Introduction: Scaffold Storage System

Picture of Scaffold Storage System

Just moved into an unfurnished flat and rather than do the Ikea thing, I've decided to build myself some furniture... First up, a storage system...

I decided to go with scaffolding tubing and planks as the base material. Scaffolding by nature is designed to assemble/disassemble easily, is strong and would give the piece a unique look. It is also modular, meaning you can always add to the unit if you require more space. Scaffolding, planks in particular, can often be picked up used meaning you can do it reasonably cheap..

Tools Needed:



Allen Keys

Sandpaper/ Varnish

Spirit Level

Measuring Tape

Step 1: Design

Picture of Design

I wanted this to be able to store the majority of my things so set about designing a unit that would have sections to accommodate clothes, sports/hobby stuff and tools. I also added a small desk/workbench for future projects.

I started by doing a simple sketch, keeping in mind the standards lengths I could purchase the scaffolding tubing and planks in to minimize waste material.

Step 2: Make

Picture of Make

This project is very simple to do, only taking a day or two all together:

  1. Cut the tubing to length with a hacksaw
  2. Measure out any shelves that aren't 'off the shelve' lengths
  3. Cut the planks with a saw
  4. (Optional) I cut V-groves into the small shelves to help them locate on the cross tubes. I set my mitre saw to a 45° bevel, engaged the depth stop and cut. And then finished the cut with a hand saw.
  5. Sand and finish in your choice of vanish/stains/oils etc.

Step 3: Assemble

Picture of Assemble

With everything cut, its time to assemble. The clamps simply tighten together with an allen key, so the whole unit goes up very quickly!

I just sat the planks on the cross bars without fixings which works perfectly well. You could also drill some some holes and bolt them down...

Finished and ready to fill with your stuff!!

Cheers for looking..


scibot (author)2016-04-12

Can get all the bits for this from - i made something similar but smaller after seeing this. I think the sketch up is wicked, wish I could draw like that!

ap7309 (author)2016-04-01

that's really awesome mate! loving the CAD skills aswell!

WoodPhoenix (author)2015-03-03

I just love this!!

EmeryGP (author)2015-02-10

Nice I love the design

Edd Black (author)2015-01-21

This is perfect for clothes! Thanks for sharing!

thundrepance (author)2015-01-20

it's crazy-beautiful, barclay!! i feel that i cannot wait to make your stylin' project, but i must, as i have several unfinished proj. already in the works {shame on me!}. your scaffold storage system looks TONS sturdier than ikea!

mrsjetjr (author)2015-01-18

I like your design it is really very artsy.

rwarren10 (author)2015-01-18

This is good looking, however I can see it being expensive.

Jabberwokie (author)2015-01-16

I have tried to search for scaffolding online, but I can't find the clamps you used. All I find is the current industry standard quick release clamps, not the type you used. Does the type you used have specific name?

barclay5426 (author)Jabberwokie2015-01-16

Try tube clamps or key clamps

mrpunch000 (author)barclay54262015-01-18

Try searching for "Kee Klamp"

tomita (author)2015-01-18

It is nice and all, and has a good idea, but it needs redesigning to actually be useful. Right now it's hipster, with low practicality for a piece of furniture that is supposed to offer efficiency in storing various items. Wider wooden boards, thinner pipes. The design is nice on how it uses 2 walls

Hinkiepunk (author)2015-01-14

looks really good, a few questions though: how much did it cost, and what is the weight limit and how does the floor take it

barclay5426 (author)Hinkiepunk2015-01-14

Cheers. Around £300 all in. No idea on weight limit, its solid so i'll go with a lot and the floor is fine, you can get 'feet' clamps for the bottom

Hinkiepunk (author)barclay54262015-01-14


BlondyLox (author)2015-01-14

I love the design. How much did it cost? I would love to make one of these for my son's room!

barclay5426 (author)BlondyLox2015-01-14

The tubing,planks and clamps come in just over £200 but had to pay for delivery which bumped it up to around £300, it's a lot of weight.. The unit is 8ft wide, 6.5ft high, is solid and stores all my stuff so pretty happy with that price.

You could always tailor the design to fit your budget and expand if need be, good thing about the modularity of scaffolding!!

ROD917 (author)2015-01-13

How much for the pipe and where to purchase? Great idea.

barclay5426 (author)ROD9172015-01-14

Thanks. The pipe works out at around £3/meter. I got it from an online scaffolding supplier. You might be lucky and have a reclamation yard or something that has used tubing

primosanch (author)2015-01-14

Very nice.

harbor_ma (author)2015-01-13

Good jobs! Well done!

ak_midori (author)2014-12-22

Instead of cutting metal pipes, would you consider using threaded pipes & joints? And how did you choose the diameter of pipe?

barclay5426 (author)ak_midori2014-12-28

I guess you could, but if you don't want to cut piping to specific lengths then your design will be limited by the stock lengths of pipe you can buy. The pipe diameter was chosen to fit with the clamps and be strong enough to support the weight of everything the shelves would be holding.. The shelves are pretty solid!

amekdala (author)2014-12-08

Hi, what is the drawing software you use for this?

barclay5426 (author)amekdala2014-12-08

Hey, its Solidworks but any CAD software will let you do similar.. You can get a free trial of most of them

conservator (author)2014-12-08

Congratulations! It's a nice storage system.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a design engineer based in Bristol, UK, with a love for designing and making things..
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