Steel pin shelf supports

Today we installed some kitchen shelves using steel rod for support. This clean minimalist technique is a great way to add a light industrial element without the bulky look of pipe brackets.

We planned for this a long way in advance adding blocking inside the walls to drill into later. I generally don’t do this on exterior walls because I’m not willing to sacrifice space for insulation and drilling into the existing studs is just a recipe for hitting a nail, especially with all the zillion inward facing nails that end up on each stud with a rain screen build up.

The other big challenge is just drilling perfectly straight, clean, large diameter holes. I’ve used various jigs and guides but so far my favorite method is just using a long drillbit and a torpedo level, starting with a 3/16 pilot bit and then chasing it with a full diameter larger bit.

These particular shelves are 1 1/4” thick by 5” wide and are supported on half-inch steel rod. In the past I’ve used three-quarter inch rod to support shelves up to 12 inches wide and 2 inches thick.

As usual we are filming everything and putting instructions up on our YouTube channel, so that should be up in about a week as well. I would highly recommend against doing this based on this post alone, there are critical details in the video that will help you avoid a few irreversible mistakes that you really don’t want to make!


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