How To Make An Industrial-Style Shelving Unit
Materials we used:
- 5 wood shelves
- (16) 1/2-inch galvanized pipes cut to the desired length and threaded on both ends. We purchased 10-foot pipes at Home Depot; a staffer cut them into 18-inch pieces and threaded them for free.
- (8) 1/2-inch galvanized floor flanges
- (12) 1/2-inch galvanized couplings
- (4) 3-inch industrial casters
- (32) #12 3/4-inch wood screws (to attach floor flanges)
- (16) #14 3/4-inch sheet metal screws (to attach wheels)
- Wood sealer
Modification: Our unit is 80 3/4 inches high (nearly 7 feet). You could easily adjust the pipe lengths or number of shelves to make a shorter unit.
- Electric sander
- Cordless drill
- Electric drill (you could also use this instead of a cordless drill)
- 1/8-inch drill bit (for drilling pilot holes)
- 7/8-inch drill bit
- Center punch
- Tape measure
Choose and Prepare the Wood Shelves
1. Pick your wood. We used 1-inch-thick salvaged wood that was 42 inches long and 18 1/2 inches wide for our shelves. The wood we used is actually thin strips of wood glued together, which gives it a nice striated look.
5. Now it’s time for you to drill the pilot holes within the shelves. Stack the shelves on leading of 1 an additional (bottom shelf with flange placement markings on leading) and clamp them together. This is so the holes you’re about to drill will line up – it is extremely important!
Mark the order and orientation of each shelf. Maintaining them in order will assure the holes will line up.
6. Make use of the 1/8-inch drill bit and electric drill to drill pilot holes via the center of the flange placement marks. Be sure to drill through the very first shelf and into the second.
Remove the first shelf, reclamp the shelves and continue drilling through the second and third shelves. Continue this process till all the shelves have pilot holes drilled through them. This method enables you to use a regular-length drill bit and nonetheless line up the holes.
Assemble the Shelving Unit
1. Center every floor flange over the pilot holes drilled within the bottom shelf (4 holes total). Use a center punch and hammer to make a small indentation where the screws ought to be placed. Use a cordless drill (or electric drill) and the #12 3/4-inch wood screws to attach flanges towards the wood shelf.
2. Once the floor flanges on the bottom shelf are screwed in place, screw four 1/2-inch galvanized pipes into the floor flanges.
3. Screw a 1/2-inch galvanized coupler to the top of each pipe (photo). Set the next shelf on top of the couplers. Take four more pipes and put them through the holes in the shelf, and screw them into the couplers below. Use a wrench to tighten the couplers. Once you have used all 16 pipes, screw the remaining four floor flanges to the tops of the pipes.
Attach the Wheels
Turn the unit on its side or back. Mark the preferred placement of the wheels around the bottom shelf. Use the #14 3/4-inch sheet metal screws to attach the wheels.
Note: In the event you know you won’t have to move your shelving unit, you are able to leave off the wheels and bottom shelf, and screw the floor flanges straight in to the floor.
For added stability, use L-brackets underneath a couple of shelves; attach them towards the wall studs.