A good number of my projects this year will be oriented towards home improvement, decorations, functional furniture and garden pieces will be a huge element of my woodworking/DIY for the next year or so I think.

The first project that I wanted to tackle was to make a coat rack for our house, the coat rack would live by the back door in a little anti-room that we have.

This project is actually the first project that I have undertaken where I have completely changed the design mid build. In truth the reason for the change was down to my wife. I foolishly thought “I know, I’ll design a really cool coat rack and build it”. Did you notice the essential step that I missed? What I should have thought was: “I know, I’ll design a really cool coat rack, make sure my wife likes the design and then I can get it built”.

So, I went about designing what I thought would be a really nice coat rack, you can download the plans below:

– For a sketchup model: Here

– For a pdf version: Here

I based the design around some boards that I had recently salvaged from a skip/dumpster. I managed to pull 4 boards, each measuring 11″ x 1″ and around 60″ long.

The four salvaged boards. Exactly as they were found. Incredible what people will throw away!

The four salvaged boards. Exactly as they were found. Incredible what people will throw away!

Once I was happy with the design I set about getting started. I made the primary cuts, giving 1 board at 11″ x 1″ x 25″ in length (for me to trim 1/2″ of either end to make it square). This piece would make both the back piece and the shelf piece of the rack. The second board was 11″ x 1″ x 7″, this would give me both of the brackets when done.

Primary cuts made, time for some surface planing

Primary cuts made, time for some surface planing

After making the primary cuts, the next step was to surface plane the pieces so that I could remove the old finish and bring them back to bare wood.

First piece planed.

First piece planed.

It was getting late at this stage, so I decided to call it a night and spend the rest of the evening with my wife. Cue fatal error……. I took my plans in with me and showed her what I was planning.

“I don’t like it, can’t we have a more simple design?”

This sparked a conversation that went around the houses looking at designs on the internet and in the end, it was settled that we would go for a more simple design. Naturally this was a little frustrating, but it actually gave me a bit of an opportunity. As I would need a lot less wood for a more straightforward design, I could switch from the softwood that I had planned on using to oak instead. I had an old floorboard in the garage that I have had for around a year now and thought it would be perfect for the job. Secondly, I would experiment with using a beeswax based finish on oak, something I have been wanting to do for some time.

Here is a video of the coat rack build:

The simple steps for building this coat rack were:

1. Remove the tongue and grooves. I used a Stanley No4 smoothing plane as well as a mallet and chisel for this.

2. Cut the board to approximate length.

3. Flatten the board and ensure there is no twist or bowing in the board. Again, I used a Stanley No4 plane for this.

4. Square up the edges and break the corners that could fracture.

5. Layout and mark up while the board still has defined square edges.

6.  Pre-drill the holes for the hook screws and plane off any marking lines.

7. Plane the back flat and then round over the edges using a Stanley No4 Plane and sand paper.

8. Final sand to 180 Grit.

9. Apply 4 coats of beeswax finish using a lint-free cloth. Buff with a clean cloth between coats.

10. Assemble and hang on the wall. The coat hooks I used can be purchased Here.

A nice, easy project that anyone can do and perfect for getting back in the workshop after a busy few weeks.

~Alistair

 

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