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Shoe Rack

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Blog entry by Jonathan posted 01-26-2010 05:43 PM 4158 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first project since joining the site, and my second woodworking project overall. Last week, I completed the Kreg workbench so I’d have an area to build other projects on.

After seeing the shoerack built by mckenziedrums here:

_http://lumberjocks.com/projects/26304_

I liked the project so well, I thought I’d try to closely reproduce it, with a few changes of my own. I didn’t have, nor did I want to purchase any curly maple. I also just picked up a couple cans of Minwax gel stain for $0.30 that I wanted to try out, never having used the stuff before.

My wife mentioned the other day that she wanted to get a shoerack for our little bedroom closet. I’d been looking at shoeracks for a while and just hadn’t seen anything that I thought would suffice. Most of them were too small to really be of any use, holding maybe 6-8 pairs of shoes.

So, I said, maybe I can build one. I figured this way, it’d be an inexpensive project that would progress fairly quickly. And more importantly, I could build it sized according to the shoes and the space we actually have to maximize it’s usefulness.

So while she was at work yesterday, I took about 10-pairs of her shoes out of the closet. This allowed me to do 2 things: I was able to take measurements within the cramped closet much easier, as well as layout her shoes in rows and take measurements to make sure I sized everything accordingly. I didn’t want to waste space, or cut myself short by a couple of inches, only having enough room at the end of the shelf for one shoe, rather than another pair.

After taking all measurements, I decided I could fit 5-pairs of shoes per shelf. And 2-shelves, plus the floorspace would fit perfectly under all of the hanging clothes without getting in the way. With measurements in-hand, off to the Home Depot I went.

My original intent was to make the shelves out of plywood, just as mckenziedrums did. Once I got to the store, the wheels began turning as I stood there, picking through piles of wood. I decided to swap out the plywood for cedar, thinking this would add a nice scent to the closet, keep bugs away, and freshen everything up. Originally, I was going to make the shelves 37.5-inches wide, plus the rails/stiles, for a total of 39-inches of width. However, I changed the shelves to 36-inches wide, as I didn’t want to buy the next length up of wood to gain 1.5-inches.

Originally, I thought this was going to be constructed out of plywood and poplar, but I finally decided to go with cedar for the shelves and pine for the frame.

Here is my materials list:
For the shelves: (3)- 1”x4”x8’ S1S2 Cedar
For the legs and side rails: (1)- 1”x3”x8’ Pine
For the front rails to hold the shoes on the shelf: (2)-1”x2”x6’ Pine

After I came home, I cut everything to size, other than the frame rails.

Here is my cut list:
(6)- 1×4 Cedar 36" (shelf material)
(4)- 1x3 Pine
36” (shelf rails)
(4)- 1×4 Pine 15" (legs)
I will also need (4)- 1x4 Pine
6-7/8” for the side frame rails.

I secured the lengths of cedar together using the Kreg Jig for the pocket holes, along with 1-1/4” coarse thread screws. I will need to sand the underside of the shelves where the pocket holes are because that side was not finished, and I don’t want little slivers falling into the shoes if the underside of the shelf gets brushed when pulling out shoes. Wish I had a belt sander for this task!

That’s where I’m at for now. The shelves are together, but not yet “cleaned-up.” I still need to cut the side frame rails, then drill my pocket holes into those so they can attach to the legs.

I will also attach the front and rear shelf rails with pocket holes from the underside of the shelves.

I’m going to stain the frame in sections before assembling everything. I will assemble the end sections, then lightly sand them before applying the stain. I will also lightly sand and stain the front and rear shelf rails before attaching them to the shelves. Then it will all be screwed together. The only method of joinery will be pocket holes and the corresponding screws. I did not use glue on the shelves, but I’m going to use it on the frame.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."



14 comments so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2135 posts in 1860 days


#1 posted 01-26-2010 06:07 PM

I will be looking forward to seeing the end product. I had a request for one I finished up, though by no means elaborate. I used plywood scraps laying around and just put some pine laminate over the plywood edges. Please post some pictures when you are done :)

David

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1802 days


#2 posted 01-26-2010 06:13 PM

David,

I will post pictures once complete. I’m going to get the miter saw back out and go cut the frame side rails and drill the pocket holes in them and attach them to the legs. I think I’ll also drill the pocketholes on the underside of the cedar shelves in order to be able to attach the front and rear rails.

Sanding the shelves will probably happen tomorrow. I think I might borrow a belt sander from a friend to accomplish this task.

Although the compound miter saw has worked well for this project, a tablesaw would make this all much easier! I think that is going to be my next tool purchase. Just need to do some more research and figure out what will work best for me at this point in time.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112933 posts in 2328 days


#3 posted 01-26-2010 06:14 PM

Go fot it, look forward to the finished project

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1802 days


#4 posted 01-26-2010 08:56 PM

I’m going to have to go buy another box of 1-1/4” pocket hole screws! All told, I think there are about 39-holes in the bottom of each shelf. I drilled the remaining pocket holes in the underside of the shelves, plus cut the frame side rails and drilled the holes in them as well. I will count all of the holes and screws once done so I can list if one box of 100-screws will cover the project or not. It should be just under 100 I’m guessing, but I’ll need more screws because I used some out of this box when I screwed together the 2-layers of MDF for the Kreg workbench.

I also sanded down the top and bottom of the shelves using a Bosch 1295D Random Orbit Palm Sander. I love that thing! Minimal vibration and clean results. Ideally, I’d hook it up to some sort of dust collection system or my shop vac, but today, I took it outside, put on a dust mask and let the sawdust fly. I used 60-grit to really cut through the roughness on the underside of the shelves, then followed that up with 150-grit until I liked what I saw. Also did the tops of the shelves with the 150-grit to clean them up. Now I just need to brush off the shelves and get out the tack cloth.

I also mocked-up frame rail and shelf placement. I think I’ve got that where I want it now too. I’ll post placement measurements once they’re finalized, as I may need to move them up or down a few 1/8s-of-an-inch.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2085 days


#5 posted 01-27-2010 01:17 PM

Hey Jonathan, I’m looking forward to seeing your completed project. From your thoughtful approach I know it will be very nice and work well for it’s purpose. One question though. I’m not against pocket screws in any way except that it actually seems like a lot more work and expense than a simple glue up and maybe some brads for this particular project. I have no doubt that pocket screws are a good and effective alternative for some applications, but from your blog it sounded like you are planning to use it a lot. Are you convinced that pocket screws are the way to go? Please don’t take this as a criticism. I am just wondering how you are looking at it and where you are headed.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1802 days


#6 posted 01-27-2010 05:20 PM

Mike,

You have a valid point; this probably is a bit of extra work and might cost a couple of dollars more due to the (near) box full of screws I’m using on the shoe rack.

For this project, I am using the Kreg Jig for several reasons. One reason is the fact that I’m truly new to woodworking and this is one of the only tools I currently have at my disposal. I just got a couple of Irwin 6-inchQuick Grip clamps at the box store the other day and had nothing more than a couple of C-clamps before this. I now also have a couple of Kreg clamps too (90-degree clamp and the steel bench clamp). So, my tools, as well as my first hand experience is all quite limited at this time.

I may or may not use pocket holes a fair amount in the future. However, another reason I decided to use it on this project is due to the fact that I’m planning and building built-in bookcases with glass-paned doors and an adjoining mantle in the very near future. I figured I would be using the Kreg Jig on at least part of the project. So, before I go diving into a decent sized project (at least for a beginner), I want to make sure I’m very familiar with this particular tool that I have at my disposal, as well as any strengths or weaknesses of using it on such a project.

On a sidenote, and albeit on a small scale, this shoe rack project has helped me to alter a plan to fit my available resources and needs, and begin to understand how plans are actually made. I can follow directions/plans, but want to be able to create my own directions/plans, and will need to do so in the future on many a project, I’m sure. This seemed like a not-so-intimidating project to practice on, and it will also fill the bill on making something immediatley practical.

I am the type of person that tries to arm myself with as much knowledge and planning as possible before diving into something I’ve never done before. However, a person can plan until the end of time, but nothing will get accomplished or produced until they roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. So I’m trying to get a little hands-on experience with the Kreg Jig before attempting to use it on any other projects that are going to be in plain sight every day. I certainly don’t think it is the end-all/be-all in joinery. And there are certainly far prettier or less conspicuous ways to assemble projects.

One of the main reasons I joined this community was because of the vast arrary of knowledge and ideas, both in writing and in visual images that are readily available here, as well as the interactive nature of the site. And so far, I have definitely not been disappointed. People are encouraging (not just to me, but to everyone) and seem more than happy to help. We learn not only from our mistakes, but also from others’ mistakes, and if one can help someone else avoid the mistakes they’ve made, it speeds-up the learning curve, eliminating part of the frustrations along the way.

I was actually going to pose the question regarding the bookcases and mantle today because I have several questions and wanted to run a few things by the community here. I figure, the more input I can get from others, the more informed my decision will be. I’m sure there are numerous things regarding this upcoming project that I have yet to even think about, and I’m sure there are techniques and tricks you all can share with me that I never would’ve thought of.

So, with all that being said, (sorry it was so long-winded!), I’m going to go pose my questions about the built-in bookcases and mantle, and will post a link to that topic here once I have it formulated.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2085 days


#7 posted 01-27-2010 06:30 PM

I see that you are definitely headed in the right direction Jonathan. I guess I am a bit of a scrooge and I was thinking about the cost of all those screws if you were to continue indefinitely like that! However, you sound like a man with plan, so I needn’t have worried. I am sure you will get good advice on your mantle project. There are some real pro’s on this site who are very helpful.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1802 days


#8 posted 01-27-2010 07:38 PM

OK,

I finally got some info. typed out for the other project I referenced above.

Here is the link to that posting about my next project, a set of built-in bookcases and mantel around our living room fireplace:

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/13980

Please feel free to post any comments you may have on there.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1802 days


#9 posted 01-28-2010 06:09 PM

Quick update on the shoe rack:

Yesterday morning, before heading in to work, I was able to get all of the pine sanded and dusted-off. I lightly blew the wood off outside, then brought it in and ran a Swiffer over everything. Someone adviced me to see if a Swiffer rag contains silicone or not, as it will cause adherence issues. Does anyone one know that answer to that?

Later last night, after I came home from work, I managed to get a bit more done on the pine. I had some leftover Minwax Pre Stain Wood Conditioner that I liberally applied to the end frames. Maybe I didn’t let it soak in enough, but it was already after 9pm, so I wanted to keep things moving along.

I opened up the can of gel stain and had a bit of a surprise; it was sort of chunky and congealed. Now I’ve never used this stuff before, so I’m not sure if that’s how it normally acts or what, but I spent a couple of minutes stirring it up and it seemed to dissolve into a thick solution. I applied one coat, then went back and wiped off a little bit of excess that didn’t soak in. There is one spot on the leg that didn’t really accept the stain very well. This is what made me think I didn’t give the conditioner enough time to work. I’ve never worked with pine before though, and I’ve read that it can be a bit of a bugger in evenly accepting a finish.

Here are 2-pictures from this morning, after one coat of the Minwax gel stain in Brazilian Rosewood last night. I put one of the unfinished rails in the picture to give a sense of the color change so far:

Photobucket

Photobucket

You can see in the second picture the spot that didn’t take the stain well. I will definitely be using the frame section on the right for the left side of the rack, as it will be the side you see when you open the closet. The other end will pretty much be against the back wall of the closet and out of sight.

I’m not sure if I want to bother putting another coat on or not? I might put one more coat on, but I obviously still need to do the rails as well.

Any suggestions on what to put on for the finish coat? I know the pine is soft, so it might get dinged-up with shoes and heels constantly making contact with it. If I can make the finish coat as durable as possible though, I’d like to do that. Any suggestions for a durable clear coat? Keep in mind, this is just a little shoe rack, so I’d rather not go through some elaborate 10-step process. I’m more looking for durability rather than a really glassy finish. Should I just use some sort of wax, or a spray-on poly, or what?

I’m going to try and get the 4-rails stained before heading in for work today. Think I’ll pound a small nail into each end and then tie them up with some string, since the nail hole will be out of sight, up against the frame once it’s put together.

I think I’ll probably put on another coat of stain on the frame to try and get everything a bit more evenly colored.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2085 days


#10 posted 01-28-2010 11:26 PM

I think a poly satin finish would work well and protect. Shoes do get a bit dirt and grime on them and it would be good to have something that allows you to easily wipe the shoe rack with a damp cloth, even with a little detergent on it. Poly would be good for that. My 2 cents. The joins look good by the way.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1802 days


#11 posted 01-29-2010 12:13 AM

Poly satin, excellent choice. Just might have to go with that.

Thanks for the complement on the joints. I was actually a little miffed, as my miter saw is a fraction of a degree off from being exactly 90-degrees, maybe 1/64 of inch off or so. I will have to fix it before using it again. I figured for this project, it was probably OK. I did try to get everything as flush as possible, depth-wise when joining the legs and rails, as well as getting the top rail flush with the top of the legs.

Last night, I wiped the gel stain on. I tried using a foam brush today, then wiped it off after a few minutes. I like the foam brush better in this particular circumstance, and will be using it again to put a 2nd coat on the inside of the legs, plus the shelf rails, when I get to them.

I should’ve gone and gotten aromatic red cedar rather than the regular cedar. It still has a scent, but not nearly as much as the red cedar would’ve. Oh well, next time maybe. I’ve given thought to constructing a cedar-lined closet someday. Maybe when we build-out the basement I can intall one in the bedroom that will be going in down there to store out-of-season clothing.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1802 days


#12 posted 01-31-2010 04:54 PM

Update:

Two coats of gel stain, followed by 2 coats of spray-on poly so far. Waiting for the second coat of poly to dry so I can buff it with steel wool before applying the final coat. That will happen later this afternoon, as the second coat needs a few more hours to dry.

Since this is just going to be buried in the closet, I decided to use the spray-on poly. If I had to do it again though, I think I’d go with the wipe-on poly. Maybe it’s weird to say this, but spraying it on makes me feel sort of detached from, or at least not as connected to the wood as much, like I’m not putting enough love into it or something? Does that make sense?

After the finish dries, I will just need to attach the front and rear rails, then attach the two shelves to the frame. I will post more pictures once it’s finished. I promised my wife I’d have the shoe rack done and ready to use by tomorrow, so have to keep things moving! 36-hours from now this will be loaded with shoes.

Although it’s a basic and simple project, it is good practice to familiarize myself with various aspects. I have learned a couple of things already from this project, so I can take that away with me.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1802 days


#13 posted 02-02-2010 03:55 PM

Quick update:

I finished the shoe rack yesterday morning after the third coat of poly dried. I wanted to get it done before heading up to the mountains to pick up my first table saw.

My wife was so excited last night. She immediately cleaned out the closet and began loading it up. I love putting a smile on her face, especially with something like this that I actually made, not just went out and bought.

I’m guessing that feeling will never get old.

I’ll post pictures in the project section soon.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1802 days


#14 posted 02-02-2010 08:04 PM

Here’s a link to the posted Project with pictures for this shoe rack:

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/27531

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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