Organize with this stylish shoe rack
Designing plans in Sketchup makes me far more productive and saves me a lot of time and guesswork in the shop: I design all of my projects so that I can print out the plans and simply follow my own instructions. I’m very pleased with the way this project turned out, but building it was a bit of a challenge.
Making designs do-able
One thing to keep in mind when using Sketchup is how the assembly will work in the real world. It’s tempting to overdesign something that looks awesome in Sketchup but turns out to be a logistical nightmare in the shop.
My idea was to create sort of a minimalist design in which all the lumber was the exact same thickness and width and join it all together with dowels. Completely simple to make in Sketchup, but I know that drilling a lot of holes in a lot of boards in the exact same positions is tricky, at least with my low-end drill press setup. If any of the holes are slightly misaligned, it will be nearly impossible to thread a dowel through them.
I simplified the drill-boring so that almost all the holes are on the ends of the boards. And there are only three different board lengths, not including the support cleats. You could simplify this even more by eliminating the legs and cutting only two lengths of boards, but I think the legs give it a classier look.
Don’t move anything!
To make sure all the holes are in their exact locations, make a few tests until you get a stop block positioned perfectly on your drill press. Also double check that the bit is square with the table. And the most important part: drill all the holes at the same time. Make a few extra if you want a safety net. But once you remove the stop block or adjust your set-up, it is going to be very difficult to get it back in the exact same spot.
Once you have all the holes drilled on the ends of the boards, you need to move your stop block over to drill the lower holes on the four legs that will hold the bottom shelf. To position these, I inserted a small dowel into one of the previously drilled side pieces. That held the two together so I could set it on my drill press and align the drill bit. The demonstration in the video will make that clearer.
Next, drill the four holes in all of the side pieces, including the legs, for the center shelf. These are easy because they don’t require any exact positioning, as long as they are all the same. You may want to place the middle shelf higher or lower.
Assembly and finish
If all worked out, you can slide the dowels through the holes. If they are too tight, sand them down a little so you can thread them all the way through.
I attached four support cleats underneath the top and bottom shelves. These provide a lot of support and help keep the shoe rack square.
Free Shoe Rack Plans
All WWMM plans are free. If you like this plan, I’d love it if you would consider leaving a tip!