Asa’s Fault

After talking with Asa Christiana for a few 360 Woodworking podcast about building projects using minimal tools and things found on the shelves of home-center stores, I decided to test his beliefs. (The first podcast went live today.)

I strolled up to my local store to walk the isles taking in what was there and what I could put to use in my woodworking or shop. Yea, that’s right. I don’t have anything else to do with my time! Besides, there is that age-old saying that you need to stop and smell the roses … or plumbing, electrical, dry wall and ceramic tile.

It was in the plumbing department where I found myself curiously staring at black iron pipe. Through my mind flashed a vision from a restaurant I stopped at somewhere in Louisville.

Who Doesn’t Need Shelving?

Shelving made from pipe. Why not? You can purchase pipe in shorter lengths. You also can pick up fittings. And it’s already threaded, which means that all the parts can be assembled without a torch, solder or a threading machine. (Those bad boys are beasts to work.)

I grabbed two sections of 24″ pipe, four pieces of 18″ pipe, four matching flanges to attach the unit to my shop wall and four 90 degree elbows. Total costs for what would become two shelves for storage was just north of $60.

At the shop I pulled whatever stickers off that I could, some of which would not give up and remain on my completed shelves. (Note to suppliers: Please make it possible to remove labels without wasting hours of the customers time.) I then wiped the parts with thinner to take away most of the oily feel.

Next was assembly. Screwing the pieces together was a snap. One flange and one elbow on each of the four 18″ lengths, then thread the 24″ lengths into the elbows. Done.

At the open wall, I found my studs and lagged the assemblies to the wall through the flanges, using a level to keep things plumb.

I spaced the sections 48″ apart from one another, found my shelf material, cut it at six feet and slipped them into the U-shaped, wall-mounted, black iron hangers. All that’s left is to decide what to store and where it fits on the shelves.

Thanks, Asa. I had fun discovering what was available at the stores. And I had fun putting together the pieces, although you did cost me money. Maybe next time I’ll build something with wood.

If you want more ideas from Asa Christiana, check out his website at

— Glen D. Huey

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4 thoughts on “Asa’s Fault

  1. So, how do you like the radio?

    I’m in the market for a new shop radio.

    1. Love the radio, Scott. I’ve had it for quite a while. Picked it up as soon as I returned from the event at which Bosch showed it for the first time.

  2. Very industrial chic.
    Only thing I’d add would be some kind of u-bolt or strap on the underside of the shelf so you can’t see-saw it off the pipe when something gets tossed on the end. Not saying I’ve ever done anything like that, but…

    1. I have to admit that thought never crossed my mind. Nice add. Thanks.

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