It is very, very sturdy.

Thanks for viewing

-- Steve--

14 comments so far

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3689 days

#1 posted 03-31-2011 04:19 PM

Great idea. I like it better than cinder blocks and 2” x 8” (my first apartment furniture).

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View patron's profile


13653 posts in 3847 days

#2 posted 03-31-2011 04:31 PM

interesting build
and sturdy for sure

clean and contemporary

much better than blocks and boards

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View devann's profile


2250 posts in 3198 days

#3 posted 03-31-2011 04:39 PM

I don’t like it. Too much of an industrial look for me. It’s a taste thing.
Steve I do like the workmanship, you did a good job of it.
I might like it better if the uprights were spun 180 and placed next to the wall so the front was a more open design. Probably like it better in my shop with wood stacked on it, not sure it can take the weight. Again it shows some excellent workmanship skiis.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View canadianchips's profile


2627 posts in 3503 days

#4 posted 03-31-2011 05:12 PM

I think it is a GREAT concept ! Creating with metal and wood.
Did HD thread the pipe for you or do you have your own ?

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3701 days

#5 posted 03-31-2011 05:40 PM

Nice, but I am sure my kids would try and climb it. LOL

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View D1st's profile


291 posts in 3546 days

#6 posted 03-31-2011 05:51 PM

Those flanges are expensive. I built some shelves and tables for a client that wanted a similar look. Half the material bill was for those flanges. Nice job.


View Skylark53's profile


2712 posts in 3566 days

#7 posted 03-31-2011 06:09 PM

Great idea to fulfill a need and meet a budget. Clean, prime and paint the uprights and they’ll virtually disappear.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View shopdog's profile


579 posts in 3991 days

#8 posted 03-31-2011 06:20 PM

Thanks for the comments.

It’s definitely not for everyone, but my client was very pleased. After all, it was her idea.

All of the black pipe was stock, with threads on both ends. They do have a pipe cutter/threader for free cuts, but I didn’t need it. I bought a few extra pipes, as they are the same type/diameter as the pipe that I use for my pipe clamps.

They were a bit pricey. Almost $8 per flange times 8 for the job.
Total cost for the project was almost $500. It was still a good payday for me.

-- Steve--

View Canexican's profile


108 posts in 4183 days

#9 posted 03-31-2011 06:46 PM

Slick idea, thanks for posting,


View Ken90712's profile


17741 posts in 3694 days

#10 posted 03-31-2011 07:07 PM

Nice idea, I made a curtian rod for the urnial in my garage out of this. I used the same concept making it which fit into thewhole garage theme.. Its on pic #2 of this post,,, Nice work…

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4083 days

#11 posted 03-31-2011 07:42 PM

Cool idea now all it needs is a faucet :))

View Pawky's profile


278 posts in 3309 days

#12 posted 03-31-2011 08:31 PM

It turned out well :) It would be nice if they sold the black flanges, cheaper too… I couldn’t find them when I looked earlier this year either.

How much did you spend on materials for building it?

View poopiekat's profile


4527 posts in 4240 days

#13 posted 03-31-2011 09:37 PM

I expected to see some Pony pipe clamps incorporated into the design. A fantastic use of pipe as a design medium!! Oh, and as a suggestion, you can get “Kee Klamp” which is cast aluminum (or steel) fittings that use set screws, for coupling or joining at angles, like for porch railings without the need for cutting threads. Not promoting any particular website, but for a visual:

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View D1st's profile


291 posts in 3546 days

#14 posted 04-01-2011 04:40 AM

If you soak the flanges in vinegar for a little while and then let dry, you can then spray paint them to match.


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