Monday, February 20, 2012

Easy woodworking project: Coat Rack for Creative Outlet

The upper hooks hold one jacket

The middle hooks hold a jacket or umbrella

I needed a coat rack.  My chairs always have one or two thrown over them. The space behind my door would be a good place but I couldn't seem to find one that fits or one I was willing to pay for.  I also need to make something  with results that I can see.  This rack is six 1/2 feet tall, can store two tiers of stuff and hide behind my inside door.  Also, it is made from scrap.  The only thing I bought was the hardware.  The total cost was about $20. 

The need to create is within us all. I wonder how much anxiety is caused by the fact that so much of our work has no touch-able result. Some people create with paint on a canvas while others create with paint on a house.   Regardless of your medium, sometimes we just need a creative project that has results in a short period of time.  Today this coat rack meets this spiritual need in me.  Silly perhaps but its done, I feel a sense of satisfaction and my sportcoat isn't wadded up on the floor.

Simple legs glued and screwed
Materials used:  A 2x4x8" ripped in half (or a 2x2x8').  Mine was a leftover that had been used.  I cut out the nail holes.  TitebondII glue, 4-1 1/2 inch sheetrock screws. four 2 1/2" by 3" hooks at the top and four smaller "coathooks" all from Walmart.  Leftover 'special walnut' stain and semi-gloss urethane-from my office table.

Tools used:  table saw, sander, drill, router with rounding bit, phillip's screwdriver.  With 2 ready made 2x2's and ignoring the router, all of this could have been done by hand with a miter box.  I have about 2 hours of work with additional time for the glue and finished to dry.  I used what I had on hand and only had to purchase the hardware.

Step by Step:
1. Ripped a 6' 2x4 in half.  A store bought 2x2 would be fine.  You could leave it at 5' and not bother with the second row of hooks.
2. used a rounding bit in a router leaving the top and bottom 6" square
3.  Cut the legs at a 45 degree angle with both angles in.  They are 12" on the long side-they must be precise.  Sand everything before assembly.
4.  Drilled the top of each leg for a 1 1/2" sheet rock screw.  The hole is counter sunk.  Drilling for a 1/4 wooden plug would be  fancier if you have the time.
5.  Square the leg with the bottom of the long 2x2.  Glue with Titebond II or other wood glue and screw it to the bottom.  If I were to do this again I would have molded the top of the legs with the router to match the long rod.  Be doubly sure the legs are square and let them dry-overnight is best.
6.  Stain then coat with 2-3 coats of urethane, sanding between the coats. Dry time on the urethane is over 4 hours on a rainy day.  The more you sand on the first coat the better the results.
7.  Install 4 smaller "towel hooks" in the middle-2.97 for  a pair at Walmart.
8.  Install 4- 4" or longer hooks at the square portion at the top.  These were $2 each at Walmart.
9.  Use well.

It matches my work table, keeps my office neater, and is almost invisible behind the door.  My creative urges have also been met with a project that came out well and could be completed in one weekend.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

2012 Lenten Study "Christian Caregiving by Kenneth Haugk.

Christians care.  Some more than other and some in different ways.  We have different callings, gifts, graces and talents.  Our unique spiritual fingerprints are left behind when we give care in the name of Christ in witness to these things.  Many of us get very uncomfortable when an opportunity to care is presented.  "Christian Caregiving" by Kenneth Haugk tells the story of caregiving.

Christ taught by example and through story.  Haugk's story gives the reader techniques in a way that are caught rather than taught.  Through this a Christian disciple is empowered to take action in the everyday moments that need God's touch.  This builds the disciple and transforms the world in this most basic and defining function of the church.  

"Christian Caregiving" is the introductory course for the Stephen Ministries.  It is designed to bring the disciple into a deeper caregiving life.  This book is over 25 years old and remains a relevant workhorse of a teaching book.  Our church is using it as a Lenten devotional study with the hopes of having a Stephen Ministry forming later.  The book's 20 short chapters are focused and easy to read.  It is a teaching book for the student.  There are few bullet points, only the story that caries the reader to a conclusion requiring a decision to give care.   An outstanding book for pastor's, caring groups, and evangelism committees.  

For more detail on this book and our Lent 2012 study guide, go to or email me at  Again, this is a short course specifically designed for our group of churches.  All of our members and friends can call the office or check out our facebook page for more information also.  

The Stephen Ministries is a group formed on 1975, "for training and organizing laypeople to provide one-to-one Christian care to hurting people in and around your congregation." They have a complete system that is extraordinarily successful in doing this. For more information about forming a Stephen Ministry group and accessing their many resources, go to .