Introduction: Black Iron Pipe Garment Rack

Picture of Black Iron Pipe Garment Rack

These plans are for a fairly large black iron pipe double bar clothing rack measuring about 8 feet wide and 6 1/2 feet tall. It's big enough to easily fit 2 full wardrobes so you can share, or not. It can be used to create a walk-in closet room or for extra storage in the basement. Because it's on wheels, you can move it around.

The good thing is that you can easily scale it down to any size you want and even be creative with different pipe and shelving combinations. You can use the bottom platform to store shoes or totes and you can hang your longer garments (like dresses) on the ends.

This industrial looking wardrobe is not only practical, but will become a beautiful feature in any room.

Step 1: Here Are the Materials You’ll Need

Picture of Here Are the Materials You’ll Need
  • 1 – 72″ black iron pipe
  • 4 – 36″ black iron pipes
  • 2 – 35″ black iron pipes
  • 2 – 8″ black iron pipes
  • 2 flanges
  • 4 tees
  • 2 end caps
  • 1 union
  • 4 swivel 3″ caster wheels (2 lockable)
  • 2 – 2″ x 10″ x 8′
  • 1 – 2" x 6" x 8'
  • 16 – 2″ round head screws (#12)
  • 8 – 2″ flat head screws (#8)


I used 1/2″ pipe but you can use 3/4″ if you prefer. I went with 1/2″ for 2 reasons: first because it’s less expensive than 3/4″ and second because it’s strong enough to hold all your clothes. Trust me, these pipes are solid! If you currently own a store bought rack (like the ones sold at Walmart or Canadian Tire), there is no comparison.

You’ll also need the following tools:

  • Biscuit joiner & #20 (large) biscuits
  • Wood glue
  • Bar clamps
  • Drill

Step 2: Assemble the Platform

Picture of Assemble the Platform

Once you’ve gathered all your materials, the first step is to assemble the wood platform. I used a biscuit joiner for increased strength and stability. If you don’t have a joiner, just skip that step. Instead simply apply glue along the inside edge of both 2′ x 10’s and glue them together using bar clamps to let them dry overnight. Once cured, use an orbital sander to sand the platform. You can also stain the wood if you’d like, but I left it untouched.

The most crucial thing to keep in mind when building a large rack is stability. The base will need to be wide enough so it won’t topple over. Hence the need for two 2″ x 10″ wide planks and I even recommend 2″ x 12″. You can go wider if you want, but I found it would make it difficult to reach clothes with too wide a base. Another trick to ensure stability is to make sure you install the casters as close to the edges as possible (see photo at step 4).

Step 3: Assemble the Iron Pipes

Picture of Assemble the Iron Pipes

You’ve probably noticed that the black iron pipes are kinda grimey. The first thing you’ll want to do is take a rag and rub them down vigorously. After wiping them a few times they should be good to go. Nevertheless, just to be safe you might want to avoid hanging any white clothes on the very end of the rack against the pipes.

Because we are dealing with a double garment rack with one pipe across the top and one pipe across the middle, it is important to assemble the pipes in the correct order. Simply hand screw the pieces together by following the diagram shown above.

The tricky part will be assembling the middle horizontal bar. After assembling the outer frame, connect the first 35″ pipe to the middle left tee and the other 35″ pipe to the middle right tee. Insert the union in between to fill the gap. Use two pipe wrenches or tongue and groove pliers to tighten the union until the union and both pipes are snug. It’s a good idea to cover the union with a rag to avoid leaving any marks with the wrenches.

Step 4: Mount the Caster Wheels

Picture of Mount the Caster Wheels

With the pipes now assembled you can measure the distance between the two flanges, center to center. Using this measure, mark your platform so that the flanges are centered. Don’t screw the flanges in just yet. First you’ll need to mount the casters to the bottom of the platform.

From your 2″ x 6″, cut three pieces measuring 19″ in length. On the bottom side of your new double width plank, screw a the 2″x 6″ perpendicular to the planks. You’ll want to set one in the middle and the others centered with where the flanges meet the wood platform. Next, use the #12 round head screws to attach the casters to the 2″ x 6″ boards. Align the casters with the outside edge of the platform in order to maximize stability.

Step 5: Attach the Platform to the Pipes

Picture of Attach the Platform to the Pipes

Finally, screw the flanges into the platform. You’re ready to hang your clothes and enjoy your new clothing rack.

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Comments

diymontreal (author)2016-10-04

Hi, you won't be able to screw all the pieces together if you use 2 -72" pipes. That's why I used the union. Unless perhaps somehow you are able to screw the top and middle bar simultaneously? Let me know if you try it!

Meggyx3 (author)2016-10-02

I was curious why the second row is joined with a union? Is it a weight issue? I was wondering if I could use 2 -72" bars?

JC41 (author)2016-09-14

Nice build. Just to add some details (US-specific):

Lowes offers free pipe cutting and threading, to get the custom lengths required.

Per Lowe's pricing (rounded), the pipe (in 10' lengths) will cost about $30, flanges $10, tees $10, union + end caps $10, casters $20, plywood $25 (3/4" pine, 4x8 allows for doubling up on thickness to add strength), 2x4 $5. Total cost in parts runs about US$110.

rsmaudsley (author)JC412016-09-15

And Lowe's offers a 10% discount to active duty military and veterans. :-)

I also love this particular establishment; I received a generous Toolbox for Educator's grant from them a few years ago and got some great tools, lumber, and other supplies for my Art classroom; I shop them a lot out of loyalty. However, their "military discount" is only available to federal military, Not state forces. Congress chartered state defense forces decades ago and my state has had one since 1984. We serve during state need - floods, volcanoes, tsunamis, major forest fires, rockslides, landslides, multi-state training events, snow disasters, etc. As a well-trained volunteer force, we save our state a great deal of money. Some businesses do offer us discounts, and we thank and appreciate them.

rsmaudsley (author)2016-09-15

Will definitely save this one. Awhile back we had a yard sale of donated items for our dog rescue. we had a LOT of clothing. My wife had gotten some portable clothes racks. she proceded to put 2 or 3 times the weight limite worth of clothing on each rack. When sitting still, the racks were fine. But as soon as we tried to move them they collapsed.

The next time I will build one of these.

calculator01 (author)2016-09-13

Check out the same one made from This Old House

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Bio: DIY Montreal is a do-it-yourself projects website focusing on home decor, furniture, lighting, as well as simple tips & tricks for common household problems. At DIY ... More »
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