My wife is a nail tech and she needed more room for her polishes at work so I sketched up plans based off of a CND plastic rack.
Step 1: Draw Up Your Plans.
Here is the rough sketch with measurements of the entire rack. I like to sketch plans on graph paper so I can sketch it to size to get an idea of the proportions so I can see what it will look like.
Step 2: Making the Base.
The rack is made of solid poplar wood and stainless steel. Everything was glue and cut joints, no nails or screws were used with the exception of attaching the steel turntable under the base so it can rotate.
I started with a rectangular piece of poplar 3/4" thick. I used my router table to joint the edges to make sure it was square with clean edge's to make the middle of the base. I encased the center piece with half inch thick poplar boards one inch wide. After a couple test cuts on the miter saw I cut the four side to frame up the center piece so there would be no visible end grain wood.
The second picture shows the base after gluing overnight and a little cleanup with a chisel and sand paper. on a piece this small I place a full sheet of sand paper on a flat surface and clamp it down. Then you can sand the entire face of each side of a small box at one time, it makes sure you don't get any dips or uneven sanding. This method is particularly effective in this case where I have five pieces of wood joined together to make the base. The top is perfectly flat after going through a couple grits of sand paper, effectively planing the surface with cheap sand paper!
Step 3: Cutting the Small Dovetail Joints.
The two side rails of the tower support everything above the base (not that 24 bottles of nail polish are very heavy) so I wanted a joint that would have a lot of surface area to join the top to the base. This was a good little project to practice some dovetails on! The two side rails for the tower are 1/4" poplar about 2 3/4" in wide. I used a wheel gauge marker to set the depth of the tails, and dovetail saddle markers to score the dove tails themselves. With a Japanese pull saw I cut the two outer dovetails, and a coping saw to cut the small dovetail. Since a coping saw doesn't cut very clean or strait, I cut the small dovetail a little proud of my score lines and cleaned them up with a chisel and knife.
Picture two shows the tail board after cleaning up the dovetails.
Step 4: Assembly!
Sorry, I kinda forgot to take some pictures to a few steps! In summary; After you have complete dovetail boards for your tower, use the board itself as the template to transfer onto the base. Cut into the base the shape of the dovetail boards, remember to only go 1/4" into the sides of the base. Cut a top piece the exact same width as your base, from the same board as the side pieces. I just cut simple box joints to join the two sides and top piece.
Next, the shelves are pretty easy. simply cut the boards a little shorter than your overall width of side boards. I cut a shallow groove about 1/3 of the thickness of the side boards. Trim each shelf to fit the grooves. I also added a short divider down the length of each shelf, which also adds strength to the shelf.
1/8" stainless steel rods were cut for a shelf rail to keep the polish bottles from falling out when spun. Use a drill to drill only half way into the side walls so after assembly the steel rods are basically trapped in the wood.
Dry fit the WHOLE assembly! there were several small tweaks and trims I found I had to do before gluing. Trim and dry fit again, as many times as needed.
GLUE IT! Glue and clamp it overnight.
Step 5: Finishing.
After gluing over night, trim up dried glue with a chisel then sand everything smooth. My wife wanted it a little darker than the light colored poplar so I put one coat of clear coat then a walnut whipping varnish, followed by another clear coat. Doing strait stain first can get uneven blotchy dark spots where more "thirsty" areas in the wood absorb more dark stain than others. applying clear coat first then a light sanding "fills" those thirsty spots so your stain will be more even.
There you have it! Thanks for looking!
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