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This project appeared in our October 2, 2010 Newsletter.

Our new fifth wheel trailer is really nice and well appointed but it didn't have a coat rack. Inspired by a similar coat rack we saw at a restaurant I set out to make one. This is not a simple project but when complete it's well worth the effort.

A couple of comments about this project:
This project uses a number of power tools in awkward positions so extreme caution must be used if you decide to make the project. A good knowledge of working with power tools and knowing their limits will help. If it doesn't feel right DON'T DO IT! We will not be responsible if anything happens to you while following these directions.
The dimensions are approximate. Due to the type of handles you find for the hooks they could be different.
I do not know how heavy of a coat these hooks will support. Use your best discretion in selecting the hooks.
If I were to hang a heavier coat on these hooks I'd use the loop on the coat and slide it to the base of the hook.
Creativity in making the fixtures I used is a plus.


  • Full 1/2" Oak 6" X 78"
  • (4) Drawer Pulls
  • 1/8" Stainless Steel Rod
  • (4) 3/8" Rare Earth Magnets
  • Exterior Glue, Tightbond III
  • #8 1 1/4" Flathead Screws
  • #8 3/4" Flathead Screws
  • Stain
  • Urethane
Tools: Cut List:
  • Top Piece 24" X 3 5/8" X 12"
  • Middle Piece 24" X 4 7/8" X 1/2", 45° along each side
  • Bottom Piece 24" X 5 1/2" X 1/2", 51° along each side
  • 1/8" Stainless Steel Rod (4) 1 1/2"
To remove excess material that makes it easier shaping later on cut both long edges of the Middle piece with the tablesaw blade set at 45°. I set the angle with my Wixey Digital Angle Gage.

Remove excess material along both edges of the Bottom piece with the tablesaw blade set at 51°.

There should be a 1/8" edge between the bottom of the Bottom piece and the start of the angel.

Center the Top piece onto the Middle piece. Drill and counter sink for screws along the back. Drill the holes 1 1/2", 6 1/8", 12 1/8", 18 1/8", 22 3/4". Glue and screw them together.

Center the Middle piece to the Back piece. Drill and counter sink for screws along the back. Drill the holes 2 1/8", 5", 11", 17", 22". Screw them together, DO NOT GLUE.
Trace the shape of the handle onto each end, make sure the flats of the handle is flat to the top of the bottom piece.
Make a template of the handle shape out of 1/8" plywood or hard wood to use when shaping.

Cut out the template on the band saw.

Bandsaw, Plane, grind, sand and scrape to achieve the contour of the handle. Use the template to help keep the shape even across the length of the rack.

Once the contour is perfect separate remove the Bottom piece.
Cut the Top and Middle pieces as follows:
(1) 2 7/8"
(3) 5 1/2"
The last piece will be cut to length at the very end.
Now to prepare the handles we first need to put a ferrous screw into one of the threaded holes because the handle is nonferrous and will not be held up by the magnet if a screw is not inserted.
We also need to put a screw into the other hole so that the drill will run true when we drill the hinge hole and also it will add more strength.

Cut the screws flush to the handles and file flat.

Drill a hinge pin hole in one end of each handle. To locate the hole find the middle of the screw and mark it on the side of the handle.

Make a jig to hold the handles during drilling so each one is identical. Drill one 1/8" hole through the bottom tang of the handle.

Cut 1/8" diameter steel pins 1 1/2" long, smooth the ends.
Drill matching 1/8" hinge holes in the wood.

Use the hinge and a drill bit to mark the location of each hole. From this point on keep track of each handles location so that they will match perfectly when assembled.

Drill the holes for the handle pins 1/8" X 5/8" deep, there will be eight holes.
The bottoms of the handles will need space to swing and will also provide the stop for the hook. Using a 1/2" straight router bit in a palm router cut the relief. This is very tricky and I built a fixture to make it perfect.
First mark the location of each handle putting all the pieces and handles on the bottom.

Now make the fixture.

The dark piece on the bottom left is the stop for the piece. The angled piece in the middle is to support the side of the piece.

The palm router will rest on top of the fixture.

I used a piece of wood across the fixture to locate the edge of the router and a piece along the right side to stop the router.

Here you can see the cut being made. When you have all four notches cut it should look like this.

There is still some work that needs to be done on the holes and I used a chisel to square the holes and fine tune them. Be careful that the cutouts do not go below the edge of the wood.

Using the hinge with the pin into each piece I "tuned" each hole until all the handles opened the same amount.

To locate the placement for the magnets, align the pieces with the handles and mark the center of each handle gap near the top of the cutout for the handle.

From that mark I measured down the distance to the screw in each handle and drilled a 3/8" hole the depth of the magnet with a Forstner drill bit.

I roughed up one side of the magnets and epoxied them into the holes.

Assemble everything with screws but DO NOT glue yet.
Clamp it all together with everything perfectly aligned.

Drill and countersink two screws in opposite corners of each piece.

Take it apart and remove the handles. Reassemble and cut the long top piece flush with the end.
Sand, stain and apply two or three coats of urethane. Take it apart, install the handles and glue, clamp and screw it all together.
I routed a couple of "Key" hanger slots and it's ready for hanging.

We hope you liked this project. If you build it and your friends ask where you got such a clever idea, please tell them that you got it at

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