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 DO-IT-YOURSELF Log furniture & Rustic Projects

DIY Rustic Coat Rack

Few accent pieces can exemplify the "rustic look" as well as furnishings crafted from logs and antlers.  Antler pieces are frequently used to decorate items such as lamps or baskets or stretchers in chairs and headboards.  This DIY article shows how to create a clothes rack using a log section and some antlers.  In this project I created a rack that snugs into a wall corner, but a simple straight wall hanging could be fashioned without needing to join a 45 degree angle.

How To DIY

The materials you will need are readily available.  One log with a 3" - 6" diameter, a few antler deer sheds, some glue and several fasteners.  If you don't have a deer population near you or don't know where to obtain antlers, you can buy them on eBay or search online for "antler sheds". 

DrawknifeTo prepare your log, remove the bark employing a "clean peel" or "skip peel" process which is usually accomplished with a drawknife. A clean peeled log is shaven clean (like our picture) and the skip-peeled method leaves portions of bark remaining on the log.

Cut the log lengthwise using a band saw.  You could also use any hand saw or chainsaw, but you'll want to have a straight, flat surface to rest upon the wall (inexpensive bench-top band saw). 

Antler & log rackOur clothes rack was mitered to accommodate an inside wall corner, but a straight one section log will do as well.  To join the inside corner I used "Gorilla Glue", a very effective wood glue, then added a wooden dowel from the back for added strength.  One of the easiest doweling systems available is from a company named Miller dowel. They sell tapered (stepped) dowels and include a unique stepped drill bit with each packet of dowels.  I highly recommend you visit Miller dowel.

No rules

Hey, no plans either, but that flexibility allows the creative juices to flow.  As an example, I used one wooded "peg" in addition to three antler hooks on my wall rack.  We live in Montana and spend a lot of time outdoors in snowy weather.  A pair of insulated coveralls or heavy jacket can get quite heavy after getting soaked with snow (or sweat).  I wanted one hook that you could hang a deer from and decided to use a wooden peg that extends all the way through my log.  It looks great!

Mounting the antlers

Position your antlers so that they provide adequate space to hang coats or hats and mark your log where you intend to drill anchor holes.

To guarantee that the antler (hooks) will hold tightly in the wood, I drilled a hole into the antler and used an epoxy to set my threaded rod. The pictures below illustrates the steps to mount the antlers.

 (1)  1/4" threaded rod with holes drilled approximately 1" into the antler.  I then mixed epoxy and coated the threads and hole with the epoxy.  This produced a firm seat to hold the rod. 

(2)  To prevent the antler from turning (in the wood) under pressure, I drilled another 1/16" hole and glued a nail with epoxy - to protrude approximately 1/4" above the base pf the antler.

(3)  The 1/4" threaded rod securing the antlers is fastened to the log using a flat washer, lock washer and nut.  A recess hole is drilled in the back of the log to accommodate the hardware.  This recessed space permits the fasteners to attach without protruding and marring your wall.

Antler coat rack before finishing

Go to next pageOn the next page I'll talk about assembly and finishing.

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