Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Aromatic Cedar Shoe Rack
Too bad there isn't some kind of "Gentleman's Guide to Shoe Care," like those quaint old dating guides from the 40s. If there were, I suspect it would say something along the lines of: "Use as much aromatic cedar as humanly possible, son." So, when I received an inquiry about a shoe rack, I followed the advice of our fictional old sage.
More pictures and description after the jump.
Aromatic cedar is a soft, lightweight, wood that is brittle, not very structurally strong, but looks cool, and most importantly, smells incredible. It's rot-resistant, and people have been lining closets and building blanket chests of it for ages to take advantage of its pest-repellent aroma.
The design of the shoe rack was simple, per its buyer. A six-by-two grid of cubbies, each cubby to hold one shoe, a total of six pairs of shoes at capacity.
Constructing the rack was mostly just an exercise in extreme dado layout. Two side panels got dadoes top, middle, and bottom to accommodate the top, base, and center shelf. The top and bottom have dadoes to accommodate the narrow dividers, and the center shelf has dadoes on both sides to accept the dividers. Needless to say the table saw, and especially the crosscut sled/fence got a workout on this one.
Once glued and assembled (as always, could have used a few more clamps), I opted to simply sand and leave the surfaces unfinished. The *aromatic* part of aromatic cedar gets sealed away when finished. Finish on aromatic cedar does look very cool (it darkens, accentuating the reddish violet hues of the wood), but since this was a shoe rack for a closet, maximizing the aromatic property outweighed the "well, it looks pretty cool" factor.