How to Build a Coat Rack With Railroad Spikes

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Railroad spikes distinguish pieces of carpentry, giving them a distinctive twist.
Railroad spikes distinguish pieces of carpentry, giving them a distinctive twist. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Railroad spikes are often featured in home decor and other household woodworking projects. For instance, the spikes can be used as hooks for a coat rack. To build a coat rack using railroad spikes, all you need are a few simple materials. Even woodworking beginners can complete this task with ease. The coat rack is a great piece to feature in a hallway or entry alcove.

Things You'll Need

  • Lumber
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • 5-inch railroad spikes
  • Hammer
  • Paint and brush
  • Stain finish
  • Picture hangers
  • 3-inch screws

Saw a piece of lumber to the desired dimensions of the coat rack. Use a thick slab of lumber (at least 3 inches) to accommodate the spikes.

Sand the piece of lumber. Work the sandpaper into the wood in circular motions, smoothing blemishes and bumps.

Measure the distances between the hooks, depending on how many hooks you desire, and mark these points on the piece of lumber. For instance, if you want three hooks (or spikes) and the board is 20 inches long, mark points at five inches, 10 inches and 15 inches.

Drill a small hole at each point marked. Make the holes approximately 1/2-inch deep. One at a time, insert a spike into each hole and hammer. Hammer the spikes at a 90-degree angle with the wood until the spikes are 2 inches deep in the wood (leaving 3 inches of spike exposed).

Paint or stain the wood, if desired. Allow the coat to fully dry (normally four to six hours) before spraying the rack with a stain finish. Allow the finish to dry completely dry.

Attach picture hangers to the back of the coat rack, along the top edge. Use 3-inch screws to attach the picture hangers, since the coat rack will be heavy. Mount to a wall.

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