Make a coat rack from a tree branch to bring the warmth and charm of natural wood into your home in a creative, functional way.
The following is an excerpt from Tree Craft: 35 Rustic Wood Projects That Bring the Outdoors In by Chris Lubkemann (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2010). You can tap the splendor of the outdoors easily and practically by crafting these woodworking projects that are at once rugged and artful. Using some found twigs, branches or fallen trees and a few basic tools, you can create Lubkemann’s unique, striking pieces for your own space. This excerpt is from Chapter 3, “Living.”
This rather large and heavy coat rack is intended to be well-anchored to a wall. You definitely don’t want to attach it to a panel of drywall with a bit of Plasti-Tac or a few strips of double-sided sticky tape! Serious screws or bolts are required, so find a stud in the wall. After it’s up, it will hold a pile of coats.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
Hand-held power drill
Twist bit to match lag bolts
Bit to countersink holes
1. Choose your branch. Make sure you use a hard wood, such as maple, oak, dogwood or apple.
2. Trim off all of the little knots and branches that you don’t want serving as coat pegs.
3. With your saw, trim off all of the ends of the branches that remain — the ones that will be serving as pegs.
4. Round off and smooth the ends of all of the peg branches. Spray on a clear finish, if desired.
5. Now for the backerboard. Choose a good, heavy board. I think this was an old floor joist I picked up at a local secondhand store.
6. If you’re using an old piece of lumber like I was, make sure you pull out all of the old nails that may be sticking out.
7. Cut off a piece the size you think will be right for the particular rack branch you’re using.
8. Sand off any splinters or really rough spots.
9. Position the branch on the backerboard, marking its position.
10. Drill holes in the backerboard. Make sure you have the holes angled correctly so the lag screws will go straight up the base of the branch.
11. Drill through the backerboard into the base of the branch and countersink the hole. Unless you have four arms or a pretty sophisticated clamping system, you may need someone to help you hold the branch in place while you drill the holes for inserting the screws. To be on the safe side, I’d put in at least three long and strong lag screws. As long as you’re not using the wall rack for chin-ups, it should be fine for holding as many coats as there are branch pegs!
Reprinted with permission from Tree Craft: 35 Rustic Wood Projects That Bring the Outdoors In, published by Fox Chapel Publishing, 2010.
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