Are you ready for a Rejuvenation brass gallery rail dupe? Have you already seen the gallery rails that others source from Vintage Hardware? I have another source for even more inexpensive unlacquered brass rails. If you read my pantry cafe rod tutorial you might know exactly where I am heading with this.

pull away shot of the kitchen in the middle of the kitchen range alcove makeover and brass gallery rail spice shelf. diy island pendant light is hanging in the forground.
This kitchen is slowly becoming the one I have been dreaming of. The gallery rail spice rack is the perfect accent to the new range alcove.

Where do I Buy Brass Rail?

When I created the pantry cafe rod I introduced you to using unfinished brass lamp parts to build it. Unfinished is another word for unlacquered. Turns out if you’re fancy you’ll call it unlacquered. If you are a lighting part store you call it unfinished.

The best source I have found for all of my lighting parts is Grand Brass Lamp Parts. Their brass pipes are the perfect dupe for brass rails. In fact all of their tubes are dupes for rails. You don’t have to want unlacquered brass rails or rods to use light parts to make these gallery shelf railings. They have every metal finish available.

At this time Grand Brass Lamp Parts doesn't have a referral code program so I can't offer any discounts for their products and I do not make a commission from their sales. 

However, I cannot leave you out of the loop on how easy it is to use lighting parts for all things brass. Their only catch is shipping can be a little high (mine on average is $15-20), try and group your entire order together. Also, anything over 3 feet costs more to ship. 

Even with their shipping costs, they still come in cheaper than anything else I have found.

Some of the links I share are affiliate links, and if you purchase through them it won’t cost you any extra, however, I may be paid a small commission. That small support helps me keep the lights on and we appreciate all of it.

Supplies for making the Brass Gallery Rail

  1. Sandpaper 60 grit
  2. 5/16″ wood dowels
  3. Wood glue
  4. Shelf or wood you’d like to attach the brass gallery rail to
  5. Two armbacks per shelf
  6. Two bull necks per shelf
  7. 1 – 1/8 ips 3/8″ male threaded unfinished brass pipe per shelf

Tools for making the Brass Gallery Rail

  1. Mallet
  2. Sander
  3. Drill
  4. 3/8″ drill bit (preferably a brad point for accuracy)
  5. Measuring tape
  6. Speed Square
  7. Pencil for marking

How I make the brass gallery rail for my spice shelf

My spice rack shelves gallery rails are made up of three parts: two “armbacks“, two small “bull necks” (but you could also use these for just 15 cents more), and one 1/8 ips 12″ male threaded brass pipe.

Joannie is holding an arm back and a bull neck to show how easily they attach together
The threads from the arm back go into the threaded top of the bull neck.

The brass pipe threads are only 3/8″ long so they don’t show when the parts are all screwed together.

Assemble your brass gallery rail from your lighting parts

The bull neck is being held after the two are joined together.
The bull neck and arm back are made to be joined together.

Screw your threaded arm backs into the tops of the bull necks. Then, take two of your assembled ends and join them together with your brass pipe. My brass pipe was 12″ long. If yours are longer I suggest not spanning longer than 20″ without adding a T.

bull neck, arm back and brass pipe all join to create an inexpensive gallery rail dupe that you would find in a vintage hardware store or a high end luxury home decor store like rejuvenation.
It is hard to believe looking at this that these are all lamp parts.

Add wood dowels to the brass gallery rail

Once the rail was assembled, I tapped 5/16″ wood dowels into the female thread of the bull necks. Using a sander, I sanded the exposed dowel down to 5/8″ long. You could cut them with a saw but I felt that I had more control sanding them down and it went really quickly with 60 grit sandpaper on my sander.

5/16" wood bits fit perfectly into the 1/8 ips neck holes and created a solid and inexpensive means to join the new gallery rail to the spice shelf.
The brass neck screwed onto the dowel and could also be tapped into place with a mallet.

Drill holes in the shelf for the wood dowels

I drilled holes into the shelf 1/2″ from the front of the shelves to the center of the hole with a 3/8″ drill bit. To mark the holes I used a pencil and a speed square two make quick measurements.

speed square placed on scrap wood shows how to easily mark for drill holes using it as a measuring device and as a straight edge.
A speed square makes marking drill spots so quick and easy. This was a scrap I practiced on to get the spacing perfect

I have a drill press, so drilling the holes for the wood dowels at the same depth was pretty easy.

However, I realize not everyone has a drill press. You can make sure to go only 5/8″ deep into your 3/4″ shelf by measuring from the tip of the drill bit back and placing a piece of painters tape at the 5/8″ mark. When your tape hits the shelf, stop drilling.

If you don’t already own the bit, make sure you buy the brad point bit. It will be a lot easier to center your drill bit on your mark with a brad point bit.

If you are making more than one shelf, you may want to consider making a template from 1/4" wood. Simply cut piece of 1/4" wood to the same size as your shelf, mark and drill 3/8" holes in the same spot as you would on the shelves. But instead of stopping, go all the way through the 1/4".

Adjust your tape on the drill to account for the thickness of the 1/4".

Place your template on every shelf making sure to align all the edges and drill each hole in the perfect spot every time. 
the first assembled brass gallery rail from lighting parts inserted into the spice rack shelf.
Wood glue and wood dowels make a permanent and strong joint for the brass gallery rail hardware.

Attach brass gallery rail to shelf

Then I placed a drop of wood glue into the dowel holes and tapped the brass gallery rail into the shelf.

6 spice shelves are waiting for their final installation into the spice rack with their brass gallery rails in place. a mallet and wood dowels in the background of the image.
The gallery rails and shelves were assembled before they were placed in the spice rack.

Because my shelves were going in to a built in spice rack, I knew it would be very difficult to drill the holes for the dowels after I assembled the spice rack. Instead, first I assembled all of the brass gallery rails. Then I attached the gallery rails to the shelves. Last, I attached the shelves to the spice rack.

FAQ’s for the brass gallery rail dupe

I need a longer rail with more sections. How can I connect more than one rail to another?

Let’s say you need to connect multiple rails together you could use this arm back. It has three holes – top and either side.

How can I return my rails back to the back of my shelf?

I am still looking for an armback that has the two correct side holes. However, brass is easy to drill a hole in to and if you are up to experiment, use the 90 degree ball armback from the tutorial. Clamp it to a solid surface and drill the right sized hole. You don’t need to thread it, the pipe will thread in to the cut hole.

Is there a way to make the gallery rail taller?

You’d like a slightly taller rail. Use this brass neck to connect your arm backs to the rails.

The brass is too plain, is there something more extravagant/extra?

You’d like something a little more wow factor, check out this reeded pipe.

They don’t have the size gallery railings I need…

If you can’t find the exact size you need, you can buy regular brass pipe. Cut the brass pipe to the lengths you need. Then thread it yourself using this die handle wrench and this pipe die.

Did you find this helpful?

If you did, leave me a comment or send me an email if you are going to try this out. I love to hear from you and see all of your projects!

Join me on Instagram @jhambel.hambelsgetreal where I share projects like this all the time!

If you enjoyed this tutorial, check out this one from the pantry Or this popular post about how I added an appliance panel to my standard dishwasher.

Disclaimer: Working with power tools and DIY projects can be dangerous and post inherent risks. While we work hard to ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of the tutorials along with the information displayed on this website, Hambels Get Real cannot be held responsible for damages or losses sustained or incurred in the course of your project or in the use of the item you create.

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  1. The piece you suggest if I want to return to the wall, I’m not understanding how the 90 degree turn of the rail is going to happen on the corner with the link to the piece you listed, maybe I’m missing something ?

    1. If you feel comfortable trying you can drill a hole into one of the regular posts for the return pipe-it’s definitely worth trying but I haven’t found a post with the right default drill

  2. This was so easy to do. I had solid brass rods left over from a chandelier install and this worked great for my secret bookcase door!!! ❤️
    I would add a picture but there’s no way to attach…

  3. Hi! Great idea! I want to try and attach this rail to the top of a banquette – is there any way to screw down the bull necks with another part?

  4. Thank you so much for this. I added this brass rail to a plate rack I made. It came out great! I emailed you a photo. Thanks again for sharing!

  5. Hello Joannie, this is such a clever idea! Thanks so much for sharing this because it has sparked so many other ideas in my mind! I love this!

I promise to reply if you do!