DIY Project: How to Build Gas Pipe Shelves

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I had been needing a place to store all of our books and cameras (which had, until recently, been living on the floor) since we’d moved in. Unfortunately, almost all of our walls are very old brick, which is a problem because half of the time we drill a hole for an anchor, the brick crumbles into dust. So we’ve figured out ways to bypass the walls altogether by running pipe and flange from floor to ceiling instead.

Learn how to build your own floor-to-ceiling industrial bookshelves using gas pipe and flange!

Materials for Building a Gas Pipe Shelves:

  • Wood for shelves
  • 1″ diameter black iron gas pipe
  • Dawn or Degreaser
  • 4 x 1″ diameter gas pipe floor flange
  • 4 x 1″ diameter Split Ring Hangers for each shelf
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver and/or Drill

How to Build Industrial Gas Pipe Shelves:

  • Measure the the distance between your floor and ceiling
  • Cut & thread your gas pipe length to your floor-to-ceiling distance minus 1/2″

This is something the hardware store can usually do for you – just buy the length of pipe closest to your size and have them trim it.

  • Clean and degrease the pipe with dishsoap or a similar cleaner

  • Measure and cut the boards to your desired length
  • Drill 2 x 1 diameter holes in each board
  • Feed the pipes through the holes in the boards
  • Screw the floor flange onto the ends of the pipes
  • Tighten the floor flanges as much as possible
  • Stand up your bookcase with the boards sitting at the bottom
  • Unscrew the floor flanges to get a tight fit between your floor and ceiling
You’ll probably need to use a Magic Eraser or touch up your ceiling paint if you make any marks on the ceiling (whoops)!
  • Screw the flanges into the floor and ceiling
  • Pull each shelf into its desired height
  • Clamp the shelves in place with a split ring hanger on the bottom and top of each hole
  • Decorate your shelves!

Update! When we moved into our own home (we’d previously been renting), we replaced our old bookshelf boards with reclaimed wood from a local architectural salvage.

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