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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Second Project - Hatrack

Because it rained all day yesterday and was dark and drizzly today, I couldn't take good pictures of the Herb Garden Project. So I started an indoor project yesterday.

Having realized I had about 30 hats of various kinds, clutterring up the closet shelves, I decided they needed to be hung up somewhere. So by "hatrack", I don't mean the kind that stands in a corner of a room and holds 4 hats and coats, but more a long length of board with pegs to hang hats on.

I set down some baseball style caps (the bulk of the collection) and decided that 9" between pegs worked well. I'm making three 8" boards. That allows 10 pegs per board. One board has the 2 outside pegs 12" from the others to accomodate 2 wide brimmed straw hats (very good in hot weather).

I thought about the design a bit. I wanted some workmanship in it, but not too fancy. And there was some practicality, too. I decided to make the boards with simple chamfered edges and I wanted the pegs at a slight upwards angle so that the hats wouldn't gradually fall off. I decided to stain the wood (simple clear pine) and finish them with a single coat of water-based polyurathane (no hard traffic involved, so a single coat is fine).

Yesterday, I cut the boards to length, trimming off the rough ends with the radial saw. Then I set up the router table to do the chamfers. I was surprised to discover that, in spite of using featherboards on the side and top, there was still a bit of chatter on the routed edges. It is not a problem with the router.

Perhaps pine is too flexible Or I didn't have the featherboards tight enough against the boards, but I had to run each edge through the router several times to get a smooth chamfer edge. I even sanded them a bit after with a simple flat sandpaper block.

Mistake #1: I should have sanded the untouched surfaces of the board. But they seemed so smooth, I didn't think it necessary. I paid for that when I stained the wood and got uneven penetration. I guess wood develops uneven coatings while being shipped. On the positive side, it made the project look a bit old afterwards. I'd prefer an even stain, but I can live with it.

I then stained the wood twice. I wasn't sure what color stain to use. I have a wood waterbed frame in fruitwood that I built last year, 2 dressers in a walnut stain, and a secretary in honey oak. I went with fruitwood.

I have to say that, no matter how well you sand end-grain wood, it will stain darker than the long-grain wood. Fortunately, the endgrain wood is not very visible.

I was able to get all that done yesterday while it was raining. Today I drilled holes for the pegs. Getting the angle on my drill press was easy. I simply taped a dowel against the fence to create a slight angle. That worked great. I drilled holes for the pegs using a forstner bit.

If you notice that the board is not stained, it is because I forgot to take pictures of it as I worked and recreated them using a scrap piece... Sorry!

I had intended to use Shaker Pegs for the hangers, but they were 2 for $3 and I didn't feel like spending $45 dolarrs on the pegs. The dowel joinery pegs however were 30 for $2. They have slots lengthwise for great glue surface, but I don't think the hats care about that. And it is not as if this is an heirloom piece of furniture. This is cheap fast functionality... LOL! I had stained the pegs yesterday by simply putting all the pegs in a cheap margarine container and pouring in a little stain. I shook it around a bit and took them out after 5 minutes. I stood them upright on a piece of scrap wood to dry. Worked fine.

Mistake #2: I should have applied the polyurathane finish to the boards before I glued in the pegs. It was hard to get a smooth finish around all the pegs. I had been worried that the polyurathane would get into the holes and interfere with the glueing. I was incorrect about that.

So, anyway, the boards are all finished. Tommorow or the next day, I will mount them on the bedroom walls. I can't wait to discover what surprises I find doing that! There are always surprises...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like the job.

I just did a 60 inch four shelf book case. More as an experiment with pocket screw joinery than anything else.

I have to agree, sand everything, everytime, more than you think it needs to be.

da bear