8 tips for building furniture out of pipe

Pipe furniture is really popular these days. In the laundry room, you saw how I used pipe fittings to build the hanging rack and towel bar. Along the way, I learned a few lessons that I’m going to pass on to you.

8 tips for building furniture out of pipe

1. Pipe fittings are really easy to work with. The pieces go together very quickly. Assembling the towel bar probably took all of 10 minutes. I loved lego as a kid (who am I kidding, I still do), and this was like revisiting my childhood.

Towel rack made out of pipe fittings

2. Pipe fittings are oily. The fittings come in black or galvanized options. I chose the black because it looks more rustic to me. However, the black coating rubs off really easily.

Oil and rust rubbed off of pipe fittings

Before I could do anything with the fittings, I had to clean them. Some people online recommended degreaser, which I’m sure would have worked. I didn’t have any so I tried 2 other options: wiping them down with vinegar (didn’t really work) and washing them with dish detergent. The washing worked. I dried the pipes with a rag and let them sit for 24 hours to make sure the threads and interior of the pipes were completely dry before I did anything with them.

Washing the oil off of pipe fittings

3. Pipe fittings come in different diameters. Pay attention to what diameter you choose, because different size pieces won’t screw together without special fittings. I chose the 1/2 inch size because it was a bit cheaper than 3/4.

4. Pipe fittings come in different lengths and connectors. You should be able to find the pieces you need for pretty much any project…

Black pipe fittings

5. … But if you can’t, the store staff can cut the pipe too. The cutting was one of the dirtiest operations I’ve ever seen. I felt bad for making the staff person get so oily from running the cutting machine. The result though was the perfect lengths of pipe. The machine will also put threads onto your pipe.

6. Pipe fittings don’t screw together fully. You’ll see the threads at each joint.

Screwing together pipe fittings

7. Drywall screws are good partners with pipe fittings. The pipe flanges attach to the walls with four screws. Since I chose black pipe, it made sense to use black screws. The coarse threads on the drywall screws dig into the wall and hold the pipe securely.

8. Attach the flanges to the wall first. Once your towel bar or hanging rack or whatever else you’re building is fully assembled, it can be hard to reach the screw holes in the flanges to attach your creation to the wall. However, attaching the flanges on their own is a piece of cake.

Tips for building furniture out of pipe

I elected not to paint my pipe fittings, although I’ve seen other projects online where people did. The finish isn’t pure black, but it’s a nice industrial dark grey–no sparkle here.

Just in case you’re interested in building your own towel bar or hanging rack, here are the pieces I used. I have to give credit for the hanging rack design to Angie over at Knick of Time. I’m not sure what pieces she used, but I think mine turned out pretty close. I spent a lot of time in the pipe fitting aisle at Home Depot. While my measurements may not be exactly the same as what you need, some of them might work for you and save you at least a bit of time.

Towel bar made out of pipeTowel bar

Dimensions: 10 3/4 inches long (from the outer edge of each flange) and projects 3 inches off the wall

  • 2 flanges
  • 2 elbows
  • 2 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 6-inch piece

Hanging rack

Dimensions: 50 inches long, hangs down 10 1/2 inches from the ceiling and projects 17 inches off the wall
Hanging rack made out of pipe

  • 4 flanges
  • 2 elbows
  • 2 Ts
  • 2 3 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 4-inch pieces
  • 2 15-inch pieces
  • 1 48-inch piece

And just in case laundry isn’t your thing, here are some of my other favourite pipe projects.

If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen furniture, lights, shelves and numerous other things made out of pipe fittings. They add a great industrial style for a pretty reasonable price.

Have you ever made anything out of pipe? Do you have any tips to share? Anyone want to make anything out of pipe? Do you like the rustic industrial look?

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