In the ongoing attempt to find space wherever we can, Dave and I found ourselves quite inspired when we stumbled upon this lovely on The Brick House: http://www.the-brick-house.com/2009/09/shelving-unit/
We loved the look of it, waiting with bated breath for the first chance we had to take this project head-on. Knowing it would take some precision, we planned like crazy - how many shelved should we make? What heights would they need to be? We measured our favorite soup cans to make sure we could stack two high, figured out how high off the ground the lowest shelf should be, and counted down to Spring Break. To get an idea of what we were going for, I mocked this guy up:
Pardon the bad Photoshopping (and the messy desk/table area). Ordinarily, you’d find an armoire full of dishes on the wall, and a makeshift pantry WAAAY over to the right (IKEA GORM). The plan: to move the armoire to where the desk is (middle right of photo), move the desk to where the GORM is, and move all the goods on the pantry to the new shelves. (Unfortunately, we found out that the armoire didn’t fit where the desk was, so we’ve had to put it in front of the window for now. We’ll see how it sits.)
Dave and I went to Home Depot to source our parts - mostly 1/2” galvanized pipe and 1”x10”-10 boards. Here’s what we walked out with:
- 1 66” pipe
- 5 18” pipes
- 3 14” pipes
- 4 12” pipes
- 4 10” pipes
- 14 8” nipples (yep, really what they’re called)
- 4 1”x10”-10 common boards
- 14 T-joints
- 13 elbows
- 7 flanges
Much love to Steve, the pipe guy at Home Depot, who cut pipe for us for at least an hour. He’s pretty much the best.
Once we got home, we set to work cutting down the boards…
…and spray painting the pipes a uniform black.
We also bored holes in the boards where we wanted the pipes to come through, then stained and sealed them with some leftover supplies (Light Oak from Ace Hardware, I think). After everything was the appropriate color, we left it all to dry and cure for the night.
The next morning, we hit the ground running, screwing pipes together and laying on the first board. Unfortunately, we noticed a problem right away. Do you see it?
Yep - the elbows - which the boards were supposed to rest on for support - stuck out WAY past the board, leaving it wobbly. When we picked up the 8” nipples, we hadn’t taken into account the extra length the t-joint and the elbow would add. So it was back to Home Depot for more nipples, this time 5” (and yes, we did snicker every time we made a shopping list).
When we got back home, we jumped back in. Everything was going great…
…until we noticed that a) the shelves were longer than the wall and b) the pipe we had cut for the top was too long. We had measured and remeasured, but had still come out wrong. So it was back to the backyard for me to recut and rebore the boards, and back to Home Depot for Dave to recut and rethread the 18” pipes to become 15” pipes (luckily for him, Steve was working again and he took care of it, no problem).
Putting it back together went faster than ever.
For the top shelf, we made a slight change from the original plan - the 66” pole stuck out far enough that we knew we would be tripping over it all the time, so we shortened it up to the doorway.
We were worried at first that it might not be strong enough to hold, but it held well on its own. We added an extra flange for some just-in-case support, then secured the top flanges to the ceiling for stability. Of course, the next thing to do was to fill the shelves:
We were able to empty the GORM, as well as our counter and parts of a couple cabinets, onto this thing. Plus - so darn pretty.
As a bonus pic, here’s where we moved the desk:
We added a shelf and moved the printer over to the desk (FINALLY) - it still needs to be organized, but it’s nice and cozy.
Next up: the bathroom.