Coat Rack & Hat Shelf

Coats and jackets accumulate. Especially on the backs of chairs in the kitchen.  And hats and caps can strew the island worktop. This can be a matter of great annoyance to the lady of the house. Thus, it became necessary for me to construct a coat rack & hat shelf to accommodate these sundry garments.


The rack consists of two units, each 4 ft. long and constructed from walnut and purpleheart. These two woods always work very well together. I turned the hooks or pegs from brass and drilled & tapped the back end of each so that they could be fixed by machine screws countersunk into the rear of the units. The pegs themselves were also countersunk slightly into the front of the units for neatness. When fitting the machine screws I glued the threads with two-part epoxy to ensure that they wouldn’t loosen over time. The walnut and purpleheart boards were biscuit jointed and glued to each other and the units were finished with three coats of Tung oil.

Apart from the cutting to length and rip cutting of the boards which were both done on my radial arm saw, and the slots for the biscuits which were cut on my home-made slot mortising machine, much of the work was done by hand. This includes the planing and preparation of the surfaces and a decorative groove near the front edge of both faces. This latter feature is just visible in the photos and was cut using a small plow plane. Obviously, the brass pegs were turned on the lathe; they actually took a bit of time to do as there were fourteen of them in total and were probably the most monotonous part of the project. I found that three was the most I could do during a single session without starting to go a bit doo-lally in the head. I would have to go away and do something else and come back and turn three more of them the next day. Not sure why this should have been as I have done lots of repetitive turning in the past.


The second photo shows the two units on the assembly table during the oiling process. Hopefully, now, there will be no more complaints indoors. You know what they say: Happy wife, happy life!

My next project is to build an extension to my workshop. I am maxed-out at the moment with hardly enough space to move around without tripping over something (this is becoming a bit of a safety hazard). Included in this project, is a relocation and rebuild of my Radial Arm Saw station. The RAS is the center of my shop  and if you read by blog post of the 9th March 2016  you will see the type of set-up I like. Now I want to improve on this set-up and make it more streamlined.

I have enough available space in the yard to add 25ft x 15ft onto my shop which will be nice. I intend to use timber-frame construction with metal cladding which should be relatively inexpensive and simple to do. No doubt this project will yield material for another post in due course. Watch this space!


  1. Nicely done Brendon !
    The purpleheart and brass gives it some kind of luxury 😉
    Happy coutries where they do not need so many rain coats …

  2. Brendon

    April 16, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Thanks Christophe,
    Yes, there is a richness in the walnut, purpleheart, brass combination.
    We certainly need lots of coats in Ireland.

    • Brendon,

      Beautiful work and so practical. The combination of colors compliment each other. Will you let the brass pegs age to a beautiful patina or did you apply a clear finish?

      Interesting way to make the biscuit joint slots with your home-made slot mortising machine. Do you have a photo of this tool posted on your website? I use a Dewalt heavy duty plate joiner and it works well but best to use without the dust bag (fills too quickly with chips).

      So true about doing this work for your home and having a happy wife, happy life.

      Regards, Paul

      • Brendon

        April 23, 2016 at 4:03 pm

        Hi Paul,
        Thanks for your interest.
        I will let the brass age naturally I think.
        I don’t have a biscuit jointer and as I made the slot mortising machine myself, I like to use
        it as much as possible and for as many different types of jobs as possible.
        To get the best out of it, if you know what I mean.
        I make my own biscuits and can decide how long or deep they should be.
        I like that freedom.
        My slot mortising machine is posted on my blog on one of the older posts
        and on

        Best Wishes

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