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Project by redsox9 posted 11-24-2015 05:44 PM 930 views 3 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

With three kids ranging between the ages of six and twelve, there are plenty of jackets, school backpacks, dance bags, etc. to choke a front hallway, and my wife and I were tired of tripping over all of it. Time to organize!

This was my first attempt at making finished furniture. I wanted to use as little visible hardware as possible and make it worth displaying it where it would be seen by guests. The frame and cross members are made from a single sheet of 3/4” birch plywood, the back from a half-sheet of 3/4” sanded plywood, and the trim from 3/4” pine boards. Overall dimensions are approximately 4 feet by 4 feet by 11 inches deep. Each cubby has plenty of hooks to hang jackets, backpacks, and dance bags, and we plan to purchase wicket baskets for the top shelves so the kids can store hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves.

A couple of “learning moments” from this build:

I prefinished the frame and cross members with a poly satin stain mix and the back with a matte black paint ahead of assembly, but I left the trim unfinished with the intent of doing it after assembly. I attempted to stain the trim with the same poly and, as hard as tried to avoid drips, etc., the pine did not absorb the finish as well as I had hoped and instead ran off onto the prefinished frame materiel. With a six-hour dry time between coats for the poly, I spent the better part of a few days trying to correct/hide as many imperfections as possible. In the end, I resolved most of the issue and, given its intended use, I won’t fuss about it. In the future, I intend to prefinish the trim as well with something other than poly, likely a wipe-on stain following by one or two clear coats of poly.

As mentioned, I wanted to minimize the use of hardware, so I attempted to notch the internal pieces using a jigsaw and a blade made for “fine cutting.” While I’ve used a jigsaw in the past, it has usually been for rough cuts so this was new territory for me. I needed to make a total of four notches. My first one was halfway decent, but the second went awry because the blade bent and traveled off center. To avoid further frustration, I went with a hacksaw with a fine blade for my last two notches and the results were much cleaner, especially when used in combination with a speed square. I had to cut about half an inch with the jigsaw, but it behaved for that. In the future, I intend to make test cuts on a spare piece of material and test different blades to see which one works best for the job.

As you can see, the kids have already stuffed their belongings in their respective cubbies and, best of all, the front hallway is pristine (or at least much less messy). I’m not sure what my next “fine furniture” project will be but I’m encouraged by the results of this build.

-- Jeff, North Andover, MA

3 comments so far

View ellen35's profile


2739 posts in 3632 days

#1 posted 11-24-2015 05:46 PM

Your kids have too many clothes!
Nice idea and build. All woodworking is a learning experience… just ask Moonls.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View redsox9's profile


105 posts in 2486 days

#2 posted 11-24-2015 07:26 PM

Your kids have too many clothes!
Nice idea and build. All woodworking is a learning experience… just ask Moonls.

- ellen35

Ha! Actually, the problem right now is that the outside temperature is still fluctuating day-to-day (New England weather… who knew?). So there are probably twice as many jackets and hoodies as would the case in the summer or winter at the extreme ends of the spectrum.

Thanks for the kind words and I agree: woodworking means learning new things every day. It’s part of the fun!

-- Jeff, North Andover, MA

View dshute's profile


219 posts in 2886 days

#3 posted 11-29-2015 11:46 PM

Nice job and functional idea.

-- dshute, Warsaw, New York

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