Introduction: Space Saving Tie Rack

I had one of those metal tie racks that hang from a clothing bar and for me, it just wasn't cutting it.  The ties were hard to take off and I had to move a bunch of them to see the ties underneath.  I was also running out of tie space.  So I decided to make a tie rack that would not only give me more places to put ties, but that would save me some space!

Step 1: The Setup

The closet in my apartment is pretty small and when the door is closed, my suits rest right up against the door.  This prevented me from putting a tie rack on the door.  The side wall had some space, but a bunch of pegs across the wall would have only allowed me to hang a limited number of ties.

So I thought if I made an arm with pegs on it that swung down to store the ties against the wall and swung up to access the ties it would not only give me more space, but allow me to see where each tie was.

Step 2: Tools and Materials

Tools I used:

1/4" drill bit
smaller drill bit for screw pilot holes
tape measure
something to measure right angles (triangle, right angle)
a small piece of scrap wood
some sandpaper (a medium grit should be fine)

For the "arm" I used a piece of 1x2" finished poplar.
For the tie pegs, I used 1/4" dowel.
A hinge to attach the arm to a base
A few screws

The lengths of the poplar and dowels will vary depending on how much space you have.

In my tiny closet, I had roughly 43" of vertical space for the ties and the arm to hang.  A tie folded in half (as if it was hanging on something) is 29", so the arm could only be 14" long. For the math:

   29 (tie)
+14 (the arm)
-   1 (the first peg is one inch up from the end of the arm)

For the pegs, they are spaced on the arm at one inch intervals, with the first and last peg one inch from the ends.  Each side of the arm has a row of pegs for ties.  The peg on one side is actually the same piece of dowel as the peg on the other, so for each pair of pegs, you need 4 3/4" of dowel.  There is two inches on either side to hang the ties and 3/4" that goes though the arm.  If this sounds confusing, check the pictures and it will make sense.

Step 3: The Arm

I cut my piece of poplar to 14".

Next, I found the midline of the 2" side and marked it with a pencil line.  On this line I placed dot with a marker every inch.  Using a 1/4" drill bit, these dots will become holes for the pegs.  A 14" board with holes every inch equals thirteen holes and thirteen pieces of dowel.

Drilling the holes was a bit of a pain because I tried to make them all uniform.  A drill press would be better here, but alas, I don't have one!

Before you pull the drill out of each hole, move the drill up and down a few times in the new hole to widen it just a bit.  This will be important for step five.

With the holes drilled, this is a good time to drill the pilot holes for the hinge to the end of the arm.  I used a single 2" hinge, which was a bit longer than the board, so I just hammered the end to bend it over the arm.  I didn't attached the hinge yet because I was worried it would get in the way as I was attaching the pegs.

Step 4: The Pegs

You need to make make as many as you need for the holes you drilled.  Each piece of dowel should be 4 and 3/4 inches long.

After cutting all of them, I buffed the edges with a bit of sandpaper to get a bit of a tapered end.  This served two purposes: 1) My ties won't snag on the ends of the dowels as I take them off and on. 2) It will be easier to pound them into the arm without the ends chipping.

A word about sanding, don't sand the area where the ties will be hanging!  This may cause the ties to catch and rip or, if your sandpaper is fine enough, to cause the ties to fall off while hanging because of reduced friction.

Once they are all done, on to the next step!

Step 5: Assembly

To put it all together, place the arm on its side on your work table and clamp it down.  Make sure that the first hole hangs off the edge.  Place the first peg into the hole.  If the ends are tapered enough, it should stay with a slight push.  After that, it is just a matter of pounding the peg in until only two inches remain on this side of the arm.  I used a scrap piece of wood to place between the hammer and the peg to prevent any damage to the peg.  I got through all thirteen without breaking any of the pegs.

The last few are tricky, you will need to unclamp the arm and hold it by hand against the table.

This design is nice because there are no glue or nails or screws, so if a peg does break, you can easily pound the dowel out and replace it.

After that, just screw on the hinge and you are ready to install it!

Step 6: Installation

At this point, I had originally planned to attached the hinged arm to a piece of wood that would serve as the baseplate which would be screwed into the wall.  However, my closet has a nice piece of wood at the right level, so I used that instead.

Once the rack is on the wall, you can add ties by lifting the arm into a perpendicular position to the wall and sliding them onto the pegs.  Once finished, let the arm fall into parallel to store.  The ties are safe against the wall and enough of each tie is visible to identify it.

A future mini project is to attach eye hooks and chain to the wall and the end of the arm so that I can secure it in the perpendicular position without holding it with my hand.