RH Inspired Industrial Desktop Bookrack

Not long ago, Restoration Hardware had this adorable, industrial desktop bookrack that I wanted. But of course, it was quite expensive, and now has been discontinued. Not being one to spend money on something that I believe I can make for a fraction of the cost, I decided that I would make my own. I have a lot of extra plumbing and structural piping laying around, so this looked like a good way to use some. I thought that I would share the results and the details on how I made it.

Industrial Desktop Bookrack – Materials…

The materials for this project all came from Lowe’s from their plumbing section. I am sure you are probably familiar with the way that people use the threaded industrial pipes to create decor. Well, these are right next to the threaded connectors, but they do not have threads.

Instead, these are what is known as structural piping. There are many brands (Kee Klamps are the most widely known), but Lowe’s offers SteelTrek brand. Rather than threads that require you to screw the pieces together, these have set screws (also known as grub screws). This means that you can fit the pipes and connectors together much more easily. It also means that making adjustments are easier.

For this project you will need:

  • 4 –  6″ pipes (non-threaded is best)
  • 4 – 6″ threaded pipes (AKA nipples)
  • 2 – 18″ pipes
  • 4 – 90 degree elbows fittings
  • 2 – 90 degree cross T’s fittings
  • 4 – 45 degree threaded fittings

All pieces are in 3/4″ size.

Industrial Desktop Bookrack – Instructions…

RH Inspired Industrial Desktop BookrackBegin by evenly fitting 4 of the 6″ pipes (2 threaded and 2 non-threaded) into one of the cross T fitting. Make adjustments as needed until you get the pipes to protrude by the same amount. Then, tighten down the set screws with an Allen wrench. Repeat the same process for the second T fitting. (you can use all threaded pipes if you prefer. The set screws will lock down on either. I just prefer the non-threaded in any location where I do not need to connect to threads).

I want to just to show you an up close view of the cross t that I used. They say an image is worth a thousand words, so this image should help explain a lot. You can see that the cross T has set screws which will tighten down on the pipe. These Ts have 6 pipe insertion points, but we will only use 4 of them.

Next, place  90 degree elbow at both ends of the two 18″ pipes. Again, make sure that the pipes are set to the same depth, and then, tighten down the set screws.

Now, connect the other ends of the 90 degree elbows to the top 6″ pipes from the 1st step. Just as needed before tightening the set screws.


RH Inspired Industrial Desktop Bookrack

Finally, the  45 degree elbows will serve as the feet.  I used threaded pipes and connectors here, only because the SteelTek brand did not have 45 degree elbow, and I wanted those for the feet. Twist the 45 degree elbows on to the bottom of the 6″ pipes that are connected to the cross Ts.  If you want, you can glue some felt to the bottom of the elbows to prevent them from scuffing up your desktop. FYI : This weathered console table is also a Restoration Inspired piece. See how to build it here!

Final Thoughts…

These look really nice in a boys bedroom or in a rustic office. You can paint them any color, but my son preferred the unfinished silver. Since this is for his room, I have left it as is. For extra support, an 18″ pipe can be added to the center of the Ts. 🙂



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