First, I had to figure out what pipe lengths that I needed and how to find them. I didn't want to waste a lot of time blundering through the hardware store, so I searched for pipes online, to get an idea of cost and available lengths. At first, I couldn't find any pipes that were remotely the appropriate size. Finally, I figured out that shorter lengths of threaded plumbing pipe (twelve inches or less) are known as "nipples." Then I burned up google searching for "8 inch threaded nipple" and found what I needed.
I wanted my shelves to be eight inches deep, and I wanted the first two shelves to be ten inches high, and then eight inches between the second and third shelf. A ten-inch shelf will accommodate large canisters, as you will see. This was the shopping list:
8" threaded pipe, 1/2" diameter- ten
10" threaded pipe, 1/2 " diameter - four
1/2 " tee fittings - four
1/2 " elbow fittings - four
1/2 " flanges - eight
Each piece is inexpensive, but since you need so many pieces, plumbing pipe projects can be costly. The tutorial I read said to buy the black pipes, but the black pipes leave black residue all over your hands, so I am going to recommend that you buy the galvanized ones. You can always spray paint them. There would be a total of four shelves, one on each of the eight-inch horizontal supports.
Assembling the brackets turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated because in order to get the horizontal pipes to all face in the same way, it was necessary to either tighten the joints beyond the point at which I had the strength to tighten them, or leave them really loose. It helps to have a plumbing wrench, although the wrench itself is so heavy I could hardly wield it. All in all, an awkward business.
The width of my shelving is only about thirty-two inches, so I needed only two brackets. A wider shelf would need a third bracket in the middle. Once both of my brackets were assembled, I spray-painted them black.
The really hard part of this project was attaching the brackets to the wall. The studs, at least, were located right where I wanted them, but it was incredibly difficult to drill the holes for some reason. Jon did the drilling, and there was some shouting and possibly a few tears. Hanging the first bracket was so traumatic that we abandoned the project for a couple of weeks. Anyway, I needed time to figure out how to hang the second bracket in such a way that the shelves were level. (The tutorial was no help here.) The method I hit on was to balance one end of a board on the already attached bracket, while balancing the other end on the second bracket, with a spirit level balanced on top of the board. Once the shelf was level, I marked the spot on the wall where each flange sat with green tape. This seems awfully imprecise, but it worked. Since markings don't show on the black wall, and a piece of chalk is too chunky to fit through the holes in the flanges, I couldn't mark where each screw should go. There was a bit less shouting when we installed the second bracket, although the drill bit broke off inside the wall. Luckily, not until we were on the last hole.