Sedona Red Industrial Shelving Unit




Introduction: Sedona Red Industrial Shelving Unit

About: You can come visit us next to Autocade Inc. Pre-Owned Center. ( if you want us to build you something.

CharcoalHello everybody. Let's do some quick introductions. My name is Jared Sams. The blind black cat on my shoulder you'll see later of me using the drill press is Charcoal. He's my safety observer. His momma left him for dead and I decided to save his little life. You can watch me bottle feed him goat's milk when I first found him.

In this instructable Charcoal and I will guide you through the process of building yourself a Sedona Red Industrial Shelving Unit. I'll tell you about all the tricks or tips I learned along the journey. This project is not really all that hard. I'd consider it a beginner level project if you own a few tools. It took me most of a weekend with all the sanding and finishing. It'll also cost you about $300 in materials and consumables. There are however many tools that I used which you may simply not own yet. Other options may be available for cutting the materials (substitute a side grinder and cutoff wheel or a hack saw for the chop saw, perhaps use a hand saw or skil saw instead of the miter saw). Just like with any project you'll need to be familiar with the tools for the trade. For this instructable I made a couple assumptions. I believe most of you are familiar with measuring, marking, drilling etc... therefore won't bore you with how to do those. So let’s take a look at the tools listing to see what I used during the build.

Step 1: Step 1: Tools Listing

  1. Miter Saw, Skil Saw or Hand Saw
  2. Welder (MIG, TIG, or Stick) [Miller Welders]
  3. Chop Saw (abrasive cut off wheel), or hack saw
  4. Tape Measure
  5. Soap Stone or Sharpie
  6. Angle Grinder (flap discs, cut off wheels) [Dewalt]
  7. Safety Glasses [Mine are from Miller]
  8. Welding Jacket [I own this one.]
  9. Gloves [I like the Tillman 50M]
  10. Breathing Mask [Here's Mine]
  11. Welding Hood [Digital Elite is the way to go!]
  12. Shielding Gas (depends on welder)
  13. Flow Meter / Regulator (depends on welder)
  14. Framing Square
  15. Speed Square (recommended)
  16. Clamps / Fixtures (C clamps, vise grip clamps, etc…)
  17. Welding Bench or suitable work surface [I'm using a Miller Arc Station]
  18. Die Grinder (and smaller flap discs, optional)
  19. Air Compressor (only if you use the die grinder)
  20. Rags (for the Acetone wipe downs)
  21. Drill or Drill Press
  22. Drill Bits (1" Paddle/Spade bit and 5/16")
  23. Screw Driver (depends on screw selection, likely #2 Phillips)
  24. Wrenches (to adjust the chop saw angle and tighten the carriage bolts)
  25. Orbital Sander (and paper) [Mine is a Dewalt]
  26. Steel Wire Brush (large) [Cyberweld] or [Baker's Gas] are two of my sources.

Step 2: Step 2: Project Design

I designed the Sedona Red Industrial Shelving Unit to fit in a specific space I had in my house. The dimensions and shelf heights can be adjusted to fit your own needs. I picked the "Sedona Red" red stain to compliment or bring out the natural beauty of the redwood fence boards. The fence boards are a soft and light option. I've used the fence boards for a couple of items of furniture and have been pleased with them. If you want a tougher more durable option you may opt for oak or another hardwood with similar dimensions. I really like the mixture of metal and wood. I feel they blend well together and bring a special touch to the industrial design. The four legs inside the frame are built out of 1" square tube with an .065" wall thickness. The shelf bands are build out of 1" x 1/8" thick angle iron. They are constructed so the flat lip extends outward and down (take a look at the first image). The rectangular bands are angle iron that was cut on 45 degrees long to long and welded together squarely. Everything else is either bolted together with carriage bolts or screwed in place with a lath screw. The shelf spacing I opted to use from top down alternated between 16" and 12". The taller 16" shelf spacing works well for kitchen gadgets like the kitchen aid mixers and blenders while the smaller 12" shelves allow for smaller items like mason jars. I wanted to keep the overall height to 7 feet tall (84") so it could fit under a typical door way. So now if you'll look at the sketches you'll see the dimensions I settled on after my build.

Step 3: Step 3: Sketch Preview

So if you look at the Adobe PDF files you'll see essentially four hand drawn sketches. One page has the layout of the shelves showing two top down or overhead viewpoints of the rectangle bands and one view of the side boards. On that page there are two different 1" angle iron rectangles that are 15 1/2" by 44". One is the very top most shelf which has 8 fence boards to allow a bit of overhang. The second rectangle is the other 5 shelves using 7 boards. You'll notice they have slightly different hole patterns for drilling to account for the number of boards used. The fence board planks on the lower 5 shelves will fit inside of the four 1" square tube vertical legs. The gap between the outer 1" angle iron band and where the fence board meets the opposite side of the 1" square tube will be limited to 1/4" after installing the 3 vertical 1" x 4" boards because their actual thickness is only 3/4". The design idea is to use 1/4" spacing between all of the boards. The fence boards themselves are going to be cut into 16 1/2" lengths. That will allow about 1/4" to stick out on both the front and back of the 15 1/2" deep angle iron bands.

The second hand drawn sketch is the Sedona Red Industrial Shelving Unit as seen from the front so you can see the heights of the shelves and where to side drill the 1" square tube for the carriage bolts. From the top down there will be a fence board (11/16" thick) sitting on top of the 1" angle iron band (rectangle with 8 boards). I didn't want the 1" square tube to be poking out above the boards so I designed it to essentially have that vertical leg fit up flush with the underside of the fence boards. The measurements for marking and drilling the 4 legs will be pulled from that point (consider that your zero reference point on the legs). With the 1" angle iron being 1/8" thick it brings to mind a factor to consider. You can't drill in the center on the back side of the 1" angle and expect the clearance to be the same under the lip. So to account for this I simply added in the extra 1/8" from that zero reference already. The point is you want your wrench to fit without binding the nuts against that outward facing lip. So now that you understand that consideration factor review the measurements on the way down the 1" square tube. Later you'll be marking, center punching, and drilling bolt holes in the 4 legs at the following increments [9/16", 18 1/4", 31 15/16" 49 5/8" 63 5/16", 81"] later on. The intent is to achieve either 16" or 12" shelf heights from the top of the fence board to the bottom of the angle iron bands (as seen going up from the bottom shelf).

The fence board dimensions selected are 11/16" thick, 5 1/2" wide, and 6' long. I cut 4 pieces that are 16 1/2" long out of each 6 foot board. On those 16 1/2" boards there is a counter sunk hole drilled with a 1" paddle bit (some call it a spade bit) on each end. The counter sink is only 1/4" deep to account for the washer and carriage bolt height. It is also centered left to right on the 5 1/2" wide ends. I say centered because not all boards will be exactly 5 1/2" from the mill, so check each before you drill it. Now to get the hole to line up with your 15 1/2" wide angle iron frame you'll need to plan to pull the tape and mark a dot at 15/16" from the ends. This 15/16" comes from the 1/2" overlap (on either side of the 15 1/2" x 44" rectangle band) and the 7/16" that you pull from the edge of the angle iron frame to center drill the board mounting holes in the most usable space (1" minus the 1/8" thickness leaves 7/8" usable, cut in half gives you the 7/16"). Inside the counter sunk holes I place a 1" flat washer. Be careful to not get them to tight as the redwood will split easily.

On the sides of the angle iron bands there will be three 1" x 4" boards running vertically. I didn't measure out these holes until the end of the project. I idea here was in case I made an error where it wasn't quite perfect while building it I wanted a little flexibility to still make it look good. But if you are a good craftsman and can make exact cuts and weld them square then one will be in the center of the 15 1/2" frame. You'll notice when pulling a tape though that you'll probably pull it from the lower part of the band (that'll appear to be 13 3/4" because of the way it has the lip sticking out. So the middle of that will be 6 7/8" vs 7 3/4" if pulled on the 15 1/2" lip side. Inside that 15 1/2" band is 13 1/2" of space available. The idea is to place the two vertical legs in there...bringing your total usable space down to 11 1/2". If you evenly space three 1" x 4" wide boards vertically between the two legs you should have 4 gaps. Those 1" x 4" boards should actually be 3 1/2" wide by 3/4" thick. That's going to consume 10 1/2" of the 11 1/2" available. If you mount the middle board vertically in the center you'll be left ready to split the gap evenly on both sides (the center boards and the vertical 1" square tube leg) of the remaining two boards. The remaining 1" is consumed with the four 1/4" gaps on either side of the three boards. Way down at the bottom the feet are made from some steel sheet metal cut off in 2" squares. However, I noticed you can buy some square anchor washers at Lowe's the other day that'd be perfect if you don't have scrap metal lying around.

Step 4: Step 4: Cut List Development & Shopping List

We will need to go over the parts. I made up some part numbers and added the quantity, dimensions, cut descriptions and a reference name in the table below.

Shelf Parts

Part No.QtyMaterialDimensionsCut DescriptionReference
SP-A(4)Square Tube1" wide x .065" wall thickness x 83 1/8" long[cut long to long on 45 degrees]{Square Tube Legs}
SP-B(12)Angle Iron1" wide x 1/8" thick x 15 1/2" long[cut long to long on 45 degrees]{Rectangle Short Sides}
SP-C(12)Angle Iron1" wide x 1/8" thick x 44" long[cut long to long on 45 degrees]{Rectangle Long Sides}
SP-D(43)Wood16 1/2" long x 11/16" thick[cut square on 90 degrees]{Fence Board Planks}
SP-E(6)Wood1" x 4" x 83 1/8" long[cut square on 90 degrees]{Side Board}

Shopping List Concerns

Add those items up and you'll have a shopping list for the metal materials. Most suppliers only sell full sticks (20 ft), maybe half sticks (10 ft) if you’re lucky. Some people can haul a full 20 foot stick (what's commonly sold at the large suppliers). Charcoal and I had our materials cut into 10 foot sticks because I can't haul a full stick. Besides we calculated the perimeter of each band to be 119". That only leaves an inch for all the blade thickness used per cut so be as efficient as possible or you'll end up going back. Some people make mistakes when cutting parts out. Some people don't layout the materials as efficiently as others. That's your polite nudge to pay attention. While you're out shopping you'll need to get the hardware, paint, stain, polyurethane, and other consumables (if you’re not a fully stocked shop) off the list below.

Metal Supplier Shopping List

  • 40' of 1" x 1” (.065 wall thickness) square tube
  • 60' of 1" x 1/8” thick angle iron

Shopping List continued (lumber, hardware, consumables, etc...)

  • (11) 11/16" thick x 5 1/2" wide x 7' long redwood fence boards
  • (4) 2" x 2" x 3/16" thick square anchor washers
  • (43) Carriage Bolts 1 1/4" long, 1/4" x 20 thread [Bolts Fence Board Planks to bands.]
  • (24) Carriage Bolts 2" long, 1/4" x 20 thread [Bolts Square Tube Legs to bands.]
  • (86) 1" flat washers, [recommend 5/16" diameter hole so the square body of the carriage bolt fits thru]
  • (110) lock washers
  • (110) hex nuts
  • (1 pack) Soap Stone
  • (2) Black Sharpie
  • (1) chop saw blade (I use an A30-R)
  • (1) Spool of Welding Wire (proper size for your welder) [or sticks you’re using an Arc Welder]
  • (1-2 pair) Gloves (Tillman 50M)
  • Shielding Gas (depending on your welding setup you may or may not need)
  • (67) Hex Nuts (I’d just get boxes, either 25 or 50 count)
  • (2) flap discs (60 grit)
  • (5) flap discs (Roloc Compatible, if using die grinder)
  • (3) cut off wheels (6" .040" thick x 7/8" arbor part number A60TZ, I trust Metabo brand)
  • (3) cans of clear paint
  • (1 can) Pre-Stain (if using pine 1x4 boards)
  • Stain (I used Sedona Red, 1 Quart size should cover the project)
  • Polyurethane (I prefer the wipe on kind but using a few rattle cans of spray is also a good option, estimate for 10 coats)
  • *Mineral Spirits (If you’re cutting regular poly to make your own wipe on)
  • (1 bag) cotten rags
  • (1 box) vinyl gloves (use during stain & poly process)
  • (1 box, min 36 count) Lath Screws (I prefer the Buildex Teks Lath Screws, #8 x 3/4" long [#21504])

Step 5: Step 5: Cutting the Parts

After you've collected the materials for this Red Sedona Industrial Shelving Unit project you'll need to cut them into the individual parts. There are several cutting methods available for cutting the metal frame (hacksaw, band saw, chop saw, plasma cutter, angle grinder with a 6” cut off wheel). You could use any number of tools, but I'll stick with a couple basic tools that are readily available like a chop saw, and a standard angle/side grinder. There are also several options for cutting the fence boards (hand saw, skil saw, miter saw). I used my chop saw for the metal frame and my miter saw for the fence board planks. I recommend you print out the cut list and those couple of sketches for reference here. There aren't a lot of parts to cut out compared to my Pub Table and Bar Stools project. I don't recommend marking the parts all up for cutting in one fail swoop. I do think you should plan it out so you are efficient and don't waste materials (especially the 10' sticks of angle). Earlier I mentioned I had cut my material into 10 foot sticks. Each 10 foot stick of angle iron is barely enough to cut out each band. Take your time. This instructable wasn't geared towards teaching you how to use a chop saw, miter saw, grinder, welder nor discuss their safety. If you are not comfortable or familiar with using them, then you should seek out the user manual, a friend, a mentor, a tutor or YouTube a few videos first.

Recommended Cut Sequence:

For me I found cutting the four Square Tube Legs [SP-A] with my chop saw was a good place to start. I moved on to cutting the parts for each rectangular band out of the 10 foot sticks of angle iron. Before you cut take a look at the pictures. Make sure you understand how the angle will form the band (and how it will mount to the legs). I'd cut the very edge off at the 45 degree angle then measure and mark out one of the two 44" pieces (long to long, like a trapezoid). Then I'd reset the saw to the other 45 degree angle to cut the first side of one of the 15 1/2" pieces (again long to long). Repeat that to cut out two of each [SP-B & SP-C] per 10 foot stick of angle iron. When you finish you should have 12 of each to complete a total of 6 rectangles.

Move on to cutting the lumber. Each 7 foot fence board will allow you to cut out 4 Fence Board Planks [SP-D]. I found it efficient to stack 3 or 4 fence boards and cut the stack into the 16 1/2" planks. Depending on your saw's capabilities you may have to do them one cut at a time. After you cut out the Fence Board Planks you need to cut out the 1" x 4" boards [SP-E].

Step 6: Step 6: Parts Cleaning & Beveling

Once you've got all the parts cut out, you'll need to clean the sharp/jagged edges up before welding. It's always nice to add a slight bevel to it to ease welding. Here’s where you go part by part and lightly grind the cut edges with the angle grinder and flap discs. Alternatively you could use some Roloc compatible quick change discs for your die grinder. I try to take the time to true up all the metal parts so they fit identically in case you have some a little long. If they are too short, just plan to weld the gap, don’t grind all of them to short. Don't worry about the wood just yet. We'll sand it in a few minutes.

Step 7: Step 7: Welding, Sanding, and Drilling

Before you start assembling the rectangles do a couple quick checks on your work surface. It's ground zero for either a great product or the failure thereof. The point is make sure it's not just "flat" but level front to back and left to right. Before you just go straight to welding take a minute to check how the Rectangle Short Side and Long Side pieces fit/assemble together. After you achieve a good dry fit, you’ll need to be ready to square and tack weld the pieces. If you aren’t already a skilled welder, perhaps visit Jody over at Welding Tip and Tricks to learn some pointers. Go ahead and weld the rectangles together.

While the rectangle bands cool off it'd be a good time to go sand down the Fence Board Planks and the Side Boards. I typically will step sand them using my orbital sander. Start with a course grit, move to a medium, then a light grit to finish.

After you have the fence board planks all sanded down it'll be time to mark and drill holes. You have holes in the Fence Board Planks to counter sink with a paddle bit (to fit a 1 inch washer inside) first. After you get those done, I'd drill the 5/16" hole in the wood for the carriage bolts. After you are done drilling the wood set it aside and move on to drilling the holes in the rectangle bands. I recommend you divide them into two piles. One pile of 5 shelves and a second pile for the 1 top. Remember they will be marked out differently due to the boards on the top needing to overlap the ends. I'd mark out the one for the top first since it'll have 8 fence board planks. Mark it, center punch, then drill each hole according to the sketch. Be certain to check for square and use a fine point sharpie or scratch all. If you want it to look good take your time. After you marked out the one for the top switch gears and look at the sketches again. You'll now need to look at the sketch for the rectangle with the 7 boards. Notice the difference? On the next 5 rectangles I recommend you start with the center hole for the middle board and work your way outward. Again using a square will help keep your Fence Board Planks nice and square. Repeat the marking, center punching and drilling of the hole for the carriage bolts. Once you finish the carriage bolt holes, you'll need to go back to each piece to drill the Lath Screw holes on the 15 1/2" sides.

Move on to drilling the holes in the 4 legs. I like to square all 4 legs in a stack. Once they are lined up I put a clamp on them to prevent them from moving. Then I pull a tape and use my square to mark all four at once. This will save you some time as well as help keep the shelves level later on.

The last four holes (for the leg mounting points) in each rectangle I wait to drill. These will be the hole for the carriage bolts going through the 1" square tube. I find it best to use several clamps and dry fit the pre-drilled legs to the rectangles then use the pre-drilled hole as a guide. If you don't and you are off a little you can always use a round file to clean up or massage the holes. Don't forget to weld on the 2" x 2" square anchor bolt washers to use as feet.

Step 8: Step 8: Industrial Look & Wood Finishing

This is the point after your dry fit and disassembly that you go back over the steel frame with the flap discs or Roloc Discs and grind the mil scale off of the angle iron rectangles. I also will grind a swirl like pattern on the 1" square tube to enhance the Industrial Look. Once finished with the grinding, wipe the metal frame parts down with a rag and acetone to clean off any metal filings, finger prints or left over oily residue from the manufacturing process. Now the metal is ready for a few coats of clear paint. I'll typically lay them out on some cardboard and apply a few coats.

While they dry I will do another look over my sanded and drilled Fence Board Planks. If you made any dirty with handling during our dry fit up then now is the chance to lightly sand it clean again. Once they are all nice and clean and free from dust, it'll be time to stain. I found it useful to take a long sacrificial 2" x 4" and clamp to something overhead. My bench had a nice couple uprights that allowed me to do this. The edge of a table would also work. I then marked lines on the 2" x 4" down the length at increments of about 6". This allowed me to hang each of the Fence Board Planks on a screw or nail on those lines. This gave me a great way to speed up applying the staining and polyurethane coats. After building that jig, I would apply stain to each board with a rag (and I used a Q-Tip to get in the center holes) then hang them to dry. While you are applying stain you need to stain the 1" x 4" boards. After all the boards with stain dry it's time to apply the polyurethane to the boards. I prefer the wipe on poly, however you could opt for a rattle can and spray it on using that jig.

Step 9: Step 9: Bolting It All Together...

You are so close to having a completed Sedona Red Industrial Shelving Unit. All the parts are dry right? If they are, then start by bolting the steel frame together. As you go square, level and plumb the shelves from one end to the other one at a time. Check every leg on every shelf at every rectangle. Take your time if you want it look good.

Once the frame is all bolted together it'll be time to lath screw in the 1" x 4" side boards. I found it useful to have a clamp to help true up any warped boards before I screwed them in with their 1/4" gaps on either side of the boards. Be certain to check that the top doesn't extend beyond the top edge of the angle iron band on the top shelf (recall it fits snug to the board planks).

After you have the side boards installed move on to installing the Fence Board Planks. Don't forget to add the 1" washers inside each counter sunk hole. Snug up all the bolts but be careful not to over-tighten them or you'll run the risk of splitting the fence boards.

If you enjoyed this Instructable you can always hit me up at D&S Fabrication ( or at my sister's used car dealership Autocade Inc. in Clinton, TN ( I always welcome feedback, comments, or questions. If you have any questions you may contact me at This is my original design. I authorize you to make a set for your personal use. I do however retain the rights for commercial resale. If this exceeds your capabilities and you want a set, feel free to send me an email. One last thing... If you enjoyed this Instructable take a couple minutes to share it on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, G+, or even email it to your friends and family. Thanks for your time.

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    3 years ago

    Beautiful shelf!