Poplar shoe rack

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Project by JSOvens posted 07-21-2014 06:35 AM 4861 views 17 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a shoe rack I made for our narrow entry-way out of poplar. This project was in large part a practice for half-lap joinery. There are 82 such joints throughout the shelves and uprights. The poplar I got was from a local woodworker who was retiring and selling off his nice hardwoods at very good prices. I got this poplar for less than the cheapest pine at HD, for example (I also got some exotics such as Wenge and Jatoba, but that’s a different story). I was very impressed with this Poplar as it had some very interesting grain patterns.

The finish on this rack is Odie’s Oil by request of my wife. I had bought a bottle to try out and she really liked the look and feel. She also really liked the idea of participating in applying the finish, which can be rubbed in by hand. This oil gave the poplar a nice golden colour and really brought out the subtle grain patterns. I think my opinion of Poplar has definitely gone up over the course of this project.

The final dimensions measured about 3 feet long by 1 foot deep, and another 1 foot high. The handles make it really easy to move when we want to clean the floor. I hope you all enjoy, and I look forward to posting more projects as I’m able to build them!


I forgot to mention that if you’re interested, I have a blog series regarding the construction of this project starting here.

-- Jeffrey S. Ovens, Canada

4 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4114 days

#1 posted 07-21-2014 09:26 AM

Very nicely done. Personally I like Poplar a lot and I would use it if I could but it board form.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Ottacat's profile


517 posts in 2631 days

#2 posted 07-22-2014 03:13 AM

Really nicely done. The joinery makes it quite visually appealing. I’ve been thinking about making a shoe / boot rack and now I’m motivated.

View garriv777's profile


146 posts in 3645 days

#3 posted 07-24-2014 12:49 AM

I’d like to see a few more pics on how the shelves are attached to the uprights, some close ups. Nice job and design.

View JSOvens's profile


78 posts in 2436 days

#4 posted 07-24-2014 01:50 AM

Thanks for the comments! I forgot to mention that there are more details in my blog series for this project here. I’ll see if I can edit the original description above and add that info.

While I don’t show any close-ups of the finished joints, you can see the method I used. Unfortunately, those joints didn’t come out super tight since sanding the uprights lead to a convex surface, so I didn’t photograph them.

-- Jeffrey S. Ovens, Canada

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