Christmas Stocking Holder (aka Coat Rack made from cherry)

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Project by CaptainKlutz posted 12-25-2018 10:22 PM 2123 views 4 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Coat Rack Project highlights:
Simple hexagon shape using Bird’s Mouth joinery and made from cherry wood. Generic coat hooks with ball end from BORG. Stands ~68 inches tall, and has ~10 inch OD. Wood has some nice figure, and SWMBO wanted the cherry aged prematurely, so it was toned with dye stain.

Project took about 3 weeks from start to finish, not working any weekends due holiday commitments.
Thanks for looking!

Every project has a story, and this one is interesting as always:
Folks that read ’How about a weather report from around the country....part 2’ thread can skip this part, they have seen a lot of it as I blogged the adventure in that thread. :)

Picture this: December 7th, curled up on sofa with wife having date night watching some forgotten movie. During commercials wife is shopping on her phone.
She stops and asks me: ”You are a wood worker, right?

When SWMBO asks this question, what are you supposed to say?
There is garage is full of wood working tools 50 feet away. I thought maybe she saw bad weather coming and want garage cleaned up for her car, but No. Suddenly realized had much bigger problem –
A new project due before Christmas???_

She had been surfing Christmas catalogs looking for something to hang Christmas stockings on, since we don’t have fireplace or mantel. She shows me this pinterst page , and asks if I can make Christmas stocking post?
Then gets all excited by this page from home depot and proclaims, ”I know you can do this! They sell parts at Home Depot!.”
Inside joke here: My high school age son works part time at Home Depot right now, she sees him in kitchen getting food and asks him to bring home the parts shown in HD web page.

Then inevitability happens, and specifications start being added:

1) Where are ‘we’ going to store it when Christmas is over?
Answer: Needs to be stained hardwood or made from cherry to match rest of furniture, so it can be coat rack out of season. Check box for nice wood finish, not can of spray paint, +3-4 days for nice finish

2) Can you make it have 5 sides, then no one will be forced to have stocking hanging in back, and can you make it ‘this tall’ so no one is below another family member.
Answer: Reality it needs 5 sides showing, which means 6 sided column or very large post about 5 feet tall, +many days making column instead of 4×4 post.

So began the adventure to build a hexagon shaped column to be used as Christmas Stocking ‘pole’ and coat rack when not holiday season.

Have never done Bird’s Mouth joints, so quick search on LJ reveled a simple TS method and created hexagon side panels from my stash of cherry:

Gluing up long hexagon is challenge. Had to make a support jig to help keep things in place as I added more wood and glue:

Hidden inside is a hex block about 1/4 inch smaller than ID to support middle of column until the joints were pulled tight. Tried using straps and bungee cords as clamps, but decided that packing tape was better as it stretched and help pull joints tight. Tape applied adhesive side out to keep wood clean. :)

Next I added an extra layer of wood in bottom to allow using dove tail joints to secure legs.

At this point, wife sees progress then comments ”that sure is complicated?”
This is silly, stop wasting your time, just nail a 4×4 to sheet of wood and I’ll paint it.
UGH. Did I misunderstand the original command to produce a nice looking Christmas stocking pole?
Undeterred by this set back, I persevere and decided to finish project as planned.

Here is progress picture when it was outside drying after applying shellac seal coat:

Couple of days has passed, SWMBO inspects the assembled column. Changes her mind on 4×4 pole and spray paint. Now insist it be finished before Christmas. I asked if Dec 2019 was OK as I ducked. :)

Since some folks think staining or dyeing cherry is sacrilegious, wanted to show that I did not add a tremendous amount of fake age to wood.

The leg on left has dye added, and leg on right is natural, with only shellac sealer on it. The legs were made from 8/4 Cherry, tapered on lower portion, with decorative bead.
After I added the 1st coat of Arm-R-Seal I realized that sealer/dye/poly finish was right choice. There are several areas on the column that show nice 3D looking figure:

Someone already asked me about finish used in the other thread; so here is finish schedule:
-Sand 120/180 grit
-Spray on seal coat & blotch control with 1/2 lb cut of LV light yellow shellac flakes
-Sand with 220 grit after drying for 24 hours
-Selectively air brush on 50/50 mix of Behlen’s Solar Lux Mission Brown and Medium Brown Walnut to darken sap wood 2-3 shades darker than base wood, followed with solvent wet cotton rag to blend edges. Used 50/50 blend of Acetone/Alcohol to avoid raising grain.
- Spray wet layer using 50% dilution of Behlen’s Solar Lux Cherry, using solvent wet cotton rag to blend everything. Thanks to solvent blend, spraying, and Arizona low humidity, dye was dry and odor free in 2 hours.
- Apply heavy coat of Arm-R-Seal gloss with foam brush.
- After 24 hours, knock off nibs, scuff surface with maroon scotch brite (320 grit), and remove any runs with card scraper
- Apply 2nd coat of Arm-R-Seal gloss, not as heavy as 1st to avoid defects.
- Remove any defects with 400 grit, scuff up surface with green scotch brite (600 grit)
- Apply 3rd coat of Arm-R-Seal satin.
- remove dust nibs with white scotch brite (1000 grit)

Have used this same schedule on several cherry projects with 100% success (I.E. No blotching, no hiding grain figure). Primary deviation(s) made to this are: use ruby shellac as sealer if I want darker color, or apply up to 5 coats of Arm-R-Seal if I need a more durable surface.

The beaded column cap is attached via (3) decorative 1/4-20 screws and threaded inserts into a support piece inside the column. Did this hoping it would allow for wood movement. The support block is loose fit and allows for everything to move about 1/8 inch.

And thanks to some luck, Finished the project December 24th afternoon, only had to buff out few remaining defects from top coat, add coat hooks and I am finally done.

Sort of.

SWMBO looks at and ‘asks what about hooks for two DOGS Christmas stockings?’
Huh? Say What? :(

Not sure why I bought 2 extra coat hooks from BORG when they cost me $5 each, but I just happen to have 2 extra coat hooks handy. Couple of holes, few screws; and finally completed to her satisfaction. :)

Thanks for reading the story. Hope you like this quickie project.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

2 comments so far

View Festus56's profile


4284 posts in 2690 days

#1 posted 12-25-2018 11:12 PM

That is a great build!! Enjoyed following the build process and what woodworkers have to deal with at times. And completed on time too!!

-- Mark -- Really we're not crazy, just "Limited Editions" -- --

View Firewood's profile


1726 posts in 3096 days

#2 posted 12-26-2018 04:41 AM

The finished product looks great, Capt. Thanks for adding your finishing schedule and thanks also for the great story :-).

-- Mike - Ocala, FL

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