May 6, 2014

Build the Coat Rack

Not long after our family trip to haul lumber I was back at the house, both boys laid down for a nap, and I had a project calling my name out in the garage.  I usually cut all my wood per the plan on the front end, and then assemble.  Thankfully these plans from Ana White were a great start, and I just had to adjust my cuts for the slightly smaller size I needed to build to perfectly fit our space.  The only tough part was cutting some of my long pieces of plywood by myself without a second set of hands, but I used a saw horse to help hold up the weight. A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do to make the most out of nap time.

After about 40 minutes of cutting, I was a lot colder than I anticipated, so I laid down a sheet in the workout room and brought my pieces inside to assemble.  The Hubs was not thrilled with this choice when he returned home.  #WorkoutRoomsAreNotForBuilding.  Oops.

I used my Kreg Jig to connect the pieces, and fairly quickly I had the base constructed.

The plans for this piece did a fairly good job covering up the rough edges of the plywood. The only thing I caution when using Ana White plans is that sometimes she doesn't take account for the exposed plywood edges, and you have a lot of veneer to apply.  I'm not a big fan of plywood veneer on high trafficked edges as it might peel over time under wear and tear.  In this plan 1x2 pieces are used to trim out the bench seat, and the frame of the shelves.  

She did not include trim on the 2 inside shelf pieces though, so I cut a 1x2 in half lengthwise to use to cover these as well.  See how much better it looks with those shelf dividers trimmed nicely?

At this point I was about 2 hours into the project, cutting and assembling the bottom half.  I added the molding to the bottom which really classed it up.

And then- Surprise!  The baby was up. 

He's not such a baby any more, he's a little lumber jack man, and he a lot of fun helping me wipe the piece down of sawdust. 

We took a break for a dance party up in the kitchen with his big bro, and I returned to the project during nap #2.  I started by assembling the top, which was a dissying connection of 42 different pocket screws.  I love how my collection of tools below includes a rouge sippy cup.  

The back gets connected to the base by a set of corbels that I bought at Home Depot, since they were cheaper and easier than making my own, and 1/2" plywood sheets that run the full length of the piece. 

Ana's plans didn't account for the way this plywood would stick out the sides of the base, since the top is 3/4" wider on each side than the base.  I traced the edge:

And cut it out with a jig saw:

At about that time the Hubs came home, and discovered that I had taken over his workout space with sawdust and tools.  The man loves me, but I don't always make it easy for him. :)  The bench got the boot to the hallway.

I'm flexible... I can improvise... to the hallway workspace it is.  That evening when everyone was asleep I finished up by adding the last back piece, and attaching decorative molding to the top.  Ana's plans call for one piece of molding flat across the top, but I thought it would add a nice touch to wrap the molding around the corner.

I clamped the corners to give the glue a chance to dry in a nice, tight connection.

All that was left to address was a few of the remaining exposed plywood edges.  The 1/2" plywood back had a rough edge:

As well as the edges of the seat:

I finished up the night applying veneer edging to the raw edges.

I didn't have enough hands to snap a picture of this part of the process, but it's pretty easy to line up the veneer on your rough edge and iron (no steam!) until the glue backing affixes securely to the wood.   I wait for it to cool down completely to there is a tight connection, and then I go back to trim the edges with a sharp utility knife.  Here's a shot from the archives for a visual.

All in a day's work:

I can't wait to see this bad boy in action!