Introduction: Building a Boot Rack....
Here's a 'Fun Project' that you can do to make a functional accessory that you can keep in the house, in the barn, or in the stables...a fixture any "Real Cowboy or Cowgirl" would cherish.
I started my project when I 'rescued' an old Quilt Rack from the local trash heap. Unless you have an old quilt rack like I did, you'll need to build a frame to hold the horizontal boot-holder assemblies that I'm going to show you how to make, below. Once you've either built or found a frame to use to create your Boot Rack, you'll need to drill some holes in it so that you can place horizontals into it later.
To start with I drilled 3 holes, each 3/4" in diameter, at intervals along the sides (uprights) of my frame. These were placed (measuring from the top---downward), at 12" and 24" on Side A. On Side B I drilled the holes at 32". This was to create a counter-weight so that stability of the appliance could be maintained while loaded with boots.
Step 1: Making Horizontals and Uprights....
I made three (3) horizontal boot holder lengths, each capable of supporting the weight of two pair of boots. So...with 3 racks I can store 6 pair of rubber boots, and the top rail is used to store Hip Wader's. That's what's nice about working with PVC pipe and fittings: You are only limited by your own wants/desires. If you want to make you boot rack to hold more that 6 pair, just increase the number of PVC T's and space them closer together.
As shown in the first photo above, you'll need:
1. A drill gun or electric drill;
2. A mitersaw/box;
3. A 1/8th inch drill bit (wood or metal);
4. A tape measure;
5. A magic marker or Carpenter's Pencil (or anything you can use to scribe your measurements)
6. Eight (8) 1/4th"X1" #2 Phillips Self-tapping screws;
7. 14' of 3/4" PVC pipe;
8. 1 bag (from Lowes) of 3/4" PVC T's (a bag contains 16 and it's cheaper to buy the whole bag rather than to purpchase them separately. Separately, the T's cost .89 cents each. A bag of 16 is just $6.99 ! T's always come in handy and it's always good to have a few spares in your plumbing box!
9. One (1) half pint of OATEY All-In-One PVC Cleaner and Cement. Available at Lowes for just $4.99 I highly recommend this product. I've been solvent welding for >40 years and only use Oatey Brand! Best there is!
10. A rag to wipe away excess bonding adhesive/cement.
11. Cut 12 lengths of PVC pipe to a length of 24 inches and set these aside for use as the uprights. These are the last components to be installed in the horizontals.
OK... Refer to photo's 2 and 3 above. Measure the distance between your two uprights and cut 3 pieces of PVC pipe to those lengths. Put those on your work bench and lay-out your T's on the table directly above the pipe (photo 2). This will let you space everything and take your measurments and mark the pipe for cutting as shown in the above photos (photo 3). Make sure to label each length of pvc pipe as #1, #2, or #3. This will help you later on, after you've cut the pipe to size to accommodate placement of the T's. Mark each T as well. Don't worry about marking the pipe...you're going to paint it later!
Photo 4 shows what one of the horizontals will look like when cut and T's installed and the length is re-assembled. You can practice, first, by putting the pieces together to make sure they're exactly the way you want them and that you measured them properly and they all line up the way you want them to line up.
Now comes the Fun Part! Refer to Photo 5 above. You get to solvent weld all of those pieces together! You can do this part of the project sitting down. Find a comfortable chair, get your three piles of parts and start solvent welding. Do one row at a time. Don't mix parts! Remember when you apply the cement...that 'a little goes a long way'...and don't be 'sloppy'. After you make the solvent-weld use a rag to wipe away any excess. You don't want 'bumps' showing up when you paint the uprights and horizontals later on!. Have fun and remember to label everything.
Step 2: Installing the Horizontal Rods....
After you've solvent-welded all of the T's in place, and made your horizontal rod to the appropriate size (check it to make sure it fits snugly between the uprights on either end), install the horizontal rods. I started by installing the first rod on Side B...which has only one rod/horizontal on it. Installing this rod first will make the entire assembly stronger. After installing the first rod, move to Side A and install the lower horizontal rod, and then the top horizontal rod.
Now is the time to adjust the horizontal rods to determine the angle that the uprights are going to have. You'll want your boots to hang at a slight angle (10- to 15 degrees off the horizontal plane). This will help the boots dry after use and will keep 'critters' from nesting in them. Nothing is worse than putting your foot into a boot and finding that a Scorpion has taken up residence (Ouchie!!). So...put oneor two of the upright lengths into the horizontals, and adjust these to achieve the desired angle.
Step 3: Installing the Uprights.....
After you have determined the angle you want your rack-uprights to have, now would be a good time to secure the horizontals in place so they don't slip or move. To do this take the self tapping screws, using your screw gun, put one screw through the inside wall of the pipe at each end of the horizontal pipe. You can pre-drill if desired...but I like using the self-tapper's: Quicker and easier. This will keep the horizontal from turning under the weight of the boots and will add to the overalll integrity and strength of the apparatus. Think of it! You're working with a substance (PVC pipe) that has a half-life of 50,000 years. That means that if someone were to take what you're building, and would have put it in King Tut's grave...it would still look like the day it was put in the tomb! So...you'll want to make sure it's good and strong! Just refer to the photo's above.
Once you've secured the horizontals with the screws, it's time to solvent-weld the uprights into place. Use the same procedure you did when making your 'T's and Horizontals, being careful to remove any excess cement. Keep your job 'neat'!
Step 4: Painting Your Boot Rack....
Now comes the time to paint your boot rack. Make sure to use a good primer paint, first. This will help to hide any blemishes in the pipe or the wooden uprights.
Start by placing the apparatus on a flat surface and start applying the primer coat. Paint entire apparatus...even inside the holes where you scred the Horizontal's to the uprights!
After you've applied the primer...let the paint air dry for 24 hours (if possible).
Step 5: Finish-Coating With Quality Paint....
After you've allowed the primer coat to dry, you'll want to apply a good, quality semi-gloss or gloss (enamel) paint. I chose to use KRYLON as it has an acrylic base that is scuff-resistant. You can use anything you like and whatever your budget can tolerate. Whatever you use make sure you put at least two coats of paint on your finished piece of furniture. People who visit your home will see this thing...and it will be a great conversation piece for years to come. In all honesty, I've never seen anything quite like this Boot Rack. In museums I've seen 'Boot Stands'...but nothing quite like this.
Step 6: Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!
Congratulations. If you've followed the above steps you are now the proud owner of an extremely unique (and rare) piece of furniture! Again... I've never seen anything quite like it!
We use our Boot Rack almost every day, as we're constantly prospecting for gold, gems and minerals here in the streams and creeks of Western North Carolina. I hope you enjoy the Boot Rack!
Dr. Joe Resnick
Inventor of Stealth Technology