You can make rugged “industrial style” shelves using support brackets made of galvanized pipe. The shelf brackets shown were made from 3/4-inch threaded galvanized steel pipe, floor flanges, and end caps. The shelves can be cut from 2x lumber and distressed for extra “rustic” character then stained to your preference.
The shelf panels shown are made from standard 2x10 boards. Each bracket is made of one 10-in. pipe nipple (a nipple is a short piece of pipe with a male pipe thread connection at each end), an end cap, and a 3-1/2-in. floor flange. I settled on using 3/4-in. pipe because it had a strong, sturdy look. Each of the 30-in. shelves required two brackets, but your shelf length can vary.
The shelf brackets are built from 3/4” galvanized pipe, end caps, and floor flanges.
First step: Wash the pipe components to remove any grime or oil, then spray-paint them with a metal paint. Rustoleum offers a few textured paint options such as a “hammered finish” to give the brackets more character. We even painted our screw heads to match. The brackets simply screw together with threaded joints.
Determine the height and location you want for the shelves on the wall. Then, mark the wall studs at the shelf location.
Next, measure downward 3/4 inch. Locate the flanges over the studs if possible. Each flange has four screw holes. Orient the flanges so the top and bottom screws align over the wall studs. Mark the top screw-hole location. Use a bubble level to mark a corresponding fastener hole for the second shelf bracket. Once the top screws are marked, use the flange-template to mark all other screw locations. Repeat this procedure for all shelf brackets.
Fasten the top and bottom screws through the flanges into the wall studs using heavy-duty wood screws. Note that the top and bottom stud screws of the flanges will carry the weight of the shelves, although you might opt to fill in the other two holes with screws for decorative purposes and a completed appearance.
If studs aren’t where you need them, then use a couple of toggle bolts for a secure hold to the drywall.
If you fasten the shelves according to these instructions, they'll have plenty of holding power for whatever you'd like to display, such as this 6-year old boy.