Large beam wooden coat rack
After several years using a normal wood wall hanger (a normal wood wall hanger means a piece of pinewood plank screwed on the wall, which had 7 double hooks), we concluded that it is not roomy enough. So I looked forward to find some ideas and I stopped on one that I thought was very interesting. A pine beam that looks like it’s part of the structure, passing through the wall, on which a lot of wooden hooks are fitted.
I took advantage of the entrance hall which is long enough for the size of the wood hanger designed by me. I also took into consideration that the hallway ends with a concrete beam so I could screw the rack into it. By giving up on the old wood hanger, I gave up on a great advantage that it offered: the fact that the heater was mounted below the wall rack, which was particularly useful in winter, when you hang more of the children’s overalls and jackets. But I decided that I will make a special wood stand for such situations, which can be mounted directly on the heater and which can be removed, so it would’t stay in the way all the time. This way I can still use the heating system of our house to dry clothes.
I bought a pinewood beam from a DIY store, with a section of 10 cm by 10 cm and a length of 4 m. Because there was no way to transport it, I cut it into two pieces of 2 m. When I say I cut it, I mean I cut it with a small saw blade for metal cutting and I worked a few minutes in the drive-in, because they do not offer cutting services for the wood or boards you buy from them. They didn’t even offer me a decent wood saw, but the saw blade for metal cutting that I mentioned.
Because the circular saw blade was not big enough to cut the wood beam in a single pass, I used a simple handmade guide that I created and I cut one end of the beam. From the second large piece of the pine beam I cut a smaller segment for the vertical piece of the rack.
The next step was joining the two pieces of the rack, which was a little bit difficult. I chose the more complicated method, but the safer one, because the wood rack will be suspended, screwed on the wall at one end and the other end of the rack will be screwed in the concrete beam.
The joint was mortise and tenon. I used a 12 mm cutting head on a handheld router. The cutting head has a bigger length than usual ones, it’s cutting length is 50.8 mm. I had to use such a cutting head in order to reach deep enough to mill the mortise hole.
I searched quite a lot of local stores for some simple hooks, to fit with what I wanted to do, but I haven’t found any model that I liked or thought would fit. Since, in the meantime, I was also making another coat rack for a friend, I chose to do the same type of hangers, out of a beech round bar with a diameter of 14 mm. So I cut the necessary pieces (in fact I cut more than necessary, about 20 pieces, so that I have some extra spares) and I finished the end of the new hooks.
I secured the beam to the workbench and, using the method described in the article about drilling angled holes, I drilled holes on both sides of the rack, at a distance of 20 cm from one another. I took care to alternate the hooks position on each side, so there wouldn’t be areas where clothes do not fit and areas where nothing is hanging.
The finishing consisted of sanding the two beams, the pegs and rounding all the edges. Before proceeding with staining, priming and coating, I glued the hooks with acrylic adhesive, so there is no risk to slacken over time, though they fitted very tightly in their holes.
After the glue of the hooks hardened, I colored the wood rack with a wenge water-based. I chose this color because it was similar to our hallway mirror and, recently, the bench with shoe racks.
The usual steps of water-based finishing followed: primer, fine sanding of the primer coat (with 320 grit sandpaper) and two coats of lacquer (also with an intermediate fine sanding).
The last part was the hanging in the hallway. It was pretty difficult, because the hallway has walls made of a mix of drywall panels on metal framing and drywall panels glued directly to the brick wall, using adhesive. Another problem was the fact that the walls of the hallway are packed with cables behind the drywall panels, as all the wires start from the electrical panel that is placed right next to the entrance door.
I held the coat rack on it’s final position, without fixing it with screws and, after checking it with a spirit level, I drew on the wall the areas where the rack would be fitted on the walls. With a vibration multi function device (I do not know how else to call it, I call it multi tool, as it was in an advertisement in the old days) I cut the drywall panels and studied what was in every hole.
I wasn’t very lucky, as the wall had the metallic structure at about 13 cm away from the brick wall (the wall where the entrance door is was badly built, since it was added later, so we had to straighten it with the drywall panels). At the other end, the drywall was glued on the concrete beam, so it was just about 0.8 cm away from the concrete. But the hole cut for the coat rack was only three quarters aligned with the concrete beam, the rest was in the air.
I used a block that I fitted to the concrete beam with a screw and I milled a corresponding hole in the coat rack. After we fitted the rack in the beech wood block already fitted on the concrete beam, I joined the two pieces using screws on all sides. This way I can be sure that, no matter how much weight would be hanged by the rack, there is no risk to detach from the ceiling.
For the other end, I attached a piece of beam (same size with the rack) to the brick wall and then I attached the rack to this piece, using diagonal screws, 2 on each side. Although it doesn’t look too great, I chose the safer way, as I always do: Safety first, appearance second. Meanwhile, I found a solution to solve the looks problem by fitting a small skirting to cover the damage done to the walls and the screw heads near the ends of the coat rack.
I would like to mention that after I fixed the two pieces of the rack to the walls, I secured the mortise and tenon connection between them using a thick screw, screwed from the bottom up, to make sure that the mortise and tenon joint will not get loose over time due to the dimensional variations of the wood, caused by temperature and humidity changes.
Although it might seem wrongly positioned, in front of the hallway mirror, it is good to know that it’s not such a big problem: we normally keep our coats near the mirror and we use the area in front of the mirror only when we have many guests. In such moments, looking in the mirror is not so important.
Space usage is very efficient with such a coat rack, because you can hang clothes on two rows, without losing too much space space, from a visual standpoint.