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Friday, December 31, 2010

Purse Hook Re-Do

I don't have an entry hall, I have a three foot wide strip of tile that runs in an L shape six feet from the door and then six feet to the left.  There's a small hall closet there, but no place to lay your keys, or drop your purse or throw the mail.  Mostly we end up using the stairs, which I hate.  One day I decided I'd hang a couple of hooks on the wall next to the closet so at least my purse would have a home.  They were cast iron jobs from the dollar store.  Cheap and cheerful...

 Ugh (as in ugly!)

Once I added the "artwork" above it, it seemed even more feeble than it had before.  Plus, since I'd had to use wall anchors to fasten the hooks to the wall, they'd gotten wobbly too.  I went out and bought two more hooks a while back but was waiting for a 1x6 to magically appear in order for me to make a purse rack.  Lo and behold, a 1x6 was needed for the play kitchen build and there just so happened to be a leftover piece just the right size for a purse rack.  Excellent.

Today seemed like the right time to get this started.  I had hooks, I had lumber, I had a borrowed router and bits and I had some time.  Here's what I've done so far...
This is the borrowed router I have on hand.  I'd never used a router before today and if I hadn't already had a Dremel I would have had no clue how to put all the pieces together.  I have no idea what the name of the bit I chose to use is.  If, for some odd reason, I had to take a wild guess?   I'd say it's a 1/2" round over something-or-other, except a round over doesn't have that nice little lip at the edge I don't think.  That's as close as I can guess.  It makes a cut like this...

This is exactly what I had in mind when I envisioned the completed project.  I learned a couple of things about router usage at this point.  It's best to make a couple of passes rather than trying to go to the complete depth all in one go.  This was really soft wood and it still sounded like it was working hard if I tried to dig too deep.  When you cut across the end grain the wood frays.  I don't know how you'd prevent this, or if you even can.  Heck, I don't even really know which direction I was supposed to be using the tool in.  I just went with the one that gave the cleanest result.  I also realized that clamps are a really, really nice addition to a tool chest.  I have ONE C clamp.  I used to have a small bar clamp too but it's mysteriously missing.  I held the wood in place with one hand and routed with the other.  Probably not the safest.  End result?  I love this tool and I want one.  I also want a router table to go with it.
To attach the hooks I did some guessing as to how far apart they all needed to be and used a square to make sure they'd be straight.  Then I used my one and only chisel, a beautiful vintage one I bought off eBay in the UK and absolutely love (which is completely irrelevant to this story but did allow me to make this rat cage), to gouge a channel where the middle of each hook would go. 
Why?  There's a seam down the back which is raised up almost an 1/8th inch, I assume it's a result of the casting process.  I wanted the hooks to lay flat on the wood so I made a little space for the raised bit to rest.  Once I screwed all the hooks on I coated it with a heavy duty primer and that's as far as I've gotten today.
Yes,  I painted right over the iron hooks, and the screws.  I want the whole thing white.  It'd be much easier to spray paint this whole thing but I don't happen to have spray primer or pure arctic white spray paint either.  Hopefully I get this finished by tomorrow night or it will be sitting right were it lays until March break.

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