Shelving with Character

Tim again.

Whoo boy. Ok. This project was a big one.

When it came time to setup a “dude room” in our place, I came across this post on a great design blog called “The Brick House”. The shelves were exactly what I wanted for the space - industrial, rustic, and classy.

At first, I had big sticker shock over the project. Turns out pipes are pricey! But eventually, I convinced myself to go for it, and I’m glad I did. In the end, it cost a bit less than your average custom modular shelf setup from a big box store, and it’s got tons more style.

To give it more of a “been there forever” look, I soaked the pipes in water for a couple days, which gave them rust spots and a cool worn finish. They look pretty well aged!

I wanted the shelves to look like reclaimed wood, so I bought the cheapest pine planks I could find, full of knots and imperfections. I stained them a deep coffee brown and put on a couple coats of poly to get the color to pop.

The structure works like this - the shelves rest on the T-joints near the front, and elbow joints in the back support them and keep them level. At the very top, each pipe connects to the wall using a flange, which secures the whole thing nicely. I used another set of flanges for the feet, with some rubber glued to the bottom to protect my landlord’s floors.

Assembling it all was a huge challenge. It went together as easy as a set of Legos, but getting them tight, level and stable while maintaining the structure and shape was really tricky. Thanks to my ever-patient girlfriend though, we got this project completed, and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.

Other Note: I wanted to point out two things ON the shelves in the pictures.  On the floor in the center is this great yellow box. It’s an antique tool box and guess what - I found it in the trash for free!  Lesson: always keep your eyes open, these go for about $60 or more in antique stores and they’re awesome.

The other box on the bottom right is one Jen got me from Eddie’s Furniture for my birthday. She stopped in one day with her cello to check it out.  The guy in the store offered her a discount for playing cello for them!  It’s really cool looking and from New Bedford, my family’s home town.