Saturday, April 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

DIY bookcase: steps to an industrial-style piece

Crafts-Bookshelves

This undated photo shows a close-up view of a DIY completed bookshelf. Industrial-style shelving units and tables made from planks of wood and plumbing parts are gorgeous and trendy, and can cost thousands of dollars. But creating custom-designed, industrial furniture yourself is surprisingly easy. (AP Photo/Ted Anthony)

By
From page C2 | January 04, 2014 | 1 Comment

Melissa Rayworth

I started by shopping, assuming the only way I could have an industrial-style bookcase was by paying a hefty sum for one.

As this style of furniture has become more popular, many different companies and craftsmen have begun offering variations on the theme: rustic, sturdy shelving units, and tables made from planks of wood and plumbing parts.

Meanwhile, the Internet has also become crowded with do-it-yourself instructions for making these pieces.

It sounded relatively easy. But I was skeptical: I’d never made a piece of furniture before. It took a conversation with interior designer Kyle Schuneman to convince me I could do it. Schuneman has created industrial shelving units himself and has posted a tutorial on Pottery Barn’s blog. He told me that with a bit of effort and planning, anyone could design and build an industrial bookcase for their home.

So I tackled my first piece: a low-slung, three-shelf bookcase fastened with 1-inch-thick pipes and flanges.

Since then, I’ve built six more items — everything from a display stand for vintage typewriters to a tiny end table exactly the right height for a reading lamp.

My step-by-step instructions have evolved with experience. The ones below are for a basic bookcase, but can be modified depending on what you’re making.

___

BOOKCASE

MATERIALS

Wood planks: Reclaimed wood is a great choice but can be hard to find. You can make a rustic-looking piece with new wood that’s been cut to size at a home-improvement or hardware store. Keep in mind that actual sizing doesn’t conform to the popular names for dimensions of wood (a 2-by-4 isn’t exactly 2 inches by 4 inches), so you may need to ask a salesperson for assistance. When planning your piece, consider having deeper shelves on lower levels and slightly shallower ones on upper levels.

Steel pipes (also called nipples) and floor flanges: These are commonly available in gray or black steel, sold in various sizes at home improvement stores. Pipes of a given thickness (1/2-inch, 3/4-inch or 1-inch) can be attached to flanges of the same thickness. Surprisingly, these will be the most expensive pieces of your project, with each costing several dollars. Thicker pipes will give a more industrial look; thinner pipes a slightly more delicate one. Or get creative and vary the thicknesses of the pipes on each level.

Wood screws: I use flat-head Phillips screws. Size depends on the size of the pipes and flanges.

Wood stain or paint of your choice, plus a layer of clear shellac or polyurethane to seal the wood.

Adhesive furniture pads: optional, to make the finished bookcase level.

TOOLS

Electric sander: You can sand the planks by hand, but an electric sander will save time and effort.

Power drill

Electric screwdriver: optional, but it’s another time and effort saver.

PLANNING

Choose the exact size and shape of the item you’d like to create. For bookshelves, you may want to get the deepest planks available at your nearest home improvement store — usually planks listed as 2 inches by 12 inches by 12 feet are available. The actually depth is closer to 11 inches, but this is deep enough to comfortably display books or other items.

If, for example, you’re making a piece that will be 3 feet wide and have four shelves, have that 2-inch-by-12-inch-by-12-foot plank cut into four equal pieces. Then buy 12 pipes that are 10 inches long (you’ll use four on each level) and ½-inch thick, with 24 ½-inch flanges.

The final piece will be approximately 3½ feet tall.

SANDING, STAINING, PREPPING

Sand each wood shelf to smooth and round the edges. Then paint or stain as you wish, making sure each piece fully dries before you apply the next coat. Finish with a clear coat (glossy or matte) to protect the wood, then let dry fully.

While the wood is drying, clean each pipe and flange with soap and water.

ASSEMBLY

1. Spread a drop cloth or old sheet out to protect your floor, and then place the wood plank that will be the bottom shelf on it. Arrange the flanges with two on each end, approximately ½ inch in from the edge of the wood. If you’re making a wide piece (more than 3 or 4 feet), you may want to put an extra set of flanges and pipes in the center for support, for a total of six pipes supporting each level rather than four. (Or you may do this simply because you like the look of the extra pipes, although you do lose some shelf space.)

2. Holding each flange in place, drill a hole through each of its four holes and then secure a screw in each hole. Once all the flanges on that level are solidly secured, screw a pipe fully into each one and then screw another flange to the top of each pipe.

3. Place the wood that will form your second shelf upside down on the drop cloth, and place the bottom shelf upside down on top of that second shelf. (It’s easier to drill down rather than up, which is why you flip the piece here.) Carefully drill holes and secure the flanges to what will be the underside of the second shelf. You will now have two shelves securely attached to each other. Set this piece aside.

4. Repeat this process with the other two pieces of wood so you have two sets of shelves secured. Now it’s time to connect them.

5. Place the bottom section on your drop cloth and arrange flanges along the surface. Before drilling and screwing the flanges to the wood, make sure the holes for the top flanges don’t match up exactly with the holes for the flanges underneath that shelf. (If necessary, adjust the top layer of flanges so the screws from one layer of flanges won’t hit the screws from the layer below them.) Then drill and screw in these flanges.

6. Screw pipes into the flanges on top of the second shelf, and then screw the final layer of flanges into the top of these pipes. With help from another person, lift the assembled top two shelves and place them on top of the pipes and flanges that are extending above the second shelf. Now you’ll need to drill upward, unless your piece is small enough that you can flip it over entirely. Before drilling holes, again check that this final layer of flanges does not have its holes matching up directly to the holes in the layer above. If necessary, twist the flanges just slightly to avoid having the two sets of screws bump into each other inside the wood. Then drill the holes and screw those flanges to the shelf above.

7. Because the planks sold at home improvement stores are not always perfectly level, you may find that your bookcase is slightly uneven on the bottom. If necessary, use the small adhesive furniture pads on one or several corners to make the piece level. You may also wish to buy a safety tether to attach the bookcase to a wall.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • W. VoorheesMarch 15, 2014 - 8:14 pm

    There are a lot of ideas to be designed with bookshelves. Sometimes, we tend to make use of those things that can be recycled to have a wonderful outcome. This one can be done also with the traditional piping system which is not covered together with the walls. Nice one! Have a lot of post, I wanted to collect many designs.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Solano unemployment inches downward

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Transplant recipients talk about their best gifts

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Police release name of woman found dead in Fairfield canal

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Spering, Bertani spar over fighting crime

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 11 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield council candidates weigh in on crime

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
 
Five homes featured on Symphony Home Tour

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Congregation invites public to Easter music, message

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
 
Local woman helps spread Easter joy

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B12 | Gallery

Weather for April 19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B13

 
.

US / World

California farmers to get more water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Teen sentenced in Oakland toddler’s killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

More Latino than white students admitted to UC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
PG&E to be arraigned in fatal pipeline blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Mom and son who died in San Francisco fire ID’d

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
3 alleged gang members convicted of murder

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
From Clinton to Obama, many parallels

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Easter on 4/20, pot holy day; pastors reach out

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

Colorado deaths stoke worries about pot edibles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
NASA’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down as planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Atheist national conference aims at Mormon church

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
White House updating online privacy policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

SpaceX making Easter delivery of station supplies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Sudden movement raises alarm in Wyoming slide area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Some countries get Obama, but want his wife, too

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
Man who avoided prison is overwhelmed by support

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
In Egypt, a corruption watchdog hit by backlash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Military scales down, modifies Guam buildup plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Captain of sunken SKorean ferry arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Diplomacy doesn’t move insurgents in Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
57-nation OSCE plays key Ukraine monitoring role

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Ukraine crisis: The turning points

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
.

Opinion

Cheers, jeers for the week of April 13-19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons for April 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Here we go again in Sacramento

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 5 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History for April 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Seniors, it’s never too late to do something about your health

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes for April 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Prince reaches agreement with music label

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

‘The Boondocks’ back for final ‘offensive’ season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

Stratocaster still a favorite at 60

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
.

Sports

Hertl has impressive playoff debut for Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors and Clippers take dislike to playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Big innings lift Mustangs over Indians

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Ross, Padres beat Cain and Giants 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

A’s come out swinging to beat Astros 11-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors to start O’Neal for Bogut vs. Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Mets trade 1B Ike Davis to Pirates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

TNT’s Sager to miss NBA playoffs due to leukemia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

A’s lefty reliever Doolittle gets 5-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
’40-and-up club’: Ageless Hopkins after more belts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jimenez shoots 65 to lead Greater Gwinnett field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Solano scores in ninth for 2-1 BVC baseball win over Yuba

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Choi leads rain-delayed RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
NBA’s Silver wants age limit change, no rush on others

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA playoffs looking more wide-open than expected

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Source: Grizzlies’ G Calathes suspended for 20 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

5 features an Amazon phone might offer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Judge says American can’t end retiree benefits yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Mazda recalls 109,000 older SUVs for rust problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Obituaries

Sealwyn Shirley Brucefield Shepherd Malkiewicz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Home Seller 04/19/14

Summerwood features 8 new homes in Suisun

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for April 19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.27 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3