Building a custom wall shelf

This one is definitely going to have to be a double post. Over the last couple days we built and installed our second shelving unit using vertical steel pipe and horizontal steel rods to support shelving we made out of leftover pieces from our hard maple counter tops.

This installation uses 3/4” black pipe stretching from the floor all the way to the ceiling, anchored to the wall with 3/8” lag screws that penetrate 2 1/2” into the studs. The lags are sleeved with short pieces of 3/8” black pipe (not shown). The supports are 7/16” steel rod and the shelves are 1 5/8” thick x 8” wide.

The overall concept here is pretty simple but it ends up looking great because the industrial element is a little cleaner and a little lighter than straight up pipe furniture.

Something I really like about this system is that it allows me to fasten the vertical pipes first and then slide the shelves up and down until they feel perfect, then I can mark the locations and remove the pipes for drilling.

Even with a drill press, aligning the holes can be a bit of a challenge. I use a level, a square and also sight down a pin placed in the previous drilled hole. If the holes aren’t square to the pipe and parallel to each other it’s pretty noticeable (and totally unfixable) in the finished product.

The pipes are capped with rubber feet so they don’t scratch the soft maple floor. We are pretty stoked with how this whole thing turned out, more photos of the finished installation tomorrow!


Follow along with us on Instagram »

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top