Here is a quick project that I designed and built in just a couple of hours today. It is a wall mounted file rack for my mother. She has one mounted on the island cabinet in her kitchen, and she wanted a second one. She uses them to hold cutting boards and cook books, so they need to be fairly heavy-duty. Her plastic one broke, so I am making one from oak to replace it.
This project comes entirely from my scrap pile today. I started by finding a 2′ long piece of white oak, that was wider than 6″. I laid out the sides of my rack. 6″ wide at the top, 4″ wide at the bottom, and 9″ tall.
I cut the board in half on the miter saw, then stacked the two pieces and cut the other side, so they would be the exact same length. While they were stacked, I rotated the blade about 12 degrees and cut the angle as well.
I grabbed some re-sawn left-over pieces, from my pub chairs, to be the front and back panels. These pieces are quarter-sawn and have some beautiful grain patterns.
I ripped them to width on the table saw, then tried to match the grain a bit, and cut them to length on the miter saw.
Since this rack will be for cutting boards and recipe books, I am anticipating that they will occasionally be put away with a few crumbs still attached. Since you don’t want a bunch of crumbs collecting in hard-to-clean places, I decided to use 1/4″ dowels for the bottom. I marked off a location for each dowel hole about 3/8″ up from the bottom of the front panel, and located one every inch. Since the front panel is on about a 12 degree incline, I used the off-cut pieces from the sides as a jig to set the angle of my board for drilling.
I set the sides on the back panel, leaving 1/2″ on the top and bottom for mounting holes, then placed the front panel on and dropped a dowel through to the back panel, to locate where the rear holes needed to be. It turned out to be almost exactly 1″ up from the bottom. I proceeded to lay out the holes every inch along the bottom, and drilled them with the board laying flat.
The next step was to get an estimate of the length of dowel, that I would need. I then cut 13 dowels about 3/8″ over-sized.
I applied glue to the back edges of the sides, and also to the edges of the rear panel that met in the middle. I located and attached the rear panel with 23 gauge pin nails, to hold everything in place while the glue dried. I clamped the top and bottom panels together as well while they dried.
Flipping the rack over, I repeated the process on the front.
I attached a piece of painter’s tape to the rear panel to prevent glue from leaking out the back, then applied a single drop of glue to each rear hole. I swirled the glue around the hole, with a short pencil, to evenly spread it out.
I tapped each dowel in place with my hammer, then attached the dowels in the front panel with my pin nailer. 1/2″ pin nails were just long enough to penetrate fully into the dowel.
I used my pull saw to cut all of the dowels flush, then sanded down the area around the dowels, and all of the edges and corners.
After letting the glue dry, I applied some dark walnut stain with a rag.
The stain really brings out the grain. Hopefully I will get a chance to spray on a couple coats of polyurethane, then I will be able to deliver the rack.