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Thread: Build Thread For Walnut Shoe Rack

  1. #1
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    Build Thread For Walnut Shoe Rack

    Based on my immediate family and my few Etsy customers, seems like most people have more shoes than they know what to do with. I built five shoe racks, typically a vertical configuration with the shoes on shelves one above the other. This is a build thread for a different horizontal model that can also be used as a bench when putting shoes on.


    Here’s a picture of my one car garage “empty-nesters shop”. There’s some rolling tool chests and cabinets on the other side you can’t see, but one thing’s clear, as my Dad would say, I’m still trying to “fit 2 pounds of rice in a 1 pound bag”. I’m primarily a hand tool guy; Bandsaw and Drill Press are my only stationary power tools. Maybe someday I get around to rationalizing my hand tools to reasonable quantities.




    I like to use 11 x 17 graph paper to rough out my project plans. Typically I focus on the macro, outside dimensions of a case piece like this, get a cut list for major outside components, in this case top, bottom and sides Stiles. Everything else I’ll just measure off the carcass once it’s in progress.



    Start with the four vertical sides Stiles that will be dovetailed into the top and bottom. I don’t try and hide the baseline of my dovetails – I kinda like that it demonstrates the piece was handmade. In fact, I find it saves me a little time to deepen the baseline with an X-Acto knife and then set the chisel directly in it for the final cut to chop out the bottoms. Here’s some dovetail pics.












    Next are through mortises on the vertical sides Stiles that will accept horizontal railings supporting the two shelves. I marked both sides of the mortice with an X-Acto knife, but tend to flare the inside, non-show surface beyond those lines to ease fitting of the tennon, especially if it’s going in through, wedged tennon that will expand.





    Here’s some pics of the tennons with slots for Holly wedges to secure them. I like the look of the combination of Holly and Walnut.








  2. #2
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    Using the drill press to create through mortises in the top and bottom to accept for internal vertical Stiles that will also be through, wedged M and T’s.




    I use a Dremel tool with 1/16” diameter straight bit to plow grooves for a diamond pattern on the top filled with Holly string inlay. Frankly the Dremel is a bit overmatched for this job – takes quite a while. I’m looking for similar diameter bit I can put in a palm router. With all my string inlay, getting the width of the stringing consistent is the biggest challenge for me. I cut mine on the bandsaw and plain/scrape to final width.






    Here’s the dry fit of the horizontal rails and final glue up of the carcass.












    This was a complex glue up so I decided to add side rails and internal supports for shelves after the carcass was glued up. This required a bit of careful chisel work, which I really enjoy.






    I didn’t think far enough ahead to leave a rabbit on the back of the carcass for a single piece of plywood so I ended up using a router to rabbit each of the individual 9 “boxes” and then added separate plywood backs.



    To try and keep the weight down and again ease complex assembly, I rabbit did pine shelves to fit into corresponding rabbits.





  3. #3
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    After assembly last piece was fitting and mitering X shaped cross pieces on the sides. I’d like to say I cut all these pieces to length at once and they all fit perfectly, but each required some individual fitting – again chisel work I enjoy.



    Here’s some pics of the finished piece.



















    Thanks for looking!

    Best regards, Mike

  4. #4
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    Mike, a very useful and nice looking project. I figured it would fill up fast. I have built several vertical shoe racks, and they always get filled up. I like the wedged tenons and the holly wood. Do you saw your own strips from rough stock or buy them? I have done both, but buying is easier.

  5. #5
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    Love it!

    Any thought about some small pads to keep it up off the surface of the floor?
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  6. #6
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    Beautiful piece, Mike.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rainey View Post
    Mike, a very useful and nice looking project. I figured it would fill up fast. I have built several vertical shoe racks, and they always get filled up. I like the wedged tenons and the holly wood. Do you saw your own strips from rough stock or buy them? I have done both, but buying is easier.
    You’re right Mark, waaay easier to buy stringing but I struggle matching with of store bought stringing to width of my grooves. I make my own because I get better fit but it is labor intensive.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    Love it!

    Any thought about some small pads to keep it up off the surface of the floor?
    Good idea Steven- I’m gonna do that. Thanks for the your suggestion!!

  9. #9
    Nice project- fitting the interior X pieces must have been a bit of a challenge.

  10. #10
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    Beautiful!

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  11. #11
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    Very well done, Mike! Hope all is well with you and yours.

  12. #12
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    Well done. I like the Inlay alot

  13. #13
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    Sep 2009
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    “ I’m looking for similar diameter bit I can put in a palm router”

    Easy - go to stewmac dot com. Search for router bits. Plenty of width options in 1/64” increments. Both up cut and down cut available

    Scroll down and you’ll find an adapter to fit the bits to a 1/4” collet.

  14. #14
    Mike, Wonderful craftsmanship from beginning to the end. Thanks for sharing. Jack

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Eagle, WI
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    Mike, thanks for sharing your work. Beautiful job and I picked up several ideas about improving my inlay techniques.

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