Saturday Morning Workshop: How To Build Industrial Bookends

Build these industrial bookends to spice up your bookshelf or desk and learn a cool hardware "aging" tip, too.


An hour or less




Less than $20


Bookends are an easy way to break up space and add character to any bookcase. These industrial bookends are simple to build; you'll only need a drill and saw. Personalize them to your taste with a different species of wood, stain or even paint. We used oak, finished with a Golden Oak stain, and black steel parts.

Tools Required

  • Drill/driver
  • Saw

Materials Required

  • 1x6 Board
  • 2-in. trim-head screws
  • 3/4-in. 90-Degree Elbow
  • 3/4-in. Floor Flange
  • 3/4-in. Wood Screws
  • 3/4-in. x 2-1/2 in. Nipple

Project step-by-step (4)

Step 1

Assemble the bases & uprights

Industrial Bookshelf Assemble

Cut the bases (6-1/2-in.) and uprights (7-1/4-in.) to length from the 1×6 board. Butt each base into an upright and attach using wood glue and 2-in. trim head screws.

Step 2

Assemble the pipe braces

Industrial Bookshelf Black Steel Parts

Clean the black steel parts with acetone or mineral spirits to remove the anti-rust coating. Thread the parts together as shown to make the pipe braces.

Step 3

Blacken the wood screw heads

Industrial Bookends Blue the Hardware

Dip the screw heads in gun bluing solution to blacken them. Then rinse the screws in clean water and dry them with a paper towel (wear rubber gloves and goggles for this step).

Step 4

Attach the pipe braces

Industrial Bookshelf Fasten

Clamp and fasten the pipe braces to the base/upright assemblies using the blackened 3/4-in. screws. That’s it!

Industrial Bookshelf Lead