Plate Display Rack - first project I ever built

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Project by slaphitter posted 09-29-2007 03:40 AM 6924 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is how I got into woodworking. About 4 years ago, we were looking for a plate rack to fill a large open wall in our kitchen. Couldn’t find anything that was right. I finally said, “I’m going to build it.”

She Who Must Be Obeyed said, “You can’tbuild a plate rack!”

I said, “Sure I can – I’ve watched New Yankee Workshop for years, this stuff isn’t especially hard, you just need to take your time and be careful. I will need to buy a few tools, but…”

Her: “Well if you’re going to buy a bunch of tools, you’re going to have to build a hell of a lot more than one stupid plate rack!”

Me: “Deal.”

I built this from S4S maple from Lowes – horribly overpriced, but actually very nice quality stuff. A few maple dowels, and some pre-fab rosettes. Got a basic benchtop table saw at Sears, a cheap plunge router and some bits from ebay, and few weeks later this appeared, painted to match the trim in the room. Wife was so stunned that she immediately started placing order for other things, and away we went… LOL

Note: The red “back panel” is an illusion – merely the wall behind the rack painted to look like a back panel. The rack is nothing but a ladder frame. Shelves are stop-dadoed into the sides, so they look like butt joints. Screws though the sides into the shelves, with maple plugs to conceal the screws. After putty and paint, the plugs are invisible. I hand-shaped the little “balusters” that hold the rails – they are doweled into the shelves. The rack is hung with 4 keyhole brackets mortised into the backside of the frame, so it is tight to the wall all around. Put a couple little flutes on each side to add a bit of visual interest. You can’t see it very well, but the front of each shelf, and the top and bottom panels, are roman ogeed.

5 comments so far

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 3899 days

#1 posted 09-29-2007 04:54 AM

Verry nice job. and thats just the way I got my 1st table saw and router. More projects for her, more tools for me. lol!

-- bryano

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4184 days

#2 posted 09-29-2007 04:56 AM

Very nice! And a good way to get SWMBO’s blessing for tool-buying!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4126 days

#3 posted 09-29-2007 11:45 AM

what a great story!!

a good laugh AND a great shelf ! I, too, am impressed at the “first project”.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4002 days

#4 posted 09-30-2007 06:02 PM

Nice! I like the project and the story! I always wondered what SWMBO meant.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4126 days

#5 posted 10-01-2007 04:06 PM

it means “the boss” :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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