Hanging Pipe Shelving Unit

Since July, we have been stealing moments to work on the garage to Makery transformation. This week I was determined to finish the shelving unit where we used to have cabinets. As with most projects, it took longer than I thought it would and required a trip to Lowes and an extra Amazon order. It was a little trickier than expected but the overall impression is what we were going for. 

Worth the money!

Worth the money!

Lessons Learned:

The best deal I have found for pipes is on Amazon. They are marketed for people like us who are building things from them not plumbing their homes. 

Buy screws with coarse threads. These (to the right) went in like butter and were totally worth the extra trip to Lowes and a little added expense. 

Our laser level was invaluable because of the length and height of the wall I was covering.

Wear rubber gloves. The pipes are VERY dirty. Some come with just a sort of black greasy film. Others come really sticky. Goof-off works pretty well but I heard WD-40 is a good choice too.

The metal fittings are not rust-proof. Like with cast iron pots you have to dry them immediately or they will rust. I spilled water on some of the flanges and within a few hours they started to rust.

Also, after the whole thing was installed, I found a piece of paper that had come with the pipes. It was all about cleaning and treating them to prevent rusting. Did I do any of it? No. But some, if not all, of my pieces were pre-treated from the factory so hopefully I am ok since, besides my spilled water, they will not get wet.

Have all your pipes assembled ahead and be sure they are aligned and spaced exactly the same. Since you can adjust them by loosening or tightening, it is easy to have them all a little different.

If you want to make a set of these for yourself, here are the materials and steps.



18- ¾”x 18” black steel pipes

24- ¾”x 12” black steel pipes

12- ¾” 90 degree elbows

12- Tee fittings

24- ¾” floor flanges


4- 1”x4” pine boards for backing, cut to desired length

12- 1”x12” pine boards for shelves, cut to length

2 boxes- #10-2 ½” wood screws

Rubber gloves


Laser level



1/8 drill bit

Stud finder


Paint brush


Stain wood.

Wipe down metal

Assemble vertical supports.

Find wall studs.

Transfer stud locations to 1” x 4”’s.

Drill 2 holes for each stud and insert screws in each.

Decide the height of the lowest shelf. 

Mark the wall using a laser level.

Attach the first 1”x4”. 

Measure the spacing between the shelf supports and mark the walll. 

Attach the next 3- 1”x4”’s using the same process.


Lay the metal supports next to a wall to be sure everything is twisted the same direction.

Measure the depth of the shelf supports to be sure they are all the same and can accommodate the wooden shelves.

Working from the outside in, use the laser level to mark the vertical guideline for the first support.

Get a helper to hold the support in place while you screw the flange in place on the top backer board. 

Next, screw the bottom flange in place then go back to do the remaining flanges.

Repeat the process with the remaining supports, attaching the center pair last.

Insert shelves.


Load them up with pretty things! By the way, everything you see is for sale!