The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Shoe & Boot Organizer

My daughter asked me to design and build a cabinet, or organizer for her shoes and boots.  Here is the design I came up with in Google Sketchup:


 This organizer fits into an existing closet. It will set on 1 side of the closet.

There will be 4 vertical slots to hold her boots in the bottom. The top shelves will be for regular shoes.

I decided to make it out of standard 3/4" pine which will be painted white.  I will use Zinsser's paint to cover the pine knots on the first coat, followed by a medium grade latex semi-gloss for the final 2nd coat.

I used my new Sears router to rout the 3/4" grooves in the 2 vertical side pieces. I probably should have made up a special guide jig for the router, but I just temporarily c-clamped 2 scrap pieces for guides for the router.

I tried cutting the 1/2" deep groove in 1 pass, but it was too much stock removal. I split it up into 3 passes for each groove ( 3/16, 3/8, and 1/2 inch depths).

The next step was to cut the horizontal shelves using a temporary stop on the radial arm saw, so they would all be cut exactly to the same length.  This is important to yield a nice looking cabinet with good joints.

I used the same concept when I cut the 3 vertical boot dividers so they were the same length.

I also routed the 2 main vertical pieces on the back to accept 3/16 deep Luan for the unit's back piece.  I also routed the top and bottom horizontal shelves to accept the Luan as well.

I made the groove 1/4" deep for the 3/16" thick Luan, which on past projects has worked fine.

I had to route more 3/4" wide grooves to accept the vertical boot dividers:

And here is the unit rough assembled.  I measured the exact lengths of the vertical boot dividers, because they varied by 1/8 inch........because my router depths were not exactly the same on each groove.

I rounded the tops of the 2 main vertical pieces so the unit would slide easier on the floor, and looks nicer than 90 degree corners.

Now on to painting............

I decided to paint the pieces before assembly.  The shelves are too small to reach in with my hand and paint after assembly.  I did not paint the last 1 inch on the edges of the shelves, because it is a very tight fit........and the 2 coats of paint might not allow good assembly, and the paint might be scraped off also.  I will paint these edges after assembly.

Here is the finished unit in my work shop:

And here is the finished unit installed in my daughter's closet:

Closing Thoughts

I had a lot more trouble than I expected at final assembly.  All 1x12's have some warpage, and this caused me to have to use bar clamps to seat the shelves.  If I do this again, I would plane a minimal amount off the shelves, to make the final assembly easier.

My daughter was very happy with the completed unit.  She can even store her boots upright versus folder over.






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