The coat rack

Racking it up and shaping.

Taking wood movement into account (be sure to check that article out!), I extended the dadoes to the sides, leaving about 1mm (a hair over 1/32”) to allow for wood expansion. I plan to fasten the shelf with screws in oblong holes near the edge of the board, plus a dab of glue and a screw at the center. This will keep the shelf “centered” on the board, while allowing for movement through the seasons.

I then shaped the transition between the routed roundovers to the shelf, blending them in stead of leaving a hard, “routed” edge. I used a spokeshave for this.

The end result was very pleasing, and when I do the final sanding of the whole thing the result will be even better.

To cut the notches in the shelf, I used a coping saw to remove the majority of the waste. I used a rasp and a file to get to the line.

Final smoothing and sanding

I used the Stanley #80 cabinet scraper to smooth the rack. The grain goes all over the place, so I did not want to risk using my smoothing plane. I am going to sand the thing anyway, so the cabinet scraper gave me the finish I wanted. And since I am going to use a hard wax oil, I did not need a better finish.

Interestingly, you can actually see the difference between the smooth, nice finish on the left hand side and the slightly rough surface immediately to the right of the cabinet scraper. That surface did not look like that for long!

I then gave the rack and the shelf a thorough sanding with 180 grit Mirka Abranet, and the Mirka sanding tool with built-in dust collection proved once again just how good it is! No dust at all!

The shelf will be secured to the rack by screws (and glue at the center). I made the screw holes oblong to account for wood movement through the seasons. I did not bother to make these look nice – they are going up against the wall and nobody will ever see them. That being said – it is a shame nobody will see the nice grain. I love quarter sawn white oak!

I chose keyhole hardware to hang the shelf on the wall. Two good sized screws ought to be more than enough. I recessed the metal hardware into the wood to give it support and to transfer the load to the screw better.

And if you look just beneath the hardware, there’s a small crack. I doubt it would’ve ever been any bigger, but I decided to strengthen the area anyway.

I chopped a 3mm wide stopped dado and made a small piece of wood that fitted neatly into the dado. A dab of Titebond III, a few whacks with the hammer, a flush trim saw and a card scraper, rendered the fix almost invisible. And when the coat rack goes up on the wall, it will become totally invisible…

Applying finish

Two coats of Osmo TopOil natural (which has a bit of white pigment in it) should provide ample protection against moisture, and the oil will enhance the wood grain beautifully. The white pigment will aid in preventing the oak from yellowing too much over time.

Gloves, a tin of oil and Osmo lint-free cloth (cut one into 4, and one cloth should last for two coats on smaller pieces). I just put screws in the holes for the shelf and one screw inside the hanging hardware, and I had perfect legs to hold the rack off of the bench while applying finish.

And BOY did the rack turn out gorgeous! Lookeylookeylookeylook!!!

I applied a liberal coat, massaged it all over the wood and waited a few minutes before I wiped off the excess. One more coat, and finishing should be a wrap.

On the next page we’ll mount the shelf to the rack, add the coat hooks and put the thing on the wall.

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