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Industrial Appliance Cart | Killer b. Designs



Industrial Appliance Cart

YES! I’m finally back in the land of the living, also known as those with a reliable internet connection. We finished up this project on Wednesday, but I haven’t been able to post it until today. I’m participating in Design Build Love’s Pinterest Challenge, and couldn’t wait to get started! Here was my inspiration:


Cool, huh? It’s an amazing industrial cart, singing to the tune of $400+. Yet having used galvanized pipe on a furniture project before (Bestie C’s swedish bed) I knew this was something I could tackle for much less. The total cost for my project was $200, which is the most we’ve ever spent on a furniture project! But let me tell you, the results are worth it.

It’s made out of 2×12 pine, 1/4″ galvanized pipe and floor flanges from the plumbing section of the hardware store.

Projects like this are a very easy to put together, and require minimum effort. Ready to make your own? Here’s how!

• 4 casters *optional* ($10 each for all-metal 300lb bearing casters. I wanted these to be sturdy!) – $40
• 32 galvanized 1/2″ floor flanges – (buy them at Ron Mueller’s website for SO MUCH CHEAPER than the big box stores, $1.97 each) $70 with shipping and tax
• 16 galvanized 1/2″ pipe at 18″ tall – (buy them at Ron Mueller’s website for $3.63 each) – $70 with shipping and tax
• 2x12x16′ pine board – $15
• 1 box of 1 1/4″ screws – $5
• sandpaper, stain or paint

Step 1: Cut your boards to size, mine is 36″ long

The beauty of this amazing project is that all you need is a drill. Since we wanted 5 shelves that are 3′ wide, we chose a 16′ board to save money and materials. Obviously I couldn’t fit it in my SUV, so we chose to get it cut down at Lowe’s. 75 cents in cuts later, we had five perfectly square 3′ shelves. So easy!

Step 2: Sand then stain or paint your boards

Since we’re using plumbing to build this sucker, it’s much easier to do the finishing ahead of time. I used the new Rustoleum Ultimate Wood Stain, and let me tell you, it is fabulous. It goes on smoothly, dries quickly, and you really do only need one coat to achieve the color on the can. I never pre-condition my wood, which kicks me in the butt sometimes, but this time it worked out well. I sanded them with 150 grit paper, and then stained it because I wanted it to be a little more rough and industrial than smooth and sleek.

Step 3: Attach your casters

My casters aren’t functional since we have a baby in the house (i.e. we screwed this sucker into the studs with L-brackets) but you can use them if you like. I mostly just liked the look, so we decided to use them. All you have to do is line them up, then drill in your screws in each of the 4 pre-drilled holes. Easy peasy!

Step 4: Attach your lower flanges

Again, line ’em up and screw ’em in. Easy as pie.

Step 5: Screw in your pipe

When screwing in your pipe, take care that they are all in at the same depth and stay straight and level. This is the toughest part of the project. Sometimes the threading isn’t very exact, so you have to unscrew a little or hammer some straight.

Step 6: Screw on the top flanges

Check for level and straightness again. It doesn’t hurt to be a little picky on these two steps!

Step 7: Screw the top flanges into the upper shelf

We did this from below because it was easier to make sure everything lines up straight. Make sure it’s all properly placed on your board, then drill in those screws!

Step 8: Lather, rinse, repeat

Repeat steps 4-7 until you have all five shelves finished. It won’t take exceptionally long, it’s just a bit tedious to ensure that things are lining up properly. Not all the threads and pipes are perfect, so odds are you will be doing a little hammering and finessing. In the end, all that time will be worth it. This took us about 2 hours to put together, but we were also on baby duty

The drier was running, so the noise and vibrations made for a good time. And no worries, she was always supervised in her Bumbo chair. No tumbling off elevated surfaces. I was like the surgical assistant, handing over screws or flanges when requested in between replacing tossed pacifiers. Here’s your finished product.

It’s so pretty!

The width lets it tuck perfectly behind the little wall jut-out from our kitchen door. It’s a bit top-heavy, so if you’re storing heavy things and have little ones I would recommend securing it to the wall.

See our L-brackets? One 2″ screw into a stud and one 1 1/4 into our shelves. There are 4 total brackets on the bookcase, and I climbed on them myself to ensure sturdiness.

I seem to have way too many small appliances, and I can tell you I’m thrilled to have them somewhere that they’re not hogging the cabinet space! Or my counters. It’s so handy. They’re easily accessible, yet no longer cluttered.

It’s not the cheapest project in the world, but it sure is pretty. And considering it’s half the cost of the retail price, I think it’s worth it. The added storage is pretty swell, but the fact that it’s attractive to boot is what makes it priceless! Oh, and just in case you’re wondering about my painted washer and dryer…

Still working like a champ! The paint has nary a chip after 3 months and dozens of loads of laundry. I still love ’em!


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  1. Amanda

    It looks great! I love the industrial look! :)

  2. Allie

    Oh my gosh, thank you so much for this idea! I have been complaining to anyone who will listen that we just have too darn much kitchen stuff and not enough space for it! I’m going to see if we have room to put something like this in there!

  3. e.louise {Liz}

    I love your laundry room! It is gorgeous and that shelf just completes it :)

  4. Catherine

    I LOVE this! It’s a bit too expensive for me right now (and probably too heavy to be moved around a lot) but I still love it. I’d probably like to spray paint the pipe parts too- make them into a darker steel color.

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      It’s actually super light to move, I was incredibly surprised. That’s why we ended up anchoring it to the wall, to avoid tipping over

  5. Hannah

    Fantastic job, love it just as it is.

  6. Justine

    This turned out so great! Great job!

  7. Autum

    OMG! OK, so this is probably going to be a long comment. I found my way to your blog this morning via Get Off My Internets. I was so impressed with the reply you posted to the comments about your blog that I had to come over and check out your site.
    I think I clicked a link to the post about your metallic corner. I had to step away from the computer to show my husband what I had in mind for a table for my sewing room. I want to build a wall to wall table to serve as a work station for two sewing machines and the computer. It will have a wood top and galvanized pipe for legs. I had priced the pipe and fittings at Lowes and after we did some measuring it became evident this was going to be a very pricey project. My husband called a plumbing supply place to price the pipe and flanges there. So, the guy calls us back with the prices and I thank him and place my order. Cheaper than Lowes, but still slightly painful. I come back to the computer and the next link I click on your blog is this one. Gah!! Why didn’t I read this first? I so would have ordered from Ron Mueller’s website. The guy at the plumbing place is cutting the pipe to our specifications or I would have called back to cancel the order.
    Anyway, I’m so glad I found this, even if it was a little late to save money on my table. I love the cart and may try to make one myself. After I recover from what the “simple, inexpensive” work table will cost.
    Sorry for the long comment. I just wanted to say I’m impressed with your shelf and with how you handle snarky comments. I’ll be adding you to my reader so maybe next time I won’t be late reading about your cool projects.

    1. Thank you! This comment totally made my day. Honestly I’m fine with the snark when it comes to my projects. Coming from an art background, you learn quick that it’s nothing personal, tastes just vary widely and while some think your work sucks, others think it’s brilliant. You have to take the good with the bad. Besides, I’m the first to admit when a project goes wrong, and there are some projects that I post that aren’t exactly my taste, but the process is useful. Not everybody in the world is going to need a gun rack, but a secret bookcase door? That’s pretty cool. And while there are a lot of people who think dead animals aren’t decor, the hubs’ antler mount has been pinned enough that I know people out there like the idea. So, it’s a give and take. The only thing that bugs me is when assumptions start flying like they’re truth, and that’s when I have to respond. If you’re going to snark on me, at least make sure it’s for actual reasons! Anyway, thanks again for the kind words!

      Also, Ron’s was great on price and speed, but the threading was a PITA when it came to fitting the pipes together. Nothing was sitting straight, so it took a lot of hammering and bending to get things at some semblance of right angles. But, you get what you pay for. I think it’s great that you’re using a local company, because they need the support too! Good luck with your project!

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