A few questions! I intend making a shoe rack too…it’s been on my to do
list ever since I nearly broke my neck ascending my other half’s mountain
of shoes. I swear her high heels breed over night.
Anyway…the first thing to do is to decide how many shoes you would like
the rack to hold. This gives you an idea of how big the rack needs to be
and how much material (wood) is needed.
Next thing to do is work out the optimum width of the rack based upon the
average shoe size the rack has to hold. What is the largest shoe size the
rack has to hold? What is the minimum shoe size the rack has to hold?
Somewhere in the middle determines the width dimension.
You may also want to take into account where you intend placing the rack as
this may govern the design. If you have to fit the rack into a smaller
space or cupboard then you want your design to allow for that. My shoe
rack needs to sit between my piano and the end of the staircase bannister.
I have a whole square foot to play with and about 4.5 feet in height
available to me (puns intended).
Next I like to sketch some basic designs out on a piece of paper and see
what ideas (if any) come out. I normally choose the most simple because
I’m not particularly good at sketching. I’m quite practical though so I
like to think I make up for it in other ways. Select the most suitable
idea that you think you can make.
Next it’s time to select materials…You mentioned wood. It’s a fair
choice and there are loads of different types of wood - the choice really
comes down to cost, ease to work with and availability. Well…nearly any
type of wood can be had for a price…Oak is an Ok choice because it’s
very hard and very durable. Its also very expensive - oak trees take a
long time to grow and season! You could also use mahogany, cherry, ash,
pine, walnut etc. It all depends on what you want the final rack to look
like…I have a walnut piano so I’ll probably try and make my rack match
that finish (good luck to me…) - by the way wood from deciduous trees
(trees that lose their leaves in autumn) are known as hard woods and
evergreen trees are known as soft woods. Oak is a hard wood and pine is a
soft wood and believe it or not balsa wood is a hard wood!
You could also use a manufactured wood like chipboard or mdf or plywood
which are reconsitituted woods made from sawdust and fibres or sheets of
wood pressed and glued together. Plastics are also an option but probably
won’t meet the aesthetic you or I are looking for. Manufactured woods tend
to be cheaper and easier to work with over hard woods or soft woods.
Once you have chosen the material - I’m going with pine or plywood it’s
time to think about construction methods. The laser cutter is probably one
of the best inventions of the 20th century for machining wood. You could
use it to cut the parts of your rack to size but I suspect you will want to
cut bigger and thicker pieces of wood than our laser cutter can manage. If
I were you I would look into wood joints and joinery to connect the pieces
of the rack together. Comb joints, lap joints, but joints, halving joints
and dovetails are the order of the day. I like comb joints and mortice and
tenon joints personally but again it depends on the chosen design.
Wood can be bought just about anywhere and cut to size just about
anywhere…B&Q offer a wood cutting service for wood that is bought
instore. Turn up with a design and by the overall material and a helpful
shop technician will make the major cuts for you on a massive saw in
store. Wood can also be bought and cut to size online if you search…it
all depends on how much material and how many cuts are required.
Once you have the parts all cut out and an Idea of how to assemble them
(joints, screws, dowels, biscuits etc) its time to talk about finishes.
Paints, varnishes and waxes and stains are all options depending upon the
colour and texture required - which yet again depends on the design and
that’s up to you!
My advice, draw a picture of what you want. Choose the colour, work out
rough sizes of each dimension. Calculate how much wood you will need to
make the parts and find out how much that will cost in your chosen wood.
Then you have an idea of cost complexity and someone can help point you in
the right direction.
Hope that helps…I’ll be sketching up my idea in solidworks soon which
should give you an idea of what I want to achieve…I’ll also help by
sharing where I get my wood and how I’m going to construct and finish it…
AlexOn 7 July 2015 at 20:07, Harvinder Atwal firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I’ve decided to build a shoe holder (I want custom dimensions) and I would
like some help.
I know the dimensions if what I want to build but I have no idea how to go
about building it.
Can anyone help?
I’ve broken my research tasks down to:
- Work out what wood I need? Oak or something?
- Where do I get the wood that I need from? Hobarts has been mentioned
- What joining mechanisms are available? Just a serrated edge would do?
- What finish do I want? I’m thinking just varnish for now
- How I modify the wood? Laser cutter or hack saw?
The first build would be a prototype for one pair and then I would be
looking to build the real thing next.
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