In this Instructable I make a rustic shelf with hammer heads for the clothes hooks. I thought about making this out of a nicer wood but I had some leftover pallet wood and decided to use it instead. If I don’t like it I can always unscrew the hammer heads and attach them to a nicer shelf. I purchased the hammers awhile ago at Harbor Freight for around $3-$4 ea. I bought them because they were cheap and thought I could use them for something other than their intended use. I didn’t have a set design or plan for these I just put it together as I went along. There were no major issues except for the split wood. That was something I should have fixed before I glued and screwed it on to the back. This is also the first time I tried adding a hammered texture to metal which I feel really added to the overall look of the piece. If I were to make this again I would probably add something to the bottom edge it feels like it is missing something but I don’t have any ideas at the moment.

Build video.

Step 1:

These are the three hammer heads that I used for this project. As I said in the intro I bought these for about $3-$4 each at the time, which I don't consider terribly expensive considering what "nice" coat hooks can cost.

Step 2:

The first thing I did was cut off the hammer heads. I setup a stop block on my miter saw and cut off the handle at what I thought looked like the right length. I probably should have put some type of spacer in the gap under the handle to support the piece while I made the cuts. In the end this didn't affect the cuts but it probably would have been safer.

Step 3:

I didn't have an actual plan for the shelf so I just tried a few different things placing the wood in various configurations until I found one that I liked. I also played around with the positioning of the hammer heads to see what looked best. At this point nothing is glued or screwed.

Step 4:

Since this is pallet wood I didn't measure the lengths to cut, instead I just placed each piece where it would be attached and marked where I would need to make the cut. The pallet wood is far from perfect and it is easier and probably more accurate to mark the cut then measure it.

Step 5:

I used a square to transfer the mark across the front of the board and used my miter saw to make the cut for all three pieces.

Step 6:

After making the cuts I check the fit again and then added glue to the vertical pieces and then placed the horizontal pieces on top of them.

Step 7:

Next I pre-drill all the pilot holes and screwed the horizontal pieces to the vertical ones.

Step 8:

Its the same process for the center vertical piece. I find the center of all the pieces and then add glue making sure to pre-drill pilot holes and then finally add the screws.

Step 9:

Next it was time to add the piece on top that would make the shelf. I added glue to the top edges and here again made sure to pre-drill pilot holes and attach the shelf with screws. I used a clamp to hold the shelf in place while I screwed it together. The last picture shows what the shelf looks like from the top once it has been screwed.

Step 10:

I should have fixed this crack before screwing the shelf to the rest of the piece. It was a simple fix I just added glue to the crack and used a brush to shove the glue in to the crack and then clamped it for 24 hours to let the glue dry. The cracks add to the rustic look.

Step 11:

I didn't think the top shelf joint was very strong so I added some metal support pieces. This is just some 1/2 inch wide mild steel that I cut to length. Here again I didn't use a tape measure to get the length I just held the steel up to the two corners and marked where I would make the cut. I used my angle grinder fitted with a cut off wheel to make the cuts.

Step 12:

I felt the steel bracing looked a little too new and decided to add some character to the metal. So I took my ball peen hammer and began randomly hammering the entire surface of the steel, front and back. After quite a bit of hammering I got the look I was after.

Step 13:

I used my belt sander to round over the edges.

Step 14:

After rounding over the edges I marked where the screw holes would go and center punched the marks and then drilled the four holes. I also countersunk the holes so the screw heads would sit flush which can be seen in the last picture.

Step 15:

To bring out the hammered texture I sanded the support pieces with some 150-220 grit sand paper. The second picture shows the difference the sanding makes. The top piece is not sanded the bottom one is after sanding.

Step 16:

Next I attached the support pieces first making sure to pre-drill pilot holes and then screwing the support pieces to the shelf.

Step 17:

Next I pre-drilled the hammer heads for the screws that I would use to attach them to the shelf.

Step 18:

Now it was time to attach the hammer heads to the shelf. First I found the centers and drilled holes all the way through the back piece. I used long screws with washers on them to attach the hammer heads from the back. I did not use glue on the hammer heads because I thought that I might want to make a nicer version of this and reuse the hammer heads sometime later.

Step 19:

I attached some d-rings to the back so that I could hang it on the wall. The second picture shows what the shelf looks like from the rear.

Step 20:

Lastly I sprayed a clear coat on the entire piece including all the metal to help protect the wood and also the bare metal.

Step 21:

Here are a couple of pictures of what the shelf looks like on the wall. Overall I really like the way it came out it is definitely rustic and a fairly simple project to build. I hope you enjoyed this Instructable and find it useful. Thanks for taking the time to read all of this.

Build video.

<p>Very nice! If it were me, I'd've put the claws up and the heads down, and used the heads for . . . . I've got no immediate idea! BUT I want to offer a LARGE TYVM b/c I've got a very old rake head I want to mount with teeth up to hang things (like brooms) from. (Please pardon dangling participle; tyvm, your zero-tolerance grammatical error 'ible commenter :). Back to comment.) Esp. I thank you for showing how to use the D-rings for hanging the shelf itself. Little by little it comes together . . . </p>
<p>I thought about putting the claws up but they seemed to have a bit of a sharp edge to them so I was afraid that with time they might begin to tear at the fabric. Its always neat to hear an idea come from another. Good luck on your build. Thank you.</p>
<p>Oh, you are right, they are not kindly in the edge department! Maybe I'll intentionally dull them . . . </p>
<p>Good idea!</p>
<p>A bat near here has all rustic, chunky, wooden stuff. They'd do well to have one of these for sure! Great idea, great execution! </p>
<p>Cool thanks.</p>
<p>I loved all the tools you have to work with. Can I live next door to you? Great pellet idea I loved it. </p>
<p>LOL! Thanks.</p>
<p>I really like the look of this, but if you were to do it again i would use some rusty hangers to give it more of a rustic feel. You could probibily coat them in resin so they don't get rust all over your house. otherwise thats a very solid build!</p>
<p>Great suggestion! Thanks.</p>
<p>super cool man - this is very rustic. Harbor freight tools at their best. </p>
<p>LOL! They aren't all bad. Thanks Jimi!</p>
<p>good job!</p>
<p>Nice and whimsical!</p>
<p>Thanks man.</p>
Great pallet project!
<p>Very cool idea !</p>
<p>This looks awesome! My great uncle was a carpenter and he would have LOVED this :)</p>
<p>Thanks, your great uncle sounds like man with excellent taste. ;-)</p>

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