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Do you find ties strewn everywhere? In a heap or in a pile in your closet? Tell your spouse to clean up in a delightful way by getting your kids involved. They can help you build and decorate a tie rack to organize any mess.

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Dear old dad ... There’s no doubt about it, he’s hard to buy for, especially when Father’s Day or his birthday rolls around. Instead of buying him another colorful tie this year, why not make him a tie rack to display his collection of gifts from Father’s Days past.

Today we’re going to build a tie rack for dad that can also double as a coat rack. We’ll cut out a custom design on a piece of ¾" inch thick poplar with our jig saw, then sand and file it smooth using a variety of hand and power tools. We’ll call in the design team to put their personal touch on it then we’ll install the pegs and hang it where dad can see it often. So let’s get started.

To make dad feel extra special, we’re getting the whole family involved in this project. The first step is to sketch out the design on this piece of ¾" poplar we picked up from our local independent home improvement retailer. While you can certainly let your imagination go at this point, we’ll keep it somewhat simple, which will make the next step easier.

Using our jig saw (which is also called a sabre saw), we’ll cut along our sketch marks. When cutting, it helps if the work piece is firmly clamped to the workbench. To cut out the inside holes, we’ll use our drill and this Forstner bit to drill a hole that we can fit our jigsaw blade through. Take your time when turning the blade and don’t get in a hurry. As you can see, our design is starting to take shape.

Now that our design has been rough cut, we’ll give the surface a good sanding with our random orbit sander. Since we’re going to paint it, a 120-grit sanding disk should do just fine. For the holes inside the lettering, we’ll use our files to remove any rough spots. On the flat sides, we’ll use our flat mill file. For the rounded sides, we’ll use our half-round file. To ease the edges, we’ll use this sander drill attachment.

Now comes the fun part. For this next step we’ll bring the design crew back together on the driveway with some water-base paint that can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Dad will love the unique design and creativity. Just make sure you have a tarp and plenty of brushes. Don’t forget to paint the pegs, too.

To insert the pegs, we’ll need our drill and Forstner bit again. We’ve selected a Forstner bit that’s the same size as the ends of our wooden pegs. For more information about using Forstner bits, see our video "Drilling Holes 101."

Before installing the pegs, first lay them out and try to space them as evenly as possible. We’ll have to work within the spacing confines of our lettering, but that’s OK ... dad won’t mind if it’s not perfect. We’ll use a tape measure as our guide to keep the spacing as consistent as possible.

Now we’ll drill our holes. A little glue on the ends of our pegs ... and a tap with a hammer. Wipe any excess glue away with a rag or a paper towel.

Repeat these same steps with the other pegs, drilling the holes, and gluing the pegs. Dad’s going to love this. Now all we have to do is hang it where it can see it and use every day. It’s sure to be one off his favorite gifts of all time.

There you have it. A tie rack that can double as a coat and hat rack, hung where dad will see it every time he walks in the door.

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  1. 1.sketch design

    Sketch out a design for the base board. Get creative as you want.

  2. 2.cut

    Clamp the board down and cut out edges using a jig saw (aka saber saw).

  3. 3.cut board

    To cut inside pieces, drill a hole to make space for the jig saw. Be patient while cutting along curves or the blade could break.

  4. 4.sand

    Sand down all sides and edges until smooth.

  5. 5.file

    Use a file to smooth holes. Flat files for flat sides and curved files for curves.

  6. 6.paint

    Let your children go to town with paints and any accessories.

  7. 7.cut

    Space out pegs evenly and mark where to drill the holes. See our video Drilling Holes 101.

  8. 8.insert pegs

    Apply glue to the end of the pegs and gently hammer into the holes. Wipe away excess glue.


Project Faqs « back to project

What should I look for when buying a saber saw?

Look to see if the mechanism for adjusting the base plate is sturdy. On less expensive models these are weak and will eventually wobble making it... More »

I have a tarp that I want to tie down. What should I use?

The easiest way is to use a grommet tool and... More »

What are the differences in the various types of files?

Differences are primarily denoted by the type of teeth the file has. A single cut denotes a single row of chisel-cut teeth. These files are used on... More »

I need a file to sharpen my lawnmower blade. What kind should I buy?

A flat file will work well. Just be sure to sharpen (redress) the blade using the existing angle or bevel of the mower blade. Also, try to remove as... More »

My crosscut saw doesn’t cut like it used to. What’s the best way to sharpen the blade?

With a taper file, which is a triangular shaped file specifically designed to sharpen saw teeth. Just be sure to follow the saw manufacturer’s... More »

What do I need to install an interior door?

You should have a hammer, saw, drill, measuring tape, 24” level, 6’ straight edge, plane, screwdriver, utility knife and blade. You will also... More »

Are there any power tools I should own?

A power drill is a must for general maintenance. A drill, a circular saw, and a saber saw can handle most household repair and carpentry... More »

How does a biscuit joiner work?

A biscuit joiner uses a special horizontal blade that plunges into a piece of wood to create a slot for a biscuit. A biscuit is a football-shaped... More »

I want to cut some lightweight sheet metal, which hacksaw blade should I use?

Use a fine cut blade. On heavier metals, such as steel pipe, a coarser cut blade will be more... More »

What all-around circular saw do you recommend?

A 7¼ inch is the most popular size. It lets you cut to a depth of 2½ inches and to cut through a 2x piece of lumber even when the blade is set... More »

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