Shoe Rack: Finished

Remember the shoe rack I’d been working on for a while? The one I haven’t written about for a while? Well, it’s been in the finishing stage for the last month. I did a tung oil/varnish blend first, and after waiting the requisite million years for that cure, I put on three more coats of varnish.

I started today by rubbing out the finish. That’s always pretty hard work. I used 320, 600, and 1500 grit sandpaper dry at first. In retrospect, the 1500 was not necessary, because I hit it with #000 and #0000 steel wool lubricated with mineral oil afterwards. Why do I always forget what an amazing difference that makes? I did not use rottenstone as a final step this time, because this is a shoe rack and does not need a super-fine glassy finish.

Then I set out drilling holes for the assembly hardware. The sides were relatively easy–just pop them under the holdfasts, mark out, and go crazy with the brace and bit:

(Yeah, Dan, that’s one of my Millers Falls #2 eggbeaters on the right. It’s got a countersink chucked in. Just sayin’, ‘cuz it seems to be eggbeater season.)

The shelves were a lot trickier. I had to bore parallel into the stretchers for a place to insert the screw-in nuts. That’s difficult to do without splitting the wood, so here’s my solution. With scraps protecting each side, one end goes in the vise, the other is held tight with a handscrew:

So what hardware am I using, you ask?

It’s the same kind I used for my saw handles–those furniture connector bolts with the really wide heads that are screwed in with hex drivers. (I like these things, obviously. Very 20th century, I realize.)

Then it was time to see if everything went together okay. It did:

Oddly, it looks just like I wanted it to. Not so oddly, it’s already full. The SO had a job to do here, you see.

4 thoughts on “Shoe Rack: Finished

  1. Looks great Brian!

    I notice that you said “…one of my Millers Falls #2 eggbeaters…” – exactly how many do you have? Just kidding – they’re really great aren’t they? I have two myself. It was one of those great deals where I said “I’ll just sell this for a profit” but then I found myself using both of them, so…

    I use the same trick with the clamps/vise – when I remember, which is usually after I split the first one. Another option is to use a forstner style bit – without the lead screw, they don’t split the wood and they bore very clean holes. Vintage ones are few and far between, but the more modern ones work fine in both eggbeaters and braces.


  2. Dan, well, I have two MF #2s as well, one with the flange wheel, one with the dual pinions. And two #5s. And a #104 (“Buck Rogers”). The #2s get the most use, they’re just a really good size.
    Never tried a Forstner bit that way. I’ll have to keep that in mind.


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