I came up with a pretty simple solution that I installed in about 30 minutes with off-the-shelf parts. It was a bit more expensive than I had envisioned (each piece of hardware quickly adds up), but in the end I have a pan rack that fits perfectly in my space and has a great industrial look.
1 1/2" x 30" galvanized pipe (this pipe is also readily available in black)
2 1/2" 90-degree elbows
2 1/2" x 2" galvanized pipe nipples
2 1/2" galvanized floor flanges
6 standard-thread eye bolts
6 hex coupling nuts
6 standard-thread hook bolts
8 screws and sheetrock anchors (depending on your mounting situation)
Total cost: ~$50
Step 1: Design your rack for your available space
Come up with a design based on the following considerations:
- How many pans do you want to store on the rack? My rack is 30" wide and holds 6 skillets and sauce pans. About 5" of width on average for each pan is probably a good rule of thumb. Also make sure that once you hang pans on your rack that they do not prevent you from opening up nearby cupboards. (In my case, the two cupboards immediately behind the rack are not very useable, but this is because the person who build the kitchen ran the exhaust fan for the stove in that space.)
- How low should my pans hang down? For example, I am 6' tall, while my girlfriend is 5' 4". I made sure that the pans were low enough for her to reach, but high enough so that I didn't bang my head on them while I was cooking. The ceiling where the rack is mounted is 8' high, for your reference.
- How far from the wall should I mount my rack? Keep in mind that you probably don't want to have large pans touching your wall or cupboards. Make sure that you account for the diameter of your largest pan when it is hanging.