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My boyfriend and I have very different design aesthetics when it comes to interior decorating. One thing we both agree on is how much we like wood and metal together. We both appreciate a great piece of furniture that adds a little bit of the unexpected, and industrial style furniture does just that.
We moved into a new apartment a little while ago, and needed a solution for our books. I had been looking online at bookshelves for about a month and just wasn't loving any of the options that I found online. The ones that I did like had a price tag that was completely unmanageable. We wanted something that met our simple requirements:
Or maybe that was too much to ask because I couldn't find anything that I loved that fit our aesthetic! I started complaining about it, and my boyfriend decided to do some online research himself. He found a couple of tutorial videos on YouTube on how to build a bookshelf, and we decided building it was the way to go—it seemed to be the only way we could get everything we wanted. We sketched out a quick design, and made our way to Home Depot for supplies.
This project could be completed in a weekend as it is a pretty simple design. There are also other design decisions you could make that vary from this tutorial! Here are some tips to make your life easier and also give you some project inspiration in case you want this bookshelf but made slightly differently.
|Hardware Store Department||Supplies Needed||Price We Paid For Total # of Pieces|
Four 1/2 inch Black Floor Flanges
Twenty 1/2 inch x 12 inch Black Nipple (Pipes)
Twenty 1/2 inch Black Couplings
Four 1/2 inch x 3 inch Black Nipple (Pipes)
Four 1x2 inch Black Iron Pipe Caps
Two 5/4 x 8 Ft Unfinished Pine Stair Treads, cut into six 32 inch pieces
3/4 Inch Forstner Drill Bit
1/2 inch Steel Rotary Rasp File
Wooster 2 in. Polyester Angle Sash Paint Brush
Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane
120 grit or higher sandpaper
$2 to $5
TOTAL COST OF PROJECT, LESS POWER TOOLS:
Before you can start drilling and assembling, everything will need a preliminary level of preparation, particularly the pipes and their accessories. The flanges we bought were a bit greasy so we washed them before using them. All of the pipes had price tag stickers that were taped on, and we had used acetone and sand paper to remove all of the sticky residue.
At this point, if you'd like the pipes to be another color other than what they are, after you get the price tags off you can spray paint them and let them dry. Same thing for all the connectors, caps, and flanges.
For the boards, you can get them pre-cut at Home Depot when you buy them. If you did not do that, you'll need to use a circle saw to cut them into 32 inch pieces. you'll end up with an extra board, which you can use for practice or testing your drill bits before you drill your holes. The particular board we used for this project was perfect. It's typically used for stairs, so it has a curved edge on one side and a flat edge on the other, which fit the look we were going for.
First, you'll need to measure and mark where you want your holes to be. This must be precise, or else you risk your bookshelf being lopsided and the pipes not matching up when you screw everything together.
The pipe that you're working with is a 1/2 inch thick—but that 1/2 inch refers to the inside of the pipe - not the outside. We used a 7/8 inch Forstner Bit to drill our holes, and it was just a tad too snug to fit the pipes in easily - but we couldn't move up to the 1 inch because it would be way too big. So, we brought in a rotary rasp file bit for the drill. It works just like a rotary tool or dremel, but without having to buy a dremel set because it fits into your drill. We used that to sand out the inside of the hole.
After your holes are cut, it's time to sand and finish your wood. We liked the way the pine looked without a stain, so we chose to just use semi-gloss polyurethane.
Start from the bottom and work your way up. This step is the fun part because you'll have a finished product in no time!
Now you've made your own industrial bookshelf, just like we did. If you did complete this project, I'd love to see pictures of how yours turned out. Leave me a comment if you liked this DIY Industrial Bookshelf Tutorial!
Shiwani on February 11, 2019:
Very nice and wise collection of words to describe the importance of topic.
Very grateful for this clearly written information! Thanks.
Interior Designer: http://www.udcinteriors.com
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on June 17, 2018:
Very inspiring article! I have some renos in mind and your tutorials have helped to flesh out the vision! Thank you.
Manuel Jaylo on June 12, 2018:
I AM GOING TO USE IT AS AN INSPIRATION TO BUILD A VARIANT VERSION THAT FITS MY OWN UNIQUE REQUIREMENTS (DESIGN, SPACE & MATERIALS TO BE STORED) - - AND BUDGET.
MANY THANKS, TORI.M.
RTalloni on June 11, 2018:
Such a nicely done post on this fun bookcase. Your guide with good pictures and tips work together to make up a useful DIY article. Learning from this allows anyone to design a project to suit their space and shelving needs.