Passion of Adam Borzy

How To Make An Industrial-Style Shelving Unit

I’ve been anxious to fill up an empty corner in my family’s kitchen with an industrial shelving unit that matches the other open shelving there. So with each other with my dad, we took a weekend afternoon to make one. A bit decorative, but mostly practical, this wheeled unit brings added storage to complement the industrial-farmhouse style of our home.

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
  • Hammer
  • Center punch
  • Wrench
  • 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.


Tip: You can buy wood at your local hardware store if reclaimed wood is hard to come by.
2. Sand and seal the wood to ensure a smooth finish. I sealed our shelves with Monocoat, because we had some left over from an additional project. However, several coats of a water-based polyurethane will work well as well. You are able to buy it at your local hardware shop and follow the directions around the can.
3. After the shelves are dry, mark the placement from the floor flanges on the bottom shelf (photo). You’ll use four floor flanges around the top from the bottom shelf (one in every corner) and four much more floor flanges on the underside from the leading shelf. We used a painter’s stirrer to measure our placement. You are able to use a tape measure and mark having a pencil in the event you prefer. You want the edges of the flanges to become about 1 inch in in the edges from the wood.
4. Mark the placement of the flanges with a pencil.

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.

4. You’re now prepared for the top shelf. Set it on top of the floor flanges, centering the pilot holes using the center from the flanges. Use a cordless drill (or electric drill) and the #12 3/4-inch wood screws to attach flanges to the wood shelf.

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.

Stand your unit upright and enjoy the result of your efforts!

Right here is the finished product in my kitchen.

Your turn: Please show us your industrial-cool DIY project below.


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