My partner and I really both like building things, which makes anniversaries both an occasion for expression of caring through mutal gift giving, and a bit of a self-indulgent excuse to carve out time to make stuff. It only took him noting once that the width of our shoe rack was exactly 2.5 shoes for me to think through how I could build something better.
Over weeks of sketches, a trip to IKEA, and a trip to John Houston’s Kennebunkport workshop (unrelated), I was inspired by the idea of sneaky intersections - of furniture that has non-standard joints and that provides standard functionality in non-standard ways.
Planes are the foundation of furniture, but the way they are constructed is usually unimaginative. This idea was to try to construct planes through convoluted connections that rely on planning (rather than clear joints.jpg) to accomplish the surfaces on which the shoes would rest. This would be in contrast to the dominant feature of the rack - an elegant top portion of wood that would be both planar, simple and elevated above the constructed planes below.
Finished photo first, obviously.
I bought a bunch of pine because apparently it was proported easy to work with and cheap. After compleing this project I can affirm both of these characteristics.
First step was cutting the pieces to length. Lots and lots of this.
Next was sanding. Each prisim has 6 planes and 12 edges that all needed sanding. This, in combo with 30 pieces of wood meant 540 sanding planes/lines
The oscillating sander takes a lot of the brunt of this project. My hands got a nice massage though! Went through three disks like this one.
Assembling the first set of three rungs of the rack.
All three assembled rungs.
It took me a while to figure out how to attach these to the top. This was probably where I spent like 1 day in the garage scribbling. This is the start of me prototyping what ended up being the solution.
Attached two vertical columns to the center most rung.
I made a relatively grave miscalculation with the way the three rungs were going to attach (hint, screws in perpendicular directions to each other can’t work.jpg). Instead I decided to do the attachment at random staggers. Turned out to be a good idea, but I executed it in the wrong order and had to do FAR too much manual hand-turning of screws.
Two rungs attached! In this photo you can see what my partner made for me - some lovely shuffleboard boards! This was past the anniversary because I wasn’t able to finish mine in time (due to an unfortunate concussion..jpg)
Attachers on the middle rung.
Rungs fully attached
Initial attachment of the top (using hand screws and some pre drilled holes) looked like it was going well…
What these photos miss, however, is how incredibly off center the result was! Solidly 5 degrees off of alignment.
Time to undo some skrews, and try again…
The prestain made the wood look GOREGOUS particularly on the top. Very happy.
The stain turned this pine into a really gorgeous shade of maple. This is unfortunatley the only photo I have of it!
It nicely fits our shoes, though certainly not all of them (as we are shoe folk). My partner was quite happy with it, and I am too, despite its slight wobbles!