DIY Industrial Pipe Bookshelf




About: My name is Aaron Massey and I'm the DIY guy/ handyman behind I focus on making fun DIY project and Home Improvement videos for a digital audience.

Today, I'm going to show you how I made a simple, industrial style bookshelf using materials from the big box store. It's a great accent piece for any home and is pretty easy to build.

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Step 1: Materials

To start, let's go over some of the materials we'll need to tackle this project.

Here are the black pipe pieces I'll be using as the supports. All in all, these pieces should cost you about $75 at Home Depot or a similar home improvement store.

  • (8) 3/4" x 12" black pipe
  • (4) 3/4" flanges
  • (12) 3/4" couplings
  • (4) 3/4" x 4" pipe
  • (4) 3 1/2" pipe
  • (4) 3/4" caps

For the shelves, I found a piece of laminated pine at a local lumber store for about $20.

Once constructed, the shelf stands about 36" tall x 24" wide but can be easily adjusted with additional pipe pieces or longer pieces of wood.

Step 2: Preparing the Pieces

The first thing we need to do is rip the wood to the width we want, then cross cut the lengths of the shelf. The overall dimensions of each shelf are 12" deep by 24" wide.

Next I'm clamping the 3 shelves together so I can measure and drill the holes that the pipe is going to pass through. Make sure to double check while measuring before drilling or else you risk the shelves being unstable or unaligned.

The diameter of my pipe is about 1 1/16", and I drilled the holes with a 1 1/8" bit. If I were doing the project again, I would likely drill using a 1" bit and then ream out the hole with some sandpaper. That way, the pipes would fit more snug. The tighter the pipes fit, the more rigid and sturdy the completed shelf will be.

Step 3: Rough Assembly and Refinement

Now we can put the pieces together. This is just to make sure everything fits well and was properly constructed.

After this, disassemble everything and finish work on the shelves. I sanded over each shelf to give them a nice rounded edge, and then applied a dark walnut stain. Once the stain has dried, I added a couple coats of matte polyurethane.

The 12" black pipes themselves had a protective coating on them, which I tried to sand off with sandpaper and acetone. Unfortunately, this created an uneven look across all the pipes. To fix this, I've cleaned off all the pipes, then spray painted everything flat black. Then I just sealed it with a spray polyurethane.

Step 4: Final Assembly

The last thing to do is reassemble everything and measure it to make sure everything is level.

Then, find a good place in your home to display it!

And that's it! Thanks for checking out this project. I think this simple shelf can add a lot of personality to any room, and it's relatively cheap to do as well! If you enjoyed this project, please check out some of the other stuff I've been working on!

Building a Wine Barrel Coffee Table

DIY Industrial Black Pipe Shelf

I hope you learned something from this project, and maybe it inspired you to create something of your own. Thanks again for checking it out, and I'll see you next time!

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    7 Discussions


    Question 23 days ago

    Hey Man I like those shelves! How far into the wood did you drill the holes for the looks like 1 3/4 inches from each side. Please let know...thanks!


    Such a simple and lovely build. It would definitely add a nice touch to the living room and also create some well needed storage space that's for sure!

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    has anyone any idea where to get this pipe and fittings from in the UK?


    1 year ago

    Nice, but waaayyyy too expensive when compared to commercial products available. Unless someone is going for this specific look, store bought shelving units (and systems) offer uniformity and scalability to match one's custom utilitarian needs.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    If you are interested in making something like this for the Industrial, Steampunk or Grunge look though, this is perfect.


    1 year ago

    Nice little bookshelf, and so easy too!