And looked upon the room did she,
Spun ’round and uttered her decree,
She pointed there, her eyes ashine,
Then spoke the words, “Of pipe and pine.”
And so it was commanded, and so it would be done: my home office, with newly refinished desk, would receive an industrial-rustic shelving installation made from pine boards and black pipe. Handan really wanted my office to have black pipe and pine shelving that attached to the wall. I had built some smaller pipe and pine shelving and tea carts on casters, but she had grander visions for this version. As with all wifely matters, who was I to disagree?
As I had done with some of my earlier dabblings with pipe and pine, I opted for 1 x 6 tongue and groove boards from Home Depot, the knottier the better.
I cut them down to the length I needed. For these shelves, 44 inches was the magic number.
I then sorted them according to knot density and appearance. The knottier, more rustic-looking boards would be placed more front-and-center than the plain boards.
There would be six shelves in all – the bottom three would be 4 planks wide, and the top three would be 3 planks wide. The wood shown above was not enough, so I had to run back to Home Depot to complete the set.
Once I determined which pieces would be in front and which in back, I used the table saw to cut off the extra tongue from the front pieces and the extra groove from the back.
I added a bead of glue down each groove, then fit the boards together.
Once together, I clamped them and attached braces made from scraps of maple and poplar that I had laying around.
For the shelf pictured above, I clamped, waited for the glue to dry, then removed the clamps and fastened the braces with glue and screws. For all subsequent shelves, I clamped the boards and affixed the braces before the glue was dry, while the clamps were still attached.
Here are the shelves, ready for the next step…
…sanding. I sanded the shelves to 150 grit. Since the piece is rustic, I wasn’t overly concerned about a flawless finish.
I stained the shelves with Minwax Ebony.
The black pipe would run through the shelving, so I needed to mark and cut six holes in each shelf. I used a 7/8″ Forstner bit to cut the holes. The pipe has an inner diameter of 1/2″ and an outer diameter of 0.78″ so 7/8″ (0.875″) was a perfect fit.
Now that the holes were drilled, I applied a little stain around the rim of the holes with a Q-tip, then put on two coats of Minwax Clear Satin Wipe-On Polyurethane. I’ve become a big fan of wipe-on poly. It is far more forgiving than brush-on.
Still wet, but you get the picture.
This completed the “pine.” Now on to the “pipe.” We used 1/2″ black pipe from Home Depot, with floor flanges, elbows and couplings. Most of the pipe was 12″, but some was 18″ for the main “showcase” shelf. For this part of the project, I enlisted the Handan’s help. She is my go-to girl when I need something spray painted properly. She has patience. If I spray painted the pipes, they’d look like dripping black candles. Once she painted the pipe pieces, we were ready to assemble.
First the floor flanges and risers…
The shelves rest on a coupler underneath each of the holes.
The third shelf was the last of the 4-slat shelves. Here we capped off the front row of pipes by first inserting a 1 1/2″ nipple into the male coupler (keep your jokes to yourself), placing the shelf, then screwing in an end cap.
Moving on, we next attached three 18″ pipes to the back row. All the other pipes used were 12″, but since the top 4-slat shelf would be the showcase shelf, it got a bigger space.
The front pipes of the fourth row (that is the first row to have 3 slats instead of 4) drop down and rest on the showcase shelf, but only on the sides, not the middle. Here it is pre-assembled.
Building higher, the showcase shelf becomes clearer.
Okay, here is where we stopped while the final pipe pieces were drying from their black paint shower. I poured a drink (Manhattan), went to the family room and watched the movie Pixels with our son (loved the movie – I was a child of the 80s, and I played all the video games featured in the movie). While we watched, Handan continued to work. Unbeknownst to me (okay that’s a lie. I heard what was happening, but chose to focus on the movie), she assembled the rest of the shelves, so I have no pictures until the next day when we secured the unit to the wall and floor.
Here we are up top. I’ve marked the wall and started inserting drywall anchors.
Once the flanges were screwed into the wall, Handan dabbed some black paint on the screw heads.
Okay, check this out. Handan grew up in a warm climate in Turkey. She’s always cold. Even in summer! So there she was, building the shelving, wearing a winter jacket and snow pants. It was about 67 degrees in the house.
Two screws in the wood floor, one on each end.
Then a little paint in the remaining screw holes.
And we’re done!
Then Handan put on her decorating hat, and the end result is this! (Handan also made those awesome “1” and “2” baskets. She’ll be writing about them in a future post.)