How to Make Wall Mounted Shelves from Copper Pipe

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON-VO:
ONCE A YEAR TAMPA, FLORIDA IS OVERRUN BY THE WILD BUCANNEERS OF THE PIRATE SHIP JOSE GASPAR.  THE GASPARILLA FESTIVAL, A MARDI GRAS-LIKE CELEBRATION, DATES BACK TO 1904, BUT DURING TODAY’S HOUSECALL HERE, I SHOULD BE PERFECTLY SAFE FROM MARAUDING PIRATES.
I’M ON MY WAY TO THE HOME OF ONE OF TAMPA’S FINEST.  MEET ERIC AND DEANNA MULLINS.  NOW ERIC OWNS A SMALL BUSINESS AND DEANNA IS A VETERAN TAMPA POLICE OFFICER.  THEIR SON MATTHEW IS NOT ONLY AN OLDER BROTHER TO BABY MICHAEL; HE’S ALSO A LEGO ENTHUSIAST AND A LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER WITH A HUGE CAP COLLECTION.
TODAY HE AND I ARE GOING TO BUILD SOME WALL SHELVES IN HIS BEDROOM THAT SHOULD ACCOMMODATE BOTH PASSIONS.
Ron: 
Alright Matthew, so where we gonna put all these shelves man?

Matthew: 
Up on the wall.

Ron: 
Up here?

Matthew: 
Ah--

Ron: 
All the way around the room?

Matthew: 
Well, not all the way around the room, all around the painted walls.

Ron: 
Just the painted walls.

Matthew: 
Yeah.

Ron: 
So from here over to here. 

Ron:
You ever use tools before?  Never?

Matthew: 
Ah, well yeah I have.
Ron: 
What about power saws?

Matthew: 
No.

Ron: 
Yeah, would you like to try a power saw?

Matthew: 
Yeah.

Ron: 
Are you afraid?

Matthew:
No.

Ron: 
Okay, you stick with me by the end of the day I'm gonna make a carpenter out of you.

Matthew: 
Okay but, but you know I might drop the power saw and it might cut me.

Ron: 
No, I'm not gonna let that happen.

Matthew: 
That's one thing.

Ron: 
I'm not gonna let that happen.  Okay, you with me?

Matthew: 
Yeah.

Ron: 
Let's go man.  Come on.

Ron: 
Alright guys, now here's what I'm thinking about.  Matthew take a look at this.  We're gonna make your shelves up from some brackets just like this one right here.  See this…

Matthew:
Bracket.

Ron:
…this kind of curvy shaped thing here.  And we're gonna make those out of this material, this is called MDF.  Medium density fiberboard, alright?  We're gonna cut those out, you and I are gonna do that together.  And then for the shelves instead of putting solid shelves in here, we're going to use pieces of copper pipe, like this, three on the top one down below.  So you can hang your hats and jackets on that.  Sound good?  Think that'll work, you like the looks of it?

Okay, alright Eric, since this is gonna get attached to the wall, if you don't mind, I'm gonna send you and uh Mikey inside where it's warm, and just start marking the wall studs for me about 18 inches down from the ceiling.  Mark each one and where we're gonna be putting the shelving.

Eric: 
Okay.

Ron: 
And we're gonna get to work out here at cutting out this bracket.

Eric: 
Very good, come on buddy.

RON-VO:
SINCE WE NEED TO BUILD A DOZEN OR SO IDENTICAL BRACKETS, WE’RE GOING TO CREATE A TEMPLATE FOR THEM USING MY SCALE DRAWING.
WE APPLY A SPRAY ADHESIVE TO THE BACK OF THE DRAWING THEN PRESS IT IN PLACE ALONG THE EDGE OF THE MDF.
Ron: 
Now this curved part right in here?

Matthew: 
Yeah.

Ron: 
Now we're going to cut this out, we're going to cut right through the paper.

(SOT: JIGSAW)

Ron:
Alright, now this is gonna be our master template. 

RON-VO:
WITH THE BRACKET TEMPLATE CLAMPED IN THE WORK BENCH, MATTHEW REMOVES THE SAW MARKS WITH A PIECE OF SANDPAPER WRAPPED AROUND A DOWEL.  NOW WE’RE READY TO CUT THE REMAINING BRACKETS.
WHILE I HOLD THE TEMPLATE ON TOP OF ANOTHER PIECE OF MDF, MATTHEW TRACES THE OUTLINE.  
Ron:
Okay, Matthew saw how it was done.  Okay, you ready to try this yourself? Alright, here's the trigger right here this red thing.

Matthew: 
Yeah.

Ron: 
So, get a hold of the saw, this hand up here.  Keep it flat.  Okay, ready.

Deanna: 
Can you see?

Matthew: 
Yeah.

MUSIC
(SOT: SAW)

Ron: 
I'm gonna let go you're on your own.

(SOT: SAW)

Deanna: 
Okay.  There you go.

Ron: 
Okay Matthew.  What a nice job.  Huh?  Tired?

Matthew: 
Yeah.

Ron: 
Yeah you were a little tense there right?  Now, you know the more you use this tool, you know we've only got to do about 15 more of these. 

(SOT: SAW)

RON-VO:
WELL DEANNA GIVES MATTHEW A LITTLE BREAK ON THE JIGSAW, WHILE ERIC USES A PORTABLE DRILL PRESS TO BORE FOUR HOLES THROUGH EACH BRACKET.
THE DRILL PRESS GUARANTEES THE HOLES WILL BE PERPENDICULAR TO THE SURFACE OF THE BRACKET.  NOW THIS IS CRITICAL SINCE THE COPPER PIPE MUST RUN STRAIGHT THROUGH. THIS FIRST BRACKET WILL SERVE AS THE TEMPLATE FOR ALL THE OTHERS, ASSURING ALL THE HOLES WILL BE IN ALIGNMENT.
Ron: 
Now we have to figure out a way to attach this to the wall.  Can you hand me a piece of that wood?  What we're gonna do is take some of this material and we're gonna cut it into short links, we're gonna mount it to the back of the bracket like this.  And then we'll bore through this and go into the wall. 

(SOT: SAW)
RON-VO:
ERIC AND MATTHEW CUT THE BACKER BOARDS WITH A MITER SAW EQUIPPED WITH A STOP BLOCK WHICH ALLOWS THEM TO CUT EACH PIECE TO EXACTLY THE SAME LENGTH WITHOUT RE-MEASURING EACH TIME.
(SOT: SAW)

Ron: 
So we've been making some good progress, we got our bracket cut out, holes bored.  Now we're about to attach this little plate on the back.

Deanna: 
Okay.

Ron: 
And Matthew will get a drilling lesson here.  You say you know how to drill, but you haven't actually done it before right?

Matthew: 
No.

Ron: 
This is the first time for you.

Matthew: 
Yeah.

Ron: 
Got your glasses on, okay.  Now I’ve given you some little marks right here.


Matthew: 
Yeah.

Ron: 
Gonna put three holes through here, here you go.  Here's the trigger right here.

Matthew: 
I know.

Ron: 
Want to go straight down now, nice and straight.  Right there okay, whenever you're ready. 

(SOT: DRILL)

Ron:
Bring it out.  Now, that was great.  This time, put this hand up on here, so you can push down a little more.  Okay?

Matthew: 
Okay. 

(SOT: DRILL)

Ron: 
You got it.

(SOT: DRILL)

Matthew: 
Ooops.

Ron: 
Well, see, that’s why you can’t hold it there. 

(SOT: DRILL)

Eric: 
Very nice.


RON-VO:
NEXT WE INSTALL A COUNTERSINK BIT THAT WILL CREATE A CONE-SHAPED HOLE ALLOWING THE SCREWHEADS TO BE RECESSED BELOW THE SURFACE AND EVENTUALLY CONCEALED AFTER THE BRACKETS ARE ATTACHED TO THE WALL.
(SOT: DRILL) 

Matthew:
Ooh, that was good!

Ron: 
I think we got a, a real woodworker in your son here.

Eric: 
Well I hope so.

RON-VO:
NEXT, I CLAMP THE BRACKET BACKSIDE UP IN THE WORKBENCH AND APPLY A BEAD OF GLUE, THAT MATTHEW SPREADS EVENLY WITH A SMALL BRUSH.
Ron:
Now here's that backer board.

RON:
WE CENTER THE BACKER BOARD ON THE BRACKET…AND MATTHEW DRIVES IN A COUPLE OF SCREWS TO ATTACH THE TWO TOGETHER.
Ron: 
Alright, now look at this.  This is your first bracket right here huh?

Matthew: 
Yep.

RON-VO:
ERIC AND MATTHEW MOVE ON TO THE BRACKET FINISHING STAGE WITH A CAN OF SPRAY PAINT.
Eric: 
Well you're not a painter, you're a carpenter but not a painter okay?

Matthew: 
Not really.

RON-VO:
WELL MATTHEW MASTERED THE POWER TOOLS BUT SPRAY PAINTING WILL REQUIRE A BIT MORE PRACTICE.  DAD FINISHES THE PAINTING AND WE MOVE BACK INTO THE BEDROOM TO LAY OUT THE SHELVES.
FIRST, WE USE A FOUR FOOT LEVEL TO DRAW A STRAIGHT AND LEVEL LINE ACROSS THE WALL AT THE HEIGHT OF OUR SHELVES.
NEXT, I USE A SHORTER TWO-FOOT LEVEL TO EXTEND THE STUD MARKS ERIC DREW EARLIER, DOWN TO OUR SHELF LINE.  FINALLY, WITH THE BRACKETS LAID OUT IN FRONT OF EACH STUD, WE BEGIN PASSING THE COPPER PIPE THROUGH THE HOLES IN EACH BRACKET.
Ron:
Coming to you Matthew.

Matthew: 
Okay.

Ron: 
You got it?

Matthew: 
Yep.

Ron: 
Now our next piece, last piece actually.

Matthew: 
Yep.

Ron: 
Okay, good.

Ron: 
Now, so that's one shelf.  Let's ah, get ready to put this up on the wall guys.

Ron:
Now to put this up, all we have to do is put that backer block over the stud, the top of it at the 18 inch line that we drew earlier.  This is a 2-1/2 inch screw, long enough to go through the wall board, and into the stud.

(SOT: DRILL) 

RON-VO:
NOW YOU CAN REALLY SEE HOW THOSE COUNTER SINK HOLES KEEP THE SCREW HEADS BENEATH THE SURFACE.
Ron:
Now to join the ends of these pipes together right here in the corner, we're gonna use one of these 90 degree elbows.  This is a common copper pipe fitting.  So Eric if you'd slip these on, put it on one end, then slide the other end in. 

RON-VO:
NEXT, WE CUT OFF THE EXCESS FROM EACH PIPE USING A PIPE CUTTER.  THIS SIMPLE-TO-USE TOOL IS ESPECIALLY HANDY IN HARD-TO-REACH AREAS LIKE THIS, IT SNAPS OVER THE PIPE AND A CUTTING WHEEL INSIDE SLICES THROUGH AS THE CUTTER IS ROTATED.
FINALLY WE INSTALL COPPER CAPS ON THE ENDS OF THE PIPES AND OUR SHELVES ARE COMPLETE.
Ron: 
That was a long day buddy wasn't it?

Matthew: 
Yeah.

Ron: 
You tired?

Matthew: 
Yes.

Ron: 
Yeah.  You did a good job though, what was your favorite tool?

Matthew: 
The screwdriver.

Ron: 
The electric screwdriver?

Matthew: 
Yeah.

Ron: 
The, like the drill?

Matthew: 
Yeah.


Ron: 
Yeah you did a great job with that.  You did a good job with all of them.  You happy with the shelves?

Matthew: 
Yeah.

Ron: 
I’ve got an idea for you though.  I had such a good time working with you, I think we should build one of these for your brother Mikey, what do you say?

Matthew: 
Today?

Ron: 
Yeah.

Matthew: 
No.  It'll take all day.

Ron: 
Ah, you've had enough huh?

Matthew: 
Yeah.

Ron: 
I'll come back sometime we'll do it, alright?

Matthew: 
Okay, maybe when he's four.

Ron: 
When he's four.

Matthew: 
Yeah.


RON-VO:
WELL THESE SHELVES ARE A HANDSOME ALTERNATIVE TO MORE CONVENTIONAL WOODEN ONES AND PERFECT FOR A BOY’S ROOM.  YOU KNOW …  IF TODAY IS  ANY INDICATION, I HAVE A FEELING  MATTHEW IS GOING TO GROW UP TO BE A PRETTY HANDY GUY WITH PLENTY OF HIS OWN UNIQUE IDEAS.

Learn how to build and install a wall-mounted shelf; unique design features copper pipe shelving held in place with wood brackets.

Ron stopped off in Tampa, Florida at the request of Eric and Deanna Mullins whose older son Matthew is not only quite a lego enthusiast but also a little league baseball player with a huge cap collection. The Mullins asked Ron if he could help Matthew build some wall shelves in his bedroom that could accommodate both his passions.