Fresh Build: Industrial Shelving Cart

Meet the latest resident of my kichen, an Industrial shelving cart on wheels built of wood and galvanized plumbing pipes.


I fell in love with one I had seen on pinterest and could not get it out of my mind. The top shelf would be the perfect storage for the oversized and extremely-ugly-microwave-that won’t-die, and it’s cousin the toaster oven.
The lower shelves would be perfect to hold produce in little baskets.
I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need one more piece of furniture, that I could just repurpose something else. A few weeks of living with ‘something else’ proved that I would indeed be building this cart.

This is the kind of project that I love: quick and easy!
It is made of:

3 – 2×12  (4ft lengths) pine boards
8 – 1/2” x 12” Galvanized pipe nipples
16 – 1/2” galvanized pipe flanges
4 – casters
about a million screws
Total Cost without the casters (already had on hand): $80


Four of these these things are not like the other… Why? because they came from a previous project.
Aaaand I was
a)too cheap to buy new ones (have you priced out metal lately? Gawd!)
b)too lazy to strip off the old paint. But wuteva.

I think we’ve established that I’m lazy, impatient, and prone to shortcuts,  especially when it comes to things like, say, waiting for paint to dry.
I wanted to age the wood because plain new wood= yawn…

I didn’t have the patience to make my special aging mix…that takes days.
I certainly didn’t want to paint this piece. I wanted an aged look to the wood. Lately I find myself in lust with aged wood.
(I have real aged wood in one of my upcoming projects, so stay tuned.)

So, like I was saying I wanted an aged wood look to this piece, so I came up with something pretty simple using my favorite wax and stain combo.


I went to work mixing a good amount of both together. Now, I don’t have a scientific formula for this, just eyeball measurements. I mixed a certain amount of wax, with a certain amount of stain, till I got what you see in the jar on the right. Experiment till you find a saturation of color you like.

I then applied one coat of the wax/stain combo to the wood, using an old trouser sock (yeah I hate those, but they’re handy for staining wood) I made sure to really rub the stain into the wood so it would sink into the nooks and crannies instead of just glossing over them. That’s what makes the wood look more aged.


Seethe difference? The best part of this? I could go right into my favorite part, the build. No waiting for the stain to dry, no waiting to apply the wax.  Mission accomplished in one easy step.


After staining/waxing all 3 boards, then came the fun part: Assembly.

1. Work from the bottom up, start with the casters.


2. Flip over the board, so the casters are on the bottom, then attach he first set of flanges and pipes.


The threads can be a little tricky on the pipes, so check for square.

3. Layer on the shelves, lather, rinse, repeat…

et voila!


When I planned this shelf, I thought 2 shelves would be plenty. I very quickly discovered that I need at least one more, so the plan is to add add 4 foot pipe sections to make an extra tall shelf to have enough clearance for the microwave and a shelf basket I plan to put under the top shelf.

And there ya have it folks, an easy peasy shelf that can be built in one afternoon.