My architects like hanging shelves and I do too. They often take the “cowboy” approach of using galvanized threaded rod and nuts and washers to support the shelving. I wanted something a little more refined, but didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for fussy little European hardware bits. Here’s a solution I came up with, which has proven to be excellent in all respects.
Here’s a detail of the hardware:
You need some tubing, some clamp collars, tube connecting nuts, and hanger bolts. I’ll show photos and then provide suppliers at the end.
OK, here’s where you get the stuff:
Tubing: I used 304 Stainless Steel, which runs about $9/ft for the polished seamless version or $3/ft for the plain-finish welded-seam version (which looks “satin” and is perfectly nice). You can, of course, use plain steel, which would be really cheap. I used 3/4″ diameter with 0.049″ wall thickness, which is quite standard. You can order it from McMaster-Carr.
Hanger bolts: I used 1/4-20 x 3″ and bought them at Home Depot. (McFeely’s and Rockler also have them.)
Tube Connecting Nuts: I bought these from McMaster as well. They are designed to fit the inside diameter of the tube, which is 0.652″
Double-split Clamp Collar: I bought these from McMaster in stainless. These are pricey…about $10 each. The plain steel ones are about $4 each.
A set up with two 36″ rods and 4 clamps in stainless steel would cost about $70 for the hardware ($100 if you use the polished tubing). In plain steel, it would probably cost about $30.
I used the hanging rods for just the front support. In most cases, my shelves were 1-1/2″ thick (2 sheets of 3/4″ plywood). My finish carpenter routed a 3/4″ dado in the back and side edges of the shelves. He nailed or screwed a 3/4″ wide cleat onto the wall and then installed the shelves over that cleat, holding them in place with a few finish nails.