Improved Drying Rack: My First Commission

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Project by RGtools posted 08-31-2013 03:13 AM 12703 views 11 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a repeat of a project I had done earlier. I was walking through my harvest room with a friend when I said mostly to myself “I need to build a few of these to sell”. She ordered one on the spot, which I grossly underbid myself on, but oh well on that front.

I really like some of the things I have done differently on this one. I can’t think of much else I would change. Here are some of the differences.

1. The trays are made of much thinner material than on the first version. This makes them much lighter and easier to haul around.
2. I used 2 tails per corner on the trays rather than a single tail joint. This was an offshoot of thinning down the trays…trying to preserve as much strength as possible.
3. I took the time to shape the feet and tops of the posts…still need to do that on mine.
4. I let the tenons protrude so I could shape them…this touch was worth the 30 minutes I spent with a rasp.
5. I added one bay of trays. More drying space is a good thing.

This project has 98 components and 68 joints (I don’t count the nail joints in that).

I cut the dovetails by hand over a weekend. I used a bandsaw, handsaw, chisel, and router for the mortise and tenon joints.

It was a slog, but a fun one.

PS My wife was very supportive during the two months I spent taking all my free time working on this. Any suggestions for how I make it up to her?

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

24 comments so far

View LeslieC's profile


152 posts in 3553 days

#1 posted 08-31-2013 03:35 AM

Good job. The rack looks really nice.

-- There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert.

View lysdexic's profile


5353 posts in 4078 days

#2 posted 08-31-2013 03:45 AM

Did you cut all those mortises (morti?) by hand?

It is for drying herbs right?

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8594 posts in 3437 days

#3 posted 08-31-2013 04:11 AM

Nice job man. I underbid my crud all the time. Oh well. Not paying the bills with it.

I just take my wifey out on a date. Works like a charm.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3747 days

#4 posted 08-31-2013 04:19 AM

Your design has evolved nicely from the original drying tray for your wife’s herbs and seeds ( ), to your first rack ( ) to this. Congratulations on a very nicely constructed project with great detail!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 4481 days

#5 posted 08-31-2013 06:09 AM

Looks good

-- Dreaming patterns

View Brit's profile


8508 posts in 4298 days

#6 posted 08-31-2013 07:51 AM

Excellent work Ryan, that turned out great. Why not buy her a weekend away at a health spar so she can get pampered. As an added bonus, while she’s there you can spend the weekend woodworking. The trick is not to collect a load of chores to do while she’s gone. Good luck with that. :o)

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3530 days

#7 posted 08-31-2013 11:34 AM

Nicely done! Happy wife, happy life.

As to making it up to her, a random act of housework goes a LONG way.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View scarpenter002's profile


619 posts in 5360 days

#8 posted 08-31-2013 01:20 PM

Nice job. To make it up to your wife, you might want to buy her a new power tool that you can store in your shop for her. :-)

Thanks for sharing.

-- Scott in Texas

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 4110 days

#9 posted 08-31-2013 01:32 PM

I am taking her to a nice winery today or tomorrow to enjoy some food and a spectacular view.

On the housework, check, check, and double check.

Scotty, I hate to disappoint but that was enough morti that I felt power would speed things along. I layed them out with the same care I do when cutting by hand, but then I used a spiral bit and a plunge router to clear most of the waste. The “extra” layout work gave me some very clean morti. I trimmed the ends with a chisel to regain some manliness.

Edit: and yes it is for herbs and seeds. It’s a very economical way to dry a lot of them.

Hillbilly, the best designs are not first drafts. Thanks

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View theoldfart's profile


13129 posts in 3906 days

#10 posted 08-31-2013 01:33 PM

Ryan, the rack came out well. Your client could use it as a display of their wares. +1 on Big Red’s comments

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View lysdexic's profile


5353 posts in 4078 days

#11 posted 08-31-2013 02:06 PM

If it is for drying herb? The are a couple states in the US that I bet you could develope a robust business building and selling these.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7228 posts in 4649 days

#12 posted 08-31-2013 02:07 PM

You could also use them to sift out the dirt and sand when you’re panning for gold nuggets……..Nicely done…..lots of work, but nicley done….Stellar job on the build….........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4298 days

#13 posted 08-31-2013 02:25 PM

Check out Huff’s blog on “How to price your woodwork” People will always under estimate what it takes. Nice lines.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View R_Stad's profile


451 posts in 3298 days

#14 posted 08-31-2013 05:34 PM

Nice handwork and proportions and great fine tuning of your previous piece. Let your wife know how lucky you are to have her support as you travel your path.

-- Rod - Oregon

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 4110 days

#15 posted 08-31-2013 05:52 PM

^ I told her and she said “You are lucky”...the tone was different then mine.

Love that woman.

Thanks guys for the comments and the advice (or direction to advice) on bidding.

Scotty, I am in one of those states, I have helicopters looking for people that are pushing the envelope a bit to much fly over the house all the time. I always wave.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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