- Ideas & How-Tos
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Build a unique, tree-shaped coat rack using trim, glue, and an easy wood-bending technique.
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The key to this project is making a simple bending form that shapes the legs. Simply glue two thin wood strips together, then place them in the form while the glue is wet. As the glue dries, it bonds the parts together permanently in the new bent form.
The shape of the tree is made using a bending form. Cut the 2" × 4" parts to length and secure to the melamine shelf board (Project Diagram, Drawing 1) with 2" screws.
Draw the trim lines and alignment line for the clamp block on the form with a marker; mark the hub locations with painter's tape. These marks will help everything stay aligned as you proceed.
Glue two lattice strips together, face to face, with the edges/ends aligned to create a leg. While the glue is wet, place the leg into the form -- the clamp block, with the help of two clamps, will force the wood into the proper shape. Squeeze the clamps until the center portion of the leg is against the backer (Photo 1); let dry overnight.
Mark the location of the hubs on the leg with a pencil. Unclamp the leg from the form and sand to remove the excess glue. Repeat for other legs (you'll need six legs total).
Clamp a leg back into the form with the clamping block between the leg and the backer. Note: When the legs come out of the form, they lose some shape. This is called spring back, and it's normal. Realign the hub marks on the legs with tape on the form.
Use a framing square to mark the trim line cuts on the leg (Photo 2). Remove the leg from the form; cut with a handsaw. Repeat for the other legs.
Lay out the hexagon shape of the hubs on a 2" × 6" (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). Cut the hubs using a miter saw.
Place the hubs on the form and then attach the first two legs, aligning with the hub marks you drew on the legs. Drill pilot holes and secure with sheet-metal screws (Photo 3). Note: Two screws are used at each lower leg/hub joint. For the upper connection, use two screws at every other joint and one screw in the remaining joints (the single screws will be replaced by lag screws).
Stand the tree, add the third leg (aligning the marks with the hub), and secure with screws. With the tree upright, attach the remaining legs.
Remove legs, sand, and reassemble with glue and screws. Wipe the tree with a tack cloth and apply two coats of satin polyurethane, sanding between coats with 320-grit sandpaper.
Remove the single screws where the lag screws are to be installed and drill 1/4" pilot holes 2" deep. Dip 3" of the lags into Plasti-Dip; let dry. Install the lags into the holes; secure with wood glue.