Every time we did a project in the kitchen, we had a whole new appreciation for the items we stored in the cupboards and displayed on the counters.
But some things had to go – our warped frying pans and badly-scratched, non-stick pots knew their time was up!
When you’ve done various kitchen improvements, you start thinking differently too – you’re ready to try new things.
Our biggest change was to switch to cast iron pots and pans.
This type of cookware is affordable, lasts a very long time if you take care of them, and they’re versatile – you can even put them in the oven!
But because we have very little storage space for pans, we decided to build a pan storage rack next to the stove.
The other challenge was that this rack needed to be sturdy (cast iron pans are heavy) and we also wanted a shelf to store other pans/dutch ovens.
After some planning, we created our very first industrial pan storage rack with a hefty, wooden shelf resting on a pipe support.
Here is how it looks:
You’re going to love this thing! All the pans fit comfortably and are within reach when we’re ready to cook.
Let’s show you how to build your own
DIY INDUSTRIAL PAN STORAGE RACK
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- 4 – 1/2″ 90-degree pipe elbow
- 4 – 1/2″ floor flange
- 2 – 1/2″x2-1/2″ pipe nipple
- 4 – 1/2″x12″ pipe nipple
- 4 – 1/2 “conduit straps
- 8 – #10 1.25″ wood screws
- 8 – #12 3″ wood screws (could use 2 1/2″ screws, our drywall is 1″ thick)
- 2″x12″x length, wood board
- stain & polycrylic
- #220 sandpaper
- wood hooks
PREP THE MATERIALS
First, I gathered my supplies and I washed them with dish soap – they were dirty! Make sure to dry them immediately so they do not rust.
If they do rust, scrub them with a wire brush or rub them with Ketchup (believe me, it works!).
After the pipes were washed and dried, I started attaching them together.
SIDE NOTE: Even after washing, your hands will still get dirty; you can use work gloves to help with that.
ASSEMBLE THE PIPES
I first attached two 90-elbows to one of the 2.5″ pipe nipples. I tightened the elbow as tight as I could with my hand, then I attached a 12″ pipe nipple to each 90. I again tightened the pipe with only my hands.
Then, I used the 12″ pipe I just added to tighten the elbows even more, stopping once the 12″ pipes were facing the same way.
After, I attached a floor flange to each 12″ pipe. Again, I tighten by hand, then using the wrench to tighten the pipe to the 90 elbow.
Finally, I tightened the floor flange to the pipe. TIP: Check to make sure all the pipes are equal in length and that the space between the 90 elbow and floor flange will fit your board.
TIP: Think carefully about the placement of the screw holes since they need to be placed on a stud.
You will want two of the holes aligned horizontally on both floor flanges. This was something I had to fix! It should look like this after installed:
SIDE NOTE: If you cannot find a stud in the desired location, you can use toggle bolts instead. Here is a tutorial on how to install toggle bolts.
ATTACH THE PIPE RACK TO THE WALL
Now, I was ready to install the rack on the wall.
First, I needed to find where the studs were on the wall. I used my stud finder and marked the edges of each stud.
I then marked where we wanted the shelf placed: 19″ down from the ceiling, on two studs (this mark was where I placed the bottom of the top floor flange).
TIP: Use your level to make sure your markings are level because sometimes ceilings are not.
For the next few steps, you will need another person to help hold things.
Now, I took one pipe frame and placed the top of the bottom floor flange onto the marked spot (making sure the screw holes were placed inside the stud). Then, I marked the screw holes that would be placed on the stud for the bottom floor flange. I also took the other pipe frame and marked it the same way.
Next, I took my drill, using a drill bit that is smaller than the screw, and drilled a hole into each of the marked spots (there will be four). Then, I placed the frame back on the holes and drilled the 3″ wood screws into the wall. I did this for both frames.
For the top floor flanges, I took my level and adjusted the frame until it was level (it should be in the middle of the stud).
Then, I marked the screw holes the same way as before and drilled into the markings. I also attached the 3″ wood screws to the wall through the floor flange. I did this for the other frame as well.
And now, we had a sturdy frame for our cast iron pan rack!
BUILD THE WOOD SHELF
We wanted the wood shelf to be slightly wider than our stove so we left the same amount of wood on both ends of the frame.
One thing I discovered was that the corner of our wall (where the shelf will sit) was not at 90-degree angle. To calculate the correct angle, I placed the board on the frame and put it as close as possible to the wall. Then, I took a ruler and placed the flat edge along the back wall. I marked the board along the ruler and then cut along the line to give me the angle I needed.
Once I finished cutting the wood, I sanded the board with #220 grit sandpaper. I wiped it clean with a damp cloth rag and applied my stain (I used Provincial by Minwax). I did this when the board was slightly damp because it stains the wood evenly. I have done an experiment to test this theory – see the results on whether you need a wood conditioner when staining.
After the stain dried, I applied one coat of polycrylic to protect the wood. Once that was dry, I placed my board on the frame..
SECURE THE WOOD SHELF TO THE RACK
To make sure the wood would not move around, I used 2 pipe conduit straps on each frame.
I installed them by attaching the straps to the pipe, then measuring 1.75″ away from the end of the 90 elbow fitting, marking the straps screw holes with a pencil/pen.
Then, I drilled a hole, using a drill bit that is smaller than the screw (I made sure not to drill all the way through the wood). I did this one more time on the other frame and then again for the back of the board but this time, measuring the distance from the floor flange.
After, I took the 1.25″ wood screws and attached the clamps to the board using the predrilled holes.
Now, the frame itself is complete!
FINAL TOUCHES – ADDING HOOKS
No pan rack is complete without hooks to hang the pans from the shelf. I placed the hooks in the center of the board and about 5.5″ away from the other (this will really depend on your pans, so hold them up to the shelf and see where you like them)
To attach the hooks, I predrilled some holes but making sure to not drill through the wood. Then, I screwed the hook into the board.
This adventure of building a pan rack storage was finally complete! I couldn’t wait to hang up my cast iron pans and place some on the shelf.
UPDATE – We have moved our storage rack from its first location because we installed a microwave above the stove. Moving the pan storage rack was the same process!
What do you think? Are you wondering how much it cost me? Well, let me give you a breakdown on the cost.
pipe – $21.50
conduit straps – $1.55
1.25″ wood screws – $5.25
3″ wood screws – $6.30
12″ wood board – $12.55
stain & polycrylic – FREE
#220 sandpaper – FREE
wood hooks – $2.00
TOTAL COST – $47.60
So it cost me less than $50 to have a sturdy cast iron pan rack. And I have extra wood left over for another project!
I felt like this project was on the simpler side and could be done in one day. Are you in need of an industrial pan storage rack? You should DIY it!