Turn pipes and cedar into a sturdy wall shelf with an industrial feel. Pipes are easy to cut with hand tools and fittings make assembly a breeze. There’s even a bar with hooks underneath for towels, kitchen supplies or hanging decorations.
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These instructions explain how to make this shelf using cedar lumber with one smooth and one rough face. You can also substitute pine, oak, poplar or other wood of your choice. Plywood is also an option, but avoid MDF.
Cut four 1 x 8 boards 42 inches long and divide them into pairs. For each pair, edge-glue and clamp the boards together with the ends flush to make two panels. After the glue dries, trim one of the panels to 10 inches wide and the other to 14 inches wide. From 1 x 2 cedar, cut oversize shelf trim pieces: two 45 inches long, two 12 inches long and two 16 inches long. Removing as little length of the boards as possible, cut 45-degree miters on one end of each piece so that the point of the miter is on the rough face.
Place a shelf side trim board along the end of its shelf so that the inside of the miter is flush with the front corner. Mark the opposite edge of the shelf on the trim board and cut it to length. Glue and nail it to the shelf panel.
Place the long front trim miter against the miter on the side piece you installed. Measure it for length on the other end and miter-cut it to length. Then use the same technique to glue and nail the other side trim piece to the shelf. Repeat the previous step and this one for the other shelf.
Download the Pipe-Frame Wall Shelf Project Diagram and drill 1-1/4-inch holes in the upper and lower shelf where shown. Apply the finish of your choice to the completed shelves.
Position the swivel bases on the top of the upper shelf, drill pilot holes and screw the bases to the shelf. Then do the same for the flanges on the underside of the upper shelf.
From the galvanized pipe, cut two pieces 29-1/2 inches long, two pieces 13-1/2 inches long and two pieces 11-1/2 inches long. The pipe for the bottom bar can be used at its precut length of 36 inches long.
On a flat work surface, organize parts for the two shelf side assemblies as shown. Stand the upper shelf on its back edge and feed the 29-1/2-inch pipes through the back holes of the shelf. Attach the 11-1/2-inch pipe to the swivel socket and fasten the stationary portion of the socket to the top of the 29-1/2-inch pipe.
Attach the other end of the 11-1/2-inch pipe to the swivel base mounted on the upper shelf. With the shelf 90 degrees to the 29-1/2-inch pipe, slide a double swivel socket member to the underside of the shelf. (This will provide shelf support and a mounting bracket for the completed shelf.)
On the underside of the upper shelf, attach the two 13-1/2-inch pipes to the flanges. Slide the lower shelf onto the four pipes and add adjustable side outlets and double swivel socket members to the pipes to hold the bottom shelf in place.
Slide the 36-inch bottom bar through one of the adjustable side outlets, add the three hooks and continue sliding it through the second side outlet. Align the hooks on the bar and tighten them in place. Then tighten the bar within the side outlets with the hooks pointed away from the shelf.
Have a helper hold the shelf level against a wall where you want it while you mark the mounting screw locations in the four double swivel socket members. If possible, attach the shelf mounting screws in at least one wall stud. For the remaining holes, add toggle-style wall anchors.