Valet Stand

After I’ve built my Dresser Clothes Rack Combo, I wanted to have a place, where, in the evening, my girlfriend and I can put the clothes we are wearing during the day. It was time to build a valet stand.

To get a consistent look in the bedroom, I wanted to use 18 mm birch plywood, like the rest of the furniture. I did a quick CAD sketch to get the right dimensions, check the proportions and make a rough cut-list. And yes, the valet stand ended up looking very much like a wide ladder. With the sketch and cut-list ready, I could start working.

First were the long stretcher (or legs) on the left and right side. After cutting them to length and width, I used tape to hold them together and cut a 10° angle at the top backside and the bottom. This allows the stand to sit at an angle and flush on the floor and against the wall.

I marked the position of the ladder rungs on the stretcher and cut out dados, so the rungs would sit flush in the stretcher. To cut all the dados I used different methods to try them out. The first method was to make a bunch of cuts with a japanese pull saw, break out the offcuts and clean up the dado with a chisel. This method works fine, but the clean up work with the chisel can get a bit tedious. Next, I used the table saw instead of the japanese saw. As the kerf of the table saw blade is much wider, the clean up work with the chisel was much easier and faster. For the third method, I used the table saw again, but this time, I didn’t leave any offcuts in the dado. To clean up the dado, I carefully moved the stretcher from left to right over the spinning saw blade. This clean up method worked ok, as I still had to use sandpaper, to smooth out the dado. Next time I will probably jump directly from cutting the dado to sanding. The advantage with leaving no offcuts in the dado is that you can easily check the fit of the rungs.

To attach the rungs to the stretcher I used wood glue, but to keep everything in place while the glue dries, I wanted to use screws and cover them with dowels. After marking the position of the screws, I made a recess for the 8 mm dowels with a woodcutting drill bit. The 4 mm holes for the screws were drilled through the rungs and into the dado, before I applied the wood glue. After the glue is put into the dado (which makes everything a bit slippery), the rungs are set in place and screwed tightly. Thanks to the predrilled holes, the screws move everything back in place. The dowels were glued in and cut flush.

After the glue had dried, I used a router to round over all the sharp edges, so you don’t cut yourself or damage your clothes. With everything assembled it was time for everyone’s favourite task: sanding. I worked through the grids up to 240 and used a sanding block instead of a machine for the harder to reach parts and the backside. As a finish, I used linseed oil and after it had dried, it was time to take the valet stand home and put clothes on it.