When Peter from Shade Haven sent us pictures of their portable shade device made with Kee Klamp, he had no idea that he was making a historical connection that spans decades. What he didn't know is that Kee Klamp was invented nearly 80 years ago by Mr. George H. Gascoigne for the production of milking stalls. So it seems that Kee Klamp, having its origins in the dairy industry, has found it's way full circle in the vision of Shade Haven.
Shade Haven's primary product is a portable shade structure that can be moved around the field. The purpose of the structure is to keep cows cool, making them more productive milkers. They quote a stack of scientific opinion on their web site that demonstrates the profitability of shading your cattle from the hot summer sun.
Their web site says this about the product:
Shade is an essential part of any rotational grazing system. Portable shade is the smart farmer’s answer to treeless fields and exposed paddocks. The Shade Haven is easy to move and quick to set up – giving your animals relief where they need it.
The Shade Haven’s unique, patented, round shape maximizes the amount of shade while minimizing the area of the supporting structure.
Shade Haven's shade structure is a thing of beauty. Watch the video above to capture the elegance of this high-quality shading device. The Kee Klamp fittings are used to attach and support the outriggers that shade the animals. Kee Klamp provides a strong, secure connection and makes the unit easier to manufacture, ship and store.
The entire unit is made for mobility. The shade unit is retractable and is made to be towable, even on the highway.
We commend Shade Haven for their ingenuity and wish them success in their endeavor. Find out more about Shade Haven on their web site: shadehaven.net
OK, admit it! You've probably got some shelves in your kitchen that are completely covered in items of all shapes and sizes. Some of it piles up on the counter, some in the cabinet and some on the shelves. The kitchen is one of those places where clutter can quickly get out of control. Food container sizes haven't been standardized, so unless you've got thousands of dollars to invest in a set of uniform plastic containers you're going to end up needing a storage area that can accommodate items with various sizes.
Kitchen shelving is a great way to store what you need in an accessible way. But if the shelves do not adjust you're going to end up with a lot of wasted space. James King from South Carolina, built the set of shelves pictured in this article. His shelves are connected to a set of pipes attached at the floor and the ceiling. The shelves are made to to float up and down on the pipes so that they can be locked into position at any point on the pole.
James was inspired by my pole mounted bookshelf and wanted to build something that would accommodate his family's kitchen storage needs. Here's what James had to say about the project:
The shelves actually took the place of a very cheap Walmart brand baker's rack that constantly stayed cluttered with mail, junk, etc.
The idea my wife and I had was to get some nice looking baskets to be able to store things in them and out of sight. I came across your site after doing a Google search for "pole mounted shelves". I searched through the images and saw the shelves we liked.
I am very pleased with fittings and have come up with several more ideas where these fittings could be used. I am a very novice woodworker but the fittings made the assembly a piece of cake. Building, staining, and finishing the shelves were by far the most time consuming part. Good thing is, the stain matches my kitchen cabinets almost perfectly. Simplified Building definitely has my recommendation!
I'm just like James. I don't have very many skills when it comes to woodworking. Like many others, that set of skills was not passed on to me. However, building with Kee Klamp and pipe means that I'm not completely out of the ball game when it comes to building something myself. Like countless other customers, James used a Kee Klamp to enable him to build a solid structure with pipe -- a project that would have been much more intimidating if it was built solely out of wood.
So how did James do it? Let's take a look at his parts and his steps:
How to Build Pole Mounted Kitchen Shelving
James used a simple process to make the kitchen shelves.
The shelves are made from 2 sheets of 1/2" birch plywood that are glued together to make the shelves 1" thick. Iron on veneer edging was used around the edges for a solid wood look. The stain is a Red Mahogany from Zar with 3 coats of semi-gloss to give it a smooth finish.
He then bored out equidistant holes in the shelves so that they could "float" on the pipes. This is a part of the process that you need to get right. See my tips on drilling these holes correctly on my pole mounted bookshelf post.
After making the shelves, then all that remains is to attach them to the fittings.
I used galvanized pipe and painted it oil rubbed bronze as well as the fittings. These fittings work great and make these shelves rock solid.
James used 18 of the 61-6 Flanges: 14 to support the seven shelves and 4 to mount the pipe to the floor and the ceiling. The 61-6 flanges needed to be bored out in order that the pipe would pass through. The aluminum version of this fitting does not need to be bored out.
The flanges are attached to the shelves with screws. The hole in the shelf and the hole in the flange should line up exactly.
What remains from here is to load the shelves onto the poles and mount the poles to the floor and the ceiling. Keeping the poles plumb is a top priority. You don't need to attach the shelves to the poles until you're sure that the poles are installed correctly. Once the poles are in place, then you can raise the shelf to the desired height and tighten the set screw to clamp the fitting onto the pipe.
So what would this shelf cost? By the time you add up the fittings, pipe, wood and extra amenities you'd be in the $300 ball park. Not a bad price for a custom-made shelf that will be built to your specification.
If you've been inspired by this post, we hope you'll end up like James who has several other ideas for projects that he would like to build with Kee Klamp fittings. If you're looking for more project ideas, please be sure to check our our project gallery.
Pipe is a great option when it comes to building a standing desk:
- It Looks Great - Pipe has a great industrial look that adds a modern feel to your environment.
- It's Customizable - Pipe can be cut on site or by the store to create a desk height that is an exact fit to your size.
- It's Easy to Build With - Building with pipe requires relatively little skill and only a few tools (as opposed to wood)
- It's Solid - Pipe creates a rock solid base which can support a desktop of just about any shape, size and weight.
- It's Cost Effective - Pipe and fittings may seem like a costly option, but when compared to other standing desks on the market or building it yourself with wood, I think you'll find its a very cost effective option for building a frame for your desk.
Perhaps the biggest hassle when building with pipe is having to deal with the threaded ends and threaded fittings. Twisting the fitting into the right location can be time consuming and difficult.
Kee Klamp fittings are an alternative to plumbing fittings. They are easier to use and have a great finished look. Kee Klamps use a set screw that bites into the pipe to form a solid, structural connection.
The ten projects listed below have been built by our customers using pipe and Kee Klamp fittings. Be inspired by their work and build your own standing desk by selecting your own fittings, using one of our table frame kits or tapping into our project assistance.
Standing Desk with a Back Shelf
Brian used Kee Klamp as the base for the main desk and then used plumbing fittings to attach the shelf riser in the back of the desk. The frame of the standing desk is overbuilt to give it a strong, industrial look. Brian's standing desk uses a configuration similar to this popular DIY standing desk.
Desktop Standing Desk
Chris, from Rochester, NY, used Kee Klamp to build a "sled" that supports a monitor and keyboard tray. He uses this as a "second space". He can move from his sitting desk to his standing desk with relative ease. Modeled from this "sled desk", the pipe and fittings attach directly to the VESA bracket in the back of the monitor. This desk offers great versatility. It can be moved when needed and makes a great solution for anyone who is trying to build a standing up desk on top of an existing desk. Because the unit is made with pipe, it offers the weight needed to offset the weight of the Apple Cinema Display.
Two Level Standing Desk
The standing desk pictured above was built by Gabe Diaz. This desk was actually his third project using pipe and Kee Klamp fittings. He built a coffee table and bed from pipe as well (blog post coming soon). Gabe came up with the idea of having two different levels to his standing desk. The lower portion of the desk works as a working surface and the upper portion doubles as a shelf and a higher work area.
Gabe started off with his own idea, but then tapped into our design services team to help him get the exact list of fittings and pipe he needed to build his desk. A member of our projects team worked up this SketchUp diagram of Gabe's desk to ensure that all the pipe lengths would be cut just right.
Long Standing Desk with Integrated Bottom Shelf
Building a standing desk to suit your needs is one of the primary advantages of using Kee Klamp and pipe. This desk is a great embodiment of that idea. You simply won't find a standing desk on the market that looks like the desk pictured above. This customer wanted to have a spot for two separate computers and a long shelf underneath the desk to store books. He was able to build his own desk at a fraction of what it would cost to have something like this made by a carpenter.
Simple Standing Desks
These standing desks were used to outfit an entire office. They used black pipe to present a contrasting color against the galvanized fittings. These desks look great and are a low-cost, highly-durable solution for office standing desks. The basic table frame kit will provide you with the fittings and pipe you need to build this standing desk.
Another great option for standing desks in the office is our adjustable height table frame kit. This kit allows you to build a desk that can be set in a standing or sitting configuration. It also allows for finite adjustments so that the desk can be adjusted to the ideal ergonomic height of the individual.
Hidden Peripherals Standing Desk
Chris, from Richmond, VA, came up with a creative solution for managing his computer peripherals out of sight:
I wanted a sit/stand computer desk. However, I really dislike a few things about most computer desks these days. The big item is that there is generally no good place to store all the "stuff" that goes with computers except by piling it all on the desktop. For my desk, I build a large box, essentially, with a split top that lifts off to give me access to the interior. No drawers to snag cables, but I still had full access. Since wood is actually a decent insulator, I added some air holes and fans to keep the components inside the desk cool. I call this version my prototype since I built it to test the idea. I've used it for about 8 months now and I'm working on the next version.
See more pictures of Chris' setup on Flickr.
Stand Up Study Desk
Sims from Nashville, TN built his own standing desk and had this to say about the experience:
My buddy in my study group encouraged me to work standing up. i had already been exploring options. I went to many websites, called about half a dozen furniture people and finally found this option online. I didn't go with the adjustable option but the legs can easily be modified if i decide to sit again. The desk was pretty simple to put together even though I am not very handy. Thank you for posting the video and dimensions to your site!
Standing Desk with Carbon Fiber Effect
Marlon went all out to build this gaming desk. Using the same basic frame as this DIY standing desk, he coated a piece of fiber board in carbon fiber tape that he found on eBay. He added a keyboard tray and a shelf on the bottom of the desk. The black on black effect really makes the silver fittings stand out.
Marlon says: "With the Kee Klamps everything is so easy to assemble and can handle heavy stuff. I'm so happy with my new desk."
Standing Desk Built for those "On the Move"
Ladson, wanted to build a standing desk to enhance his studies. He used a Kee Klamp and pipe frame for the base and attached it to a pine top using carriage bolts.
I found an cheap pine table top online and cut it down to 60"x30" to be used as a standing computer desk and workspace as I begin engineering school. At first, I thought about how best to secure the table top to the frame itself. Wood screws were the obvious choice, but they did not seem most functional for long-term use if I needed to breakdown and move the table. So, I settled on counter-sunk machine bolts that matched the gator tubing and provided a nice contrast on the black painted wood surface. Overall, the table frame and table top connected together with the help of some shims where the underside surfaces didn't match up. Finally, I mounted a surge protector to the underside of the table to provide easy access for power cords.
One thing that Ladson didn't realize before building his project was that Kee Klamp makes it easy to disconnect the top from the pipe frame. Loosening the pipe in the flanges attached to the desktop would have made the top detachable. People are moving around more than ever these days and portability is an added benefit. Standing desks built with Kee Klamp can be reassembled time and time again. The hardware is attached, making it more difficult to lose and because the components are steel they are not likely to be broken.
Ikea Hack Standing Desk
Jason Howie submitted these pictures of his DIY standing desk. He used an IKEA shelf and desktop for his desk. I might also call this the Windows 8 standing desk Jason used a standard configuration that can be found in many of the other desks on this page. Jason did a complete write up on his standing desk that you can find on his blog.
You're Inspired! Now What?
If you've been inspired to build your own standing desk with pipe and Kee Klamp you've got a couple different ways to move forward.
- If you're the creative type, just dig into our online catalog and build your dream desk with the fittings you find there.
- If you're looking for a leg-up in the DIY process, then you've got two other options:
- Check out our desk frame kits. They are a great place to start. We've designed these kits after helping our customers design their own desk frames for years.
- Contact our design team. They'll be happy to provide you with some free assistance in building your desk.
Bonus: More Standing Desks
If you're looking for further inspiration, there are many other standing desks in our projects area. A few of them are linked at the bottom of this blog post. The rest can be accessed in the Table and Desk category of our projects area.
Boomerracks is a social enterprise in St. Louis, Missouri that seeks to engage young entrepreneurs in an effort to sustain local youth mentoring programs. Boomerracks has invested it's attention into the youth of the St. Louis area by encouraging the use of their talents in the construction of "green", useful and fun bike rack structures.
Boomerracks combines existing bike parts with Kee Klamp pipe fittings to create unique bike racks that stand out on the urban landscape. The program places an emphasis on the reuse and recycling of existing materials -- "giving new life to what would otherwise become waste".
Kids in the Boomerracks program get the opportunity to build several vital skills:
- They work with their hands and grow in their mechanical abilities.
- They use their creativity to imagine new structures around the brand of the business they're working with.
- They develop business skills by interacting with local business owners to develop a structure that makes sense for their company.
The list goes on!
Boomerracks is a part of St. Louis ArtWorks, an organization that collaborates with the community to provide work experience through youth apprenticeships.
Simplified Building is thrilled to work with St. Louis ArtWorks to provide the necessary fittings to build many of these outstanding structures. Each one is unique in it's own right and yet combines common, reusable elements to make construction and installation as simple as possible.
Kee Klamp plays a critical role in each bike rack, connecting pipes and parts together without the necessity of welding. Each fitting is mechanically fastened, reducing the need for welding equipment. This also ensures that more kids can safely participate in the construction of every bike rack.
Learn more about building with Kee Klamp by browsing our projects or contacting our team. Connect with Boomerracks through their website.
The results are in from our best customer project of 2013 contest and we have some winners to announce. I think when it comes to projects, it's pretty clear that desks are a big winner. Building desks with Kee Klamp and pipe has been something our customers have been doing ever since we went online in 2006. Building desks is still hotter than ever, so hot that we've tried to make it simple with our Simple Table kits. Well, without further ado...
Winner: John Urban's Rolling Pipe Table with Antiqued Metal Effect
John's creative application of both fittings, pipe, paint and an old desktop from a university made this project the clear winner. His desk got 77 votes! You can see John's complete project here and find out what he did to make the pipe and fittings look so awesome! John has already been contacted and with his $100 reward he hopes to build a set of tables using cable spools. Watch out, he may be looking for the win next year as well! Go John!
Runner Up: Zach Griggs - Wall Mounted Desk
Zach's wall mounted desk is pure simplicity. There's nothing like using existing structures to make building more efficient. He used some aluminum fittings and pipe to create an elegant angle bracket for a pine desktop from IKEA. Zach got a $50 gift certificate for coming in second.
The Rest of the Top 10
Through Art du Deplacement (Parkour) and MovNat, Urban Movement teaches people how to move. Urban Movement is located in Houston, Texas and has constructed these obstacles made from Kee Klamp fittings. These obstacles provide a context for their indoor training. The folks at Urban Movement did an amazing job combining the fittings to create a truely unique structure.
Bruce, from Georgia, set out to build a custom desk for his wife's craft room. He tapped into Kee Klamp fittings to form an open base for the desk. The openness of the structure allowed him to place other cabinets underneath the desk to help his wife store the bits and pieces needed for crafting.
Jeff used a fairly straight forward design for the desk, including an extra bar at the bottom of the desk to put his feet on while sitting or standing. He was able to order pipe so that the desk would fit his working height perfectly.
Justin, from Oklahoma City, built this beautiful kitchen island/food cart for his wife. Here is his story on how he did it.
Console tables are great for holding lamps or other small decorative items next to a wall. Bob from Morristown, New Jersey built himself a console table with some reclaimed wood and industrial pipes.
We were lucky to find Kee Klamp fittings from Simplified Building. The Kee Klamps solved all types of joints needed in greenhouses, were very easy to assemble and disassemble, and provided enough structural strength and rust durability.
This beautifully designed DIY coffee table was built by Keren, one of our customers from Texas. She brought together Kee Klamp fittings, aged metal and dark stained oak boards into a stellar combination that offers both form and function. The metal base of the coffee table is constructed with Kee Klamp pipe fittings and galvanized metal pipe.
When it comes to home brewing your own beer, some people get serious! Michael, from Philly, sent us this picture of his home brew structure built out of Kee Lite pipe fittings. The structure has a place for burners to boil and prepare the mash and wort. The brew then flows to the cooler to bring the tempreture down to prepare for fermentation.
All of the customer projects that we post on the site are great examples of what happens when you combine creativity with Kee Klamp fittings. We look forward to seeing what you'll build in 2014!