Ask me for a good woodworking project to make with your kids and I’ll probably say: “Stick a peg into a chunk of wood and you’ll have yourself a coat hook.” I’m only half kidding.
This simple project is easy enough that most children can handle it with a little help from you, yet the results are actually useful and attractive. Mount it on a wall next to your front door and Junior will have plenty of incentive to hang up his own coat. You’ll also gain a handy spot for your keys.
Start by cutting enough 3/4"-thick pine to width for the three main parts: the top, the back and the support bracket. After that, it's time for your little one to take over. Help position the pine in a mitre box and have them cut the pieces to length using a handsaw.
Next, draw the support bracket pattern onto the smallest piece of wood you cut earlier. Clamp it in a vice, then have your budding woodworker cut the curve using a coping saw. They should give the pencil line some breathing space. When they've made the cut, hand them some 150-grit sandpaper so they can clean up the curve. Before joining all of the pieces together, use a 1/2"-dia. bit chucked in a drillpress to make 1/2"-deep holes in the back piece for the Shaker pegs.
To assemble the shelf, use a #8 pilot hole/counterbore bit at each screw location. Have your kid attach the top to the back with a single screw and glue. Attach the bracket with two more screws and glue, then remove sharp edges with 150-grit sandpaper. Glue the pegs into their holes.
For a simple finish, apply a couple of coats of stain and polyurethane. I used Minwax PolyShades, which provides colour and protection in one step. When dry, attach the shelf to a wall, making sure at least one of the screws sinks into some solid wood behind the drywall. Now your child has a place to hang up their workshop apron until the next project.
|Size (T x W x L*)
|3/4" x 4 1/2" x 12"
|3/4" x 4 1/2" x 10"
|3/4" x 3 1/2" x 4 1/4"
* Length indicates grain direction