DIY black iron pipe garment rack
The plans below are for a fairly large black iron pipe double bar garment rack measuring about 8 feet wide and 6 1/2 feet tall. The good thing is that you can easily scale it down to any size you want and even be creative with different pipe and shelving combinations. The outcome is a sturdy and spacious clothing rack with enough storage for 2 full wardrobes. You can use the bottom platform to store shoes or totes and you can hang your longer garments (like dresses) on the ends. This industrial look wardrobe is not only practical, but will become a beautiful feature in any room.
Here are the materials you’ll need:
1 – 72″ pipe
- 4 – 36″ pipes
- 2 – 35″ pipes
- 2 – 8″ pipes
- 2 flanges
- 4 tees
- 2 end caps
- 1 union
- 4 swivel 3″ caster wheels (2 lockable)
- 2 – 2″ x 10″ x 8′
- 1 – 2″ x 6″ x8′
- 16 – 2″ round head screws (#12)
- 8 – 2″ flat head screws (#8)
I personally had trouble finding black iron pipe (gas pipes) here in Montreal. If you live in another province you’ll probably have better luck. I know they sell standard lengths at Lowes for example. Here in Montreal, I was able to find them at Quincaillerie Notre-Dame (Rona). They cut the pieces you want to the desired length and thread them too.
Tip: I used 1/2″ pipe but you can use 3/4″ if you prefer. I went with 1/2″ for 2 reasons: first because it’s less expensive than 3/4″ and second because it’s strong enough to hold all your clothes. Trust me, these pipes are solid! If you currently own a store bought rack (like the ones sold at Walmart or Canadian Tire), there is no comparison.
You’ll also need the following tools:
- Biscuit joiner & #20 (large) biscuits
- Wood glue
- Bar clamps
Step 1: Assemble the platform
Once you’ve gathered all your materials, the first step is to assemble the wood platform. I used a biscuit joiner for increased strength and stability. If you don’t have a joiner, just skip this step. Instead simply apply glue along the inside edge of both 2×10’s and glue them together using bar clamps to let them dry overnight. Once cured, use an orbital sander to sand the platform. You can also stain the wood if you’d like, but I left it untouched.
The most crucial thing to keep in mind when building a large rack is stability. The base will need to be wide enough so it won’t topple over. Hence the need for two 2″ x 10″ wide planks and I even recommend 2″ x 12″. You can go wider if you want, but I found it would make it difficult to reach clothes with too wide a base. Another trick to ensure stability is to make sure you install the casters as close to the edges as possible (see photo at step 3).
Step 2: Assemble the iron pipes
You’ve probably noticed that the black iron pipes are kinda grimey. The first thing you’ll want to do is take a rag and rub them down vigorously. After wiping them a few times they should be good to go. Nevertheless, just to be safe you might want to avoid hanging any white clothes on the very end of the rack against the pipes.
Because we are dealing with a double garment rack with one pipe across the top and one pipe across the middle, it is important to assemble the pipes in the correct order. Simply hand screw the pieces together by following the diagram shown above.
The tricky part will be assembling the middle horizontal bar. After assembling the outer frame, connect the 35″ pipe to the middle left tee and the other 35″ pipe to the middle right tee. Insert the union in between to fill the gap. Use two pipe wrenches to tighten the union until the union and both pipes are snug. It’s a good idea to cover the union with a rag to avoid leaving any marks with the wrench.
Step 3: Attach the caster wheels
With the pipes now assembled you can measure the distance between the two flanges, center to center. Using this measure, mark your platform so that the flanges are centered. Don’t screw the flanges in just yet. First you’ll need to mount the casters to the bottom of the platform.
From your 2×6, cut three pieces each measuring 19″ in length. On the bottom side of your new double width plank, screw on the 2″x 6″s perpendicular to the planks. You’ll want to position one in the middle and align the 2 others with where the flanges will meet the wood platform.
Next, use the #12 round head screws to attach the caster wheels to the 2×6 boards. Align the casters with the outside edge of the platform in order to maximize stability.
Step 4: Assemble both pieces
Finally, screw the flanges into the platform. You’re ready to hang your clothes and enjoy your beautiful new clothing rack.