How to Make a Gas Pipe Wall Shelf

We wanted to create a simple, industrial looking shelf that would fit well in a white subway tiled wall. We decided that ¾ black gas pipe would be a perfect fit for our design, and once complete, we would paint the pipe a high gloss black.
Start with measuring the space where the shelving will be installed. [Length, height and width]. You will want to determine the number and width of shelves. Here are some details to consider: Number of shelves, Width of shelves, Depth of shelves, Height of unit, Wiring considerations, Mounting considerations, Obstructions such as light switches, thermostats or outlets. When thinking about shelf width, keep in mind shelf sagging or deflection. The thicker your shelf, generally the stronger it is, and the further apart shelf supports need to be.The longer the shelf, the more it will deflect; the shorter the shelf, the stiffer it will be. It’s always a good idea, when installing a gas pipe wall shelf, or other heavy items to a wall, to install them into wall studs or solid blocking. Since wall studs never seem to line up where you need them, we opted to install solid blocking in the open stud bays when the kitchen was gutted.
We purchased a 7-foot, 2x10 pine board that was recycled from the Boston Rubber Shoe Company building built in 1883. We paid $100 for it.
Prior to assembling our gas pipe -Clean the pipes with acetone. When dry wrap the threads with tape. Once protected I spray painted them with a Rustoleum high gloss black paint. Paint all metal parts black.
Painting Tip: Use 3/8” dowels or pipe as a spray rack. Suspended the rods over a clean and empty trash barrel, insert the pipe and any nipple fittings over the dowel. The dowel allows you to spin the pipe as you spray paint keeping your parts from touching any surfaces while the paint dries.We designed the shelf so it has ¾” pipe couplings under each shelf to support the shelf.
Tip: Once painted, assemble pipes and shelf and lay on a level flat surface. Adjust the connections and wall flanges so the flange touches the flat surface and is in same place as the back shelf edge. Tip: Mark the center of the wall space and the center of the shelf as reference marks. Also place a level on the pipes and ensure the vertical pipes are plumb prior to marking the holes.
Mark all of the holes with a marker and use a masonry bit in my drill and pre-drilled 16 mounting holes through my tiles. I used a 1/8” glass/ceramic bit to start all of the holes and then a ¼” bit to enlarge the holes. Use a larger drill bit than the shank of your fasteners to avoid cracking tiles.
I again used the temporary shelf to hold the “weight” of the shelf unit while I focused on the fasteners and mounting application. I used care not to over tighten or place too much torque on the fasteners to avoid cracking the tile.
Fastening Tip: Use a level on the wood shelving and on the pipes [magnetic torpedo level works great] to ensure everything is square and level. Once the shelf was installed we used an artists brush to paint the screw heads black.
+