Instructables
Picture of Industrial Pipe Bookshelf and Shoe Rack
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This industrial pipe shelf is the perfect project for any handy -- or non handy -- person looking to update their room.  The shelf is quick and easy to install and its hard industrial yet shabby chic look makes it a great addition to any room.  All of the pipes have threaded ends which makes it really easy to update the shape of your shelf every few months.

I've seen similar shelves on etsy of the same size starting at $150.  I made this shelf myself for under $70.  
 
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Step 1: Materials

Materials 
  • (2) Flanges to mount pipe on the wall
  • (8) Wood Screws - size 12x2"
  • (8) 12" threaded pipes (1" diameter)
  • (9) 90 degree pipe elbows (1" diameter)
  • (2) 5" threaded pipes (1" diameter)
Tools
  • Hand drill
  • Drill bits
  • Pencil
  • Measuring Tape

Step 2: Mount Flange on Wall

Picture of Mount Flange on Wall
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Find a Stud:

You want to mount the flanges on studs so you will need a stud finder to help you.  I mounted my shelf in the corner of my room where I knew there would be a stud.  Check out these resources for finding studs:
Mount Flange:
  • Once you have figured out where you want your shelf to be, decide where you want to mount the first flange and mark the holes with a pencil where you will drill.
  • Drill pilot holes using a drill bit that is a bit smaller than the size of your screws.  
  • Hold the flange up to the wall and screw the flange in with the hand drill.

Step 3: Attach Pipes

Attaching the pipes is pretty straight forward.  Screw the 5" threaded pipe into the flange.  Attach an elbow pipe to the end and start adding the 12" pipes.  

TRICK: to get the pipes tight enough, after attaching the elbow pipes to the ends of the pipe, use the 2nd 5" pipe to tighten the connections.  The 5" pipe gives you more torque, and is helpful when you need to tighten pipes near the corners.
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Eye Poker2 years ago
I love the look, but I'm not personally keen on the balancing routine. A small bit of 1/4 lexan or 1/2 painted MDF added for shelving would make them a lot more platform-ish.
Carleyy (author)  Eye Poker13 days ago

Good point! I'd love to see someone attempt this!

I was also thinking this could be improved greatly by a few sheets of Lexan bolted to some clamps around the pipes.

ThisIsSteve3 months ago

After a rope bookshelf I see this,

BTW great ible.

Carleyy (author)  ThisIsSteve13 days ago

Thanks!! I appreciate the compliment!

doodlecraft3 months ago

I totally love it! I love the industrial chic! :) And I like to stare at my shoes too!

Carleyy (author)  doodlecraft13 days ago

Thanks! I moved rooms and am now back to the shoes on the bookshelf design. I'll have to recreate this!

Darthorso3 months ago

Clever design, my congratulations :)

Carleyy (author)  Darthorso13 days ago

Thanks!!

michaelgc14 days ago

The books will just stay there? I would be afraid that they would slide down.. atleast the ones on the bottom shelf.

Carleyy (author)  michaelgc13 days ago

The books have to be placed very carefully. It is important to know how far away the pipe is from the wall. I found it works best for shoes.

domenic328 days ago

nice industral design!!

ducthinh3 months ago

good

barobbin3 months ago
Where did you get the pipe from??
greatest..
bergerab3 months ago

Wow great work! It's very unique

huskerland310 months ago
Looks great. Very creative
MaskMarvl1 year ago
Nice project. ;) You also gave me an idea on how to build a ladder using "Ts" instead of elbows.
Wait I'm confused, how does this hold stuff?
Poorly. It looks good, but depends on balancing stuff on the pipe. Bumping the bottom book will likely bring the whole shebang down and getting, for instance the fourth book down from a pile of seven will be difficult and require three hands.

Building it with two courses in parallel would be better but would also dramatically increase the price, by doubling the materials costs.(basically build two of these and replace the vertical sections between elbows with a T linking the two together.)

Alternatively, simply attach wooden or metal shelves to the pipes with screws.
Oh okay, so it's a balancing act. Thanks for the info.
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202901815/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=bracket&storeId=10051#.UD0kc9aPVlk

/\This/\ plus a large hard-cover book on the bottom would stabilize things. Only cost an extra $10. Don't trust balancing....
Ah, like a false book?
freeclup2 years ago
its not awesome
cj86752 years ago
did you get your shop bot i have one
Looks like a cat ladder to me. The delicately balanced concept would be a very bad idea at our house .
I thought 'Cat Ladder' too! I've been toying with making a cat ladder similar in design, but more organic and less industrial looking.
LOVE IT as is LOL but was distracted by that dragonfly in the window........where can I tell Santa to get me one?
i see the stuff falling off the pipe all the time(dangerous - messy) how about making 2 of them and running shelves on the pipe? and instead of galvanized go with the black iron (cheaper) and paint it any color you want. i would go with tees and elbows.
very cool look and very functional . will last a couple lifetimes.
badrescher2 years ago
Do you think this would be sturdy using PVC? I don't want to add something this heavy to our walls, but my kids are really into steampunk and it might be a nice addition to their rooms. I'm thinking of using the same spray paint & other techniques we use to give things like nerf guns and gadgets the steampunk look rather than using copper pipe.
If you glue them, 1.5" or 2" PVC should be plenty strong for some books or Nerf guns...

Add some hooks to the bottom rack and you can hang mavericks by their slides off of them.
Broom jongscx2 years ago
Be careful using books on PVC, especially with all those zigzags adding up to a long, unsupported run of pipe.
Hooks - great idea!
Carleyy (author)  badrescher2 years ago
I haven't worked too much with PVC, but I don't see why it wouldnt work! I'd love to see how it works out!
arzola12 years ago
Steampunk!! nice
zombiasnow2 years ago
To all who are adding your own ideas to it; I too, would add some sort of shelve support, but use clear plexiglass. v--v meow
Great Idea Carleyy!!
hammer98762 years ago
Those are some awesome, high steppin's shoes! Oh, and cool build, too. Congratulations on being Featured.
mckeephoto2 years ago
That is totally awesome!

Hmm... but I think the commuter rail that goes by my studio would vibrate everything off of the pipes. I might need to figure out how to secure a small flat spot on the top of the appropriate pipes.

Or, maybe a false book? Screw it into the pipe on the inside and then stack the other books on top..

Oh, boys! Time to go to work again...
agis682 years ago
the aesthetic is high add the functionality and we have a perfect design of new era. Its like recycling. Maybe i missed but what's the distance between the solenoid structure and the wall so to provide good sypport
Eleventy2 years ago
I love these. I totally appreciate the aesthetic appeal of the single pipe with no platform – but I also get the practical concerns of the "balancing routine". Maybe if I made these myself I would try a cheat: fasten a length of quarter-round molding to the wall behind each horizontal pipe, at the same level of the top of the pipe and flat-side-up, to create a little ledge for the back of your book to rest on. Paint the molding the color of the wall, and it might not be too noticeable...

This may not even be necessary for the vertical books, since they can rest against the wall in the back, but it seems like it would help with the horizontal stacks, or for other objects.

Another idea would be to extend the top and bottom pipes coming out of the wall, and have a second set of the zig-zaggy pipes directly in front, so each shelf level has two parallel pipes. But I love the simplicity of this design and that might busy it up too much.
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