DIY Industrial Bookshelves (Part 2)

Hi Wonders,

If you’re working on the bookshelves, you might have already read Part 1. Read it if you are starting from square 1. On the other hand, if you’re ready to get that bookshelf standing, CONGRATULATIONS! Reminder that I used reclaimed wood and the overall size is 10 ft x 3.5 ft bookshelf. These facts may affect if you’ll do a couple of extra steps or not. Keep reading if you’re interested.

Warning that this is a two-person job. The shelves starts leaning if it’s not attached to the wall. Also, the shelves become heavy as you stack them. Please be safe.

First, you’ll need to purchase the pipes for your bookshelf. You don’t have to build it like Mr. Lumberjack and myself. There are so many pipe styles. However, we found this to be the cheapest option, because those pipes add up. I recommend you draw a diagram in advance, so you can determine the spacing between each shelf and the number of pipes you need. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. We wanted the same size shelves on both sides. I only looked at one side and multiplied by two.

Here is where I ordered these items:

When you receive the pipes, take a damp paper towel and wipe them down. There is grease all over the pipes, and it’s so easy to stain everything in the house. Side note, be prepared with some wall paint. It’s inevitable, you will stain the walls when the shelf goes up.

Now that’s prepped, I sorted the shelves in the order I wanted the selves. With reclaim wood, the stain doesn’t show up the same color. You’ll get some darker wood due to the age of the wood, finish and type of wood. We had a mixture of cedar and pine. Some of the boards were very light because they were old. We also bought one board that was planed. I put the lighter shelves on the top and the darker on the bottom. I figured there was either going to be an ombre effect or the shadow from the industrial pipe will give the upper shelves a darker color.

Afterwards, you’re going to screw the pipes in a particular order:

  1. Take the bottom nipples (in my case the 18″) and screw it onto the flange.
  2. On the other end, screw on the tee.
  3. The screw on the other nipple (12″) pipe.
  4. In the center of the tee pipe, screw on the short nipple (6″).
  5. On the end of the short nipple, screw on the elbow so that it’s facing upwards (see photo).
  6. Take the shelf and thread the nipple through the hole.
  7. When reached at the top, screw on the elbow.
  8. Screw the shortest pipe (4.5″) with a flange at the end.

At this point, you might need to figure out if you’re searching for a beam behind the wall, attaching to a horizontal beam and/or screwing into the floor. We have an industrial loft layout so we already had a beam running across the wall, so we decided to attach to it. Please make sure it is safely secured. This thing weighs a lot.

Also, Mr.Lumberjack had to do some bookshelf lifting (the whole bookshelf) to make sure the legs were straight, not crooked. We didn’t want to secure the beam first, because we would not be able to adjust the legs later. We did some measuring to make sure the bookshelf is centered, and then he drilled them into the beam.

You now have a bookshelf. Good job! Load them up now with your favorite books, anime statues, vases, etc.



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