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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Shoe Rack Finished

I completed the assembly and istallation today. Yay! Naturally, I forgot to take pictures as I went. I have GOT to remember to do that. But I get involved in projects and forget. I'll try to do better about that.

So I was able to install the shelves into the frame this morning. I made the shelves to hang at a slight angle (about the same as at a shoe store). That turned out to be more complicated than I thought. Living alone has some drawbacks. Mainly, not have a 2nd pair of hands around the house... So I have learned to be resourceful. It took time to set up clamps to hold both ends of the shelves at the same time, but I managed.

I would show you pictures, but as I mentioned above, I just got totally focussed on the work at hand (sigh). I got it rock-solid though and screwed the 1st (top) shelf to the frame. Looked great.

I installed the bottom shelf 2nd. I wanted the bottom edge of the lower shelf to be even with the bottom of the frame. That took a bit of work. I finally thought to clamp a framing square to the frame, but even that wasn't enough because I had to match the angle of the shelf to the angle of the top one.

It's a good thing I have lots of scrap wood around. The jig looked like something made by a spider crossed with a beaver! LOL! It worked though. Both shelves were at a 20 degree angle.

The middle shelf drove me nuts! I thought it would be simple to space it evenly between the top and bottom shelves. It wasn't. I thought it would be simple to get it at the same angle. It wasn't. I fussed around with the darn shelf for a half hour. When I tried to clamp it in the right position I would find out the distance to the top and bottom shelves were slightly different. The angle would be a little off.

I was losing my mind! I finally pulled it out and sat it on the table saw. It wobbled! The darn thing had torqued slightly after being glued and screwed. ARGH...

So I did the best I could. I got it centered between the top and bottom shelves and cut scrap wood to pin in in place. Then I clamped it in the frame with 19 degrees at one end and 21 degrees at the other (the most I dared force it straight).

I looked at it carefully afterwards and I can't detect the misalignment. After all, a couple of degrees of angle is not very much. But it still annoys me.

Mistake #2 - I should have cut a shallow dado to guide the shelves into identical angles. It would have been easy to cut the dadoes identical distances apart, they would have served as guides for assembly, and I wouldn't have had to cut the shelves shorter and restain the cut edges!

The installation was (relatively) easy. I put 2 pieces of board against the wall and set the shoe rack on it. Then I shimmed one board until the rack was level. But it wanted to fall forward. So I got a spreader clamp to press it from the bed frame to the wall. That was a bit awkward to manuver around, but I managed.

All the wall-mounting screws hit studs with no problems (like I had on the left side of the hat rack). That was a pleasure. Unfortunately, I didn't have any pan head screws long enough to go through the wood, drywall AND an inch into the studs, so I had to use flatheads. That meant I had to drill countersinks into the frame.

The top wall attachment board was easy, but the angled bottom shelf prevented me from getting a level hole and countersink, so I had to put them in at a slight angle. But it looks great installed. Here is the shoe rack, installed:

And here is the rack with my shoes on it.

That's the problem with making one of everything. The 2nd would be SO much easier to build!

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