How to Build a Tree Coat Rack

What You'll Need
Lumber, as Outlined in Pattern
Fasteners, as Outline in Pattern
Wood Glue
Wood Stain
Wood Lacquer
Table saw
Sand Paper
Medium and Fine Grit Sand Paper

Building a tree coat rack is a great starter wood working project that will add a beautiful and functional piece to your home. Tree coat racks were popular in the first half of the century, found in many homes and offices. Their nostalgic effect is coming back and is now frequently sought after. Your wood working skill level will likely partially determine the complexity of the plan you choose when building one. Almost all woodworking patterns will give you a list of needed lumber and hardware. Here we will list the basic process of building the coat rack.

Step 1 - Review Plans

Lay out the pattern for the particular project that you have identified. Read through the plans and pattern a couple of times before you start to familiarize yourself with them. This will also help you to identify if there are missing tools and supplies that you need to obtain before you start. There is nothing more frustrating that being at a critical point of assembly when you realize that you don't have what you need.

Step 2 - Prepare Lumber

Start by preparing your lumber and getting all of the different pieces cut and planed to the size and specifications outlined in the plans. Make sure that you purchase a little extra lumber in the event there is a mistake. A good rule of thumb is measure twice, cut once. It is helpful to do the initial sand on the lumber at this stage to remove any major blemishes in the wood.

Step 3 - Start the Assembly

Once you have all of your lumber mostly prepared, you can start the assembly. Follow the instructions on your pattern, but you will need to be able to problem solve some on your own too. For example, if a dowel peg doesn't fasten the two components tightly, you may have to do something else. Work through the assembly to the point where you are ready to attach the hooks.

Step 4 - Sand

While you did a lot of the sanding already, you will need to do more before you stain. Sand all surfaces with a medium grit sand paper, focusing on major blemishes or dings. Give the coat rack another round of sanding with the fine grit. Take your time and be thorough. Sanding with the fine grit gives the wood a bit of polish, and enhances the wood's natural grain.

Step 5 - Stain and Lacquer

You will want to use old rags to stain the coat rack. Rags give you better control over the intensity of the stain and minimize drips and splashes, as you can squeeze out much of the stain from the rag. The rag will also absorb heavy spots of stain and give a more even and consistent color. Let the stain dry for at least twenty four hours, but forty-eight is best. Once the stain is completely dry, apply lacquer according to the directions on the container.