The inspiration for this piece came from two sources- the wire rod rack shelves that are readily available at the big box outdoor outfitters and a wooden shelf I saw at a local thrift shop. This project was my attempt to synthesize those two things.
First, I acquired the nifty piece of wood that made the bases of the rod racks on each side of the shelf. They are cut from a factory milled wooden deck railing. The baluster recesses were just right to receive a fishing rod handle. I went to Home Depot with a vision... not knowing exactly what I would buy... until I found this piece of wood. I instantly knew I had found what I was looking for... the Holy Grail of an uncertain quest.
I went home and almost immediately cut the railing down into two equal pieces- one for each side of the shelf... and then the project sat on a back burner for about four months during the course of moving into our new house. As soon as I got the garage workshop somewhat operational (it's still not quite fully functional), this was one of the first orders of business. It's an important piece of furniture in our obnoxiously fishing themed spare bedroom... critical to organizing the disorganized mess of rods that had been carefully leaned in the corners of the room.
In a quest to acquire the right piece of wood to make the box, I found a unique piece of plywood at Lowe's. It was a 4' x 8' sheet of 5/8" sheathing (low grade plywood- not intended for cabinetry)... supposed to be pine, but a layer of poplar at the mill snuck its way onto this sheet somehow. I don't know exactly how things work in a plywood production facility, but I did work in the lumber department at Home Depot... and I know that this isn't normal. This sheet was special, so I snatched it up. I used it to make the exterior of the shelf, while the interior shelves are made of some plywood leftovers from another project.
|The color variation in the poplar gives this piece a lot of character.|
The most frustrating part of the project came when I began trying to install the first set of rod retaining hooks I purchased for the project. Much like the wood railing... I thought I had found the perfect piece of hardware for the job, but that turned out to not be the case. I tried to use "safety" cup hooks that have little spring clips that essentially close the hooks. They're readily found in the hardware sections of home centers and even Walmart... but beware! They're made out of some really cheap "pot metal" that breaks easily... as I quickly found out when trying to align the hooks how I wanted them. Turning them just a wee bit past their first point of resistance broke the screws off very easily. I eventually gave up on the safety cup hooks and installed the hooks you see in the photo above. The rods are now just leaned into the hooks... but I would much prefer them to be securely held in place. It's a compromise.
I finished the piece with several coats of clear semi-gloss spar urethane- a very smooth and durable finish. If you're interested in further details or dimensions, please comment below.
Thanks for checking it out.