By Gene and Katie Hamilton
You'll have so much fun building I this rack that you might just build one for everyone you know who wears a tie or scarf. It can be mounted on a closet wall or on the closet door, wherever it's most convenient. The rack is made of maple with birch dowels and is finished in a light-colored wipe-on oil finish, which is easy to apply with a rag.
Making the sides and back is easiest if you lay them all out on a single board and bore the dowel holes before cutting out the pieces. Rip (cut lengthwise) a piece of 1/2-inch maple stock to 3 1/2 inches wide, then cut it to 24 inches long (giving you a little extra length). Photocopy the full-size pattern pro- vided here, cut it out, and lay it on one end of the board. Draw the out- line, then mark the dowel centers with a nail set through the pattern. Mark the positions for the nail pilot holes as well. Repeat for the second side by flipping the pattern upside down to produce mirror- image sides.
Bore 3/8-inch-diameter dowel holes 1/4 inch deep with a brad-point bit. To drill these holes the same depth and avoid drilling completely through the wood, wrap a piece of tape around the drill bit 1/4 inch from its tip to act as a depth gauge. Drill until the tape touches the wood. Also bore 3/16-inch holes completely through the back for the mounting screws. Drill these holes 2 inches from the end of the back and I inch from its top edge.
Next, bore pilot holes for the brads along the back edge of the sides. If you don't have a drill bit the size of the brad, use one as a drill bit. Nip the head off a brad with a wire cutter, place it in your drill chuck, and drill the pilot holes with it.
Cut the curved parts of the sides with a coping saw, then cut the sides from the board. Clamp both pieces together, and use a sanding block or a block of wood wrapped in 80-grit sand- paper to remove the saw marks from the edges. Sand the curved sides into smooth arcs-they don't have to match the pattern exactly then sand the surface smooth with 120-grit sandpaper. Cut the back and dowels to length, then sand all parts smooth, rounding the edges slightly.
To assemble the rack, glue and nail one side to the back with 1 1/4-inch finishing nails. Apply a drop of glue to one end of each of the dowels, and insert them into the glued-up side. Put glue in the dowel holes of the second side, then glue and nail it to the back. Remove any excess glue with a damp cloth.
When the glue hardens, set the nails below the surface and fill with wood putty. When dry, sand smooth, then dust with a tack rag to remove sawdust. To apply a wipe-on finish, rub it on a clean, dry cloth and spread it onto the wood. Allow the oil to penetrate the wood for five minutes or so, then wipe off the excess. Repeat the process until the maple has absorbed as much finish as possible, then buff away the excess. Allow to dry overnight, then polish with wax for more luster. The rack should be installed with two flat-headed wood screws driven into suitable wall anchors.
Eight hours for cutting, building, and assembling, plus drying time for glue and finish.