Thursday, May 28, 2015

100' Faux Steelpipe Bookcase

100' Faux Steel Pipe Bookcase

After years of wanting to do a walled bookcase but wanting to go with the eventual Steam Punk theme of my basement I finally figured out a cost-effective way to accomplish it. The idea was to do a bookcase made entirely out of steel pipes. This bookcase required over 100 feet of piping so that would require about $1,500 in pipes alone.

I finally decided to use PVC connectors, floor flanges, and wooden dowels. This made the project cost about $300 with the primary cost being the flanges as they only come in steel. I used ¾” PVC with 1 1/8” dowel rods.

What the wall looked like to start.

I first affixed the 3/4" black steel floor flanges to the studs.

I then cut 2 and 3 inch dowel pieces to mount the PVC fittings before making measurements.

The rods were slightly too large to fit in the PVC so I had to use a rotary tool to shave the ends of the dowel rods down to fit inside the PVC.

Before gluing I made sure everything fit. I had to do this several times and adjust several cuts.

After painting and gluing.

Once all the pieces were connected measured, re-measured and sanded; I painted everything with Soft Gray Steel spray paint. I then secured the steel flanges to the studs in the wall and inset a cabinet screw through the dowel going into the flange to secure it to the stud. Then with a little Gorilla Glue, I glued all the pieces together and you see the finished project.

Lessons Learned: 
1. Instead of using the rotary tool to shave the ends of the dowels, I would use it to make the PVC fitting wider. It took a lot of careful work to get the PVC fittings to be straight and match the edge of the PVC. By widening the PVC opening you don't have to worry about the straight edges.

2. More flanges! Anywhere a PVC is not supported by a flange it sags a bit.

3. Make one row more than 4 inches from the wall. My school textbooks and yearbooks will not fit on the piping as it is too close to the wall. Make sure you have enough ti fill a row that is out because smaller books will not fit if it is too far out. Most other books do just fine with the 3-4 inch separation from the wall and I was able to fit about 95% of my collection on the pipes.