Introduction: Rubbermaid Shelving Retrofit

I'm sure that you are fed up with Rubbermaid not selling an item that worked really well. Case in point. The shelves that I show above. They came ventilated for your garage or sold mostly in black for your home with gray uprights.. The shelves can be found in thrift stores, etc. case in point I found a blue, yellow, and a red shelf a few months ago a the local Goodwill, and at that point I never knew that they came in color.

The Problem is that the uprights seem to go missing all the time.

  • The Tubing or uprights are approximately 1 5/8" in diameter with a wall of 3/32" thick.
  • So you can't use any of the standard schedule 40 PVC pipe.

Step 1:

Step 2: Lets Go Shopping.

  1. 5 shelves.
  2. 2' x 3' sheet of plywood (optional)
  3. Several length of schedule 40 PVC pipe.
  4. 20 1" PVC pipe couplings
  5. Miter box
  6. Hacksaw
  7. 1 3/4" hole saw.
  8. paint (optional)

Step 3: Make the Bottom Shelf.

  1. First let's find out how long we need our uprights. I wanted 20" off the ground for a large bin, and the rest are 16" or so.
  2. Let start with the wood base (it's a free shelf)
  3. Lay a shelf on top of the plywood sheet and align it.
  4. Scribe your circles and using a rule find the center and mark of each hole.
  5. use your hole saw and drill out the 4 holes for the legs, this is so the legs don't wander.
  6. Paint it if you so wish.

Step 4: So Lets Build a Shelf

  1. Ok take your first 4 uprights (mine where the long ones) and deburr the edges of the pipe
  2. Prime the inside of the coupling, but only one side.
  3. Put a little glue on the same side of the coupling that has been primed
  4. Push the tube into the coupling with a downward, twisting motion, until it is seated at the center of the coupling.
  5. ONLY ON THE BOTTOM UPRIGHT: Now glue the coupling to the other end.
  6. Insert the pipe with the coupling into the shelf. (you may need a Mallett)
  7. Stack the shelves and put 1" side of the upright into the self below.
  8. REPEAT STEPS 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, for each shelf