Introduction: Wall Mount Rolled Neck Tie Display

While dressing for that special event, I always dread picking the right neck tie from my current hanging tie storage rack. I would like to quickly review all my ties and choose a few options without fifteen minutes of wasted time removing a group of ties then re-hanging the unwanted ones.

I have a portion of wall space available to create a wall mounted storage box that has individual cells for each tie measuring 3.5"W x 2.5"H x 3.5"D. Rolling and storing each tie allows them to all be visible at once. Picking one or even a few for matching and then replacing the unused ties to storage will be no problem.

I searched for a storage solution on the web but found nothing. I did see similar neck tie storage solutions at store displays for selling ties.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Since you may choose to make a different size tie storage container some of the material sizes might not help you. I have included the material sizes for the items needed to build a tie storage container of the size I built.

General Tools

  • T-square
  • Metal Rule
  • Tape Measure
  • Utility Knife
  • Pencil
  • Cordless Drill
  • Screwdrivers

Specific Tools

  • Miter or Chop Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
  • Air or CO2 Brad Nail Gun

Materials

  • Foam Board
  • Pine Boards

Step 2: Prototyping With Foam Board

I wasn't too sure of the cell size needed to store each tie, especially those old wider ties. I could easily add the cell sizes to determine the available wall space required and the number of ties it could store but getting a feel for the cell size for each tie required a prototype.

I recently watched a video of people creating box inserts for their card and dice games and thought that foam board was an inexpensive and easy to work. Temporary construction would let me judge the correct size for each cell to store the ties..

Cut Foam Core Strips

Purchase some foam board or re-purpose old foam board. The cuts will be halfway through each foam strip and then the horizontal and vertical sections will be assembled by inserting the cutouts into each other.

  • Cut 3.5" foam board strips using a metal rule. This is the depth for the neck tie storage. I prototyped 3.5" deep storage because it seemed right when ties were rolled or folded and this size wood would be readily available and inexpensive for final implementation.
  • Create a template for the horizontal sections.
    • Grab a 3.5" foam core strip that you cut.
    • Draw a line from end-to-end of the template on the center of the strip (1.75")
    • Measure 3.5" from the end of the strip and place a mark (I chose 3.5" for the horizontal cell size for my prototype).
    • Measure a little smaller than the thickness of the foam core and place a mark.
    • Extend all marks to the halfway line on the strip.
    • Continue this until the last desired section ending with a 3.5" section.
    • Cut out all the halfway sections marked using a razor blade knife.
  • Cut all the horizontal sections using the horizontal template to transfer all marks then cut them with a razor blade knife.
  • Create a template for the vertical sections.
    • Grab a 3.5" foam core strip that you cut.
    • Draw a line from end-to-end of the template on the center of the strip (1.75")
    • Measure 2.5" from the end of the strip and place a mark I (I chose 2.5" for the vertical cell size for my prototype).
    • Measure a little smaller than the thickness of the foam core and place mark.
    • Extend all marks to the halfway line on the strip.
    • Continue this until the last desired section ending with a 2.5" section.
    • Cut out all the halfway sections marked using a razor blade knife.
  • Cut all the vertical sections using the vertical template to transfer all marks then cut them with a razor blade knife.
  • Assemble the horizontal and vertical sections to make a tic-tac-toe style structure by pushing the opposing halfway cuts into each other.
  • Cut outside sections without any cutouts to surround the tic-tac-toe structure.
  • Use straight pins used in sewing to carefully attach them without pushing the pins through the side of the foam board. A straight pin on each side of each strip holds the structure together.
  • Either roll a sampling of your ties or keep folding them in half and insert into a cell to determine if the size of each cell works for your ties.
  • Your prototype should confirm that the size of each cell fits and holds your ties when they will be mounted on the wall. Use these measurements to purchase wood and layout the pieces.

Step 3: Make Neck Tie Storage Rack With Wood

Go to the local hardware store or lumber yard to gather the materials needed because we are ready to make the tie rack! I found some craft wood pieces that will work for the inside pieces of the tie rack and they were 3 1/2" wide just like I needed. I found some longer pine boards for the outside frame that were wider than 3 1/2" but I could cut to size with a table saw.

You can step up your rack build a notch or two by choosing whatever kind of wood is available. You also need to gather measuring and marking tools from your workshop.

  • The first picture shows the craftwood pieces for the inside of the tie rack and the pine pieces of wood for the outside.
  • A t-square, a rule, a tape measure, and a pencil will be needed.

Internal Horizontal Pieces

  • You can keep the internal pieces as wide as the external box or make them just a bit smaller so that they do not come out to the front edge making your final construction a bit easier.
  • I marked the cuts on one of the internal craft wood pieces so that I had guidelines when making the cuts needed for assembling.
  • Since I am joining the internal pieces with egg crate joints (cuts halfway through each piece at each joint) I marked each cut 3 1/2" from the edge of the board or the previous cut (cell size in the horizontal direction) and halfway through the height of the board.
  • Add another mark the thickness of the material you are using from the above mark and once again halfway through the height of the board.
  • Repeat this for the number of cells in your tie rack and then cut the board to length using a miter/chop saw.

Internal Vertical Pieces

  • You can keep the internal pieces as wide as the external box or make them just a bit smaller so that they do not come out to the front edge making your final construction a bit easier.
  • I marked the cuts on one of the internal craft wood pieces so that I had guidelines when making the cuts needed for assembling.
  • Since I am joining the internal pieces with egg crate joints (cuts halfway through each piece at each joint) I marked each cut 2 1/2" from the edge of the board or the previous cut (cell size in the horizontal direction) and halfway through the height of the board.
  • Add another mark the thickness of the material you are using from the above mark and once again halfway through the height of the board.
  • Repeat this for the number of cells in your tie rack and then cut the board to length using a miter/chop saw.

Cutting the Egg Crate Joints

  • I chose the fast and dirty method of multiple cuts on the table saw. Adjust the table saw blade height of the cut (halfway through the material). Line up all your horizontal pieces and position the cut using the marked piece.
  • Run each of the horizontal pieces through the saw before adjusting the fence for the next cut.
  • Adjust for fence on the saw to run the opposite side of the first cut. The material thickness I used required less than two saw blade cuts to finish the joint. Process all the boards before moving the fence for the next cut.
  • Continue this process until all of the egg crate joints are completed for the internal horizontal pieces.
  • Follow the same process for the internal vertical pieces using the marked piece as your guide to minimize miscuts.

Outside Box/Frame

  • I decided to use pocket joints for the frame assembly so measure the external frame pieces for butt joints of the correct size.
  • Cut to length using a miter/chop saw.

Step 4: Assemble, Glue, and Hang Storage Rack

With all the wood boards cut to size and all the required joints in place it is now time to assemble the unit and finish it.

Assembling the Internal Wood Pieces

  • Align the vertical and horizontal pieces that make each of the tie storage cells so that they can be pushed together. Hopefully the joints are snug, a mallet may be needed for persuasion but be careful to work on a flat and solid surface so that you do not split the pieces of wood. They are most vulnerable at the cutouts where they join. I used a little glue to help make the connections permanent being careful to wipe overflow with a wet paper towel.
  • I assembled the outside wood pieces into a open box separately. I wanted to try pocket joints because I recently purchased a Kreg pocket joint jig (instructions for using the jig).
  • Setup the jig for the board material thickness and place the horizontal pieces into the jig. A special drill bit that comes with the jig is used to drill the pocket holes for the special screws. The screws came with jig kit.
  • Assemble the horizontal and vertical pieces and use the special clamp that came with the kit to hold them securely in one of the holes.
  • Fasten the pieces use the screw and repeat this on the other side of the board. And then repeat this in all four corners until you have an assembled box.
  • With the internal pieces assembled and the external box completed you now can place the one inside of the other. Once again it should fit snugly. Be careful to nudge it in place slowly and keeping it even.
  • Once inserted and in place I used my nifty CO2 nail gun to fire brads to hold the inside in place.
  • Assembled but not finished!

Finishing/Painting

  • I painted my tie rack instead of staining. Either way you need to sand starting with 120 grit sandpaper since my wood came partially sanded.
  • Process through finer sandpaper until you tie rack is ready for finishing.
  • I chose to paint after assembly in order to get maximum hold with the glue. It might have been better to paint the pieces before assembly and touch-up any spots at the end since painting each of the cells is a chore.

Tada!

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Bio: Electronic engineering technology professor at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster, PA and one of the founders of make717 makerspace in Lancaster, PA
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