Railroaded and Burned – Part 2

So, Part 2.  A Repurposing project.  (click here for Part 1)

I left you with a charred piece of pine.  What have I done since then?

Ground it down with my power drill and a bristle brush attachment.  This accomplished two things:  1. It removed most of the char, and drove some of it deep into the grain.  B. The hard grain (slow winter growth) remained, while the soft grain (fast spring & summer growth) was worn away, leaving interesting ridges and valleys.  (Yes, Buddy, 1 and B, just for you!)

Ryobi 1

ridges 1
Look at that great texture.

Next, I wanted to slice a piece off the top and turn it by 90 degrees, to form a narrow shelf.

cut saw 1
PhotoGuy set up the saw for me, but I cut the pine.  ME.  By myself. YES it was AWESOME.
cut saw 2
The narrow shelf on top will look something like this.

Using a prepared solution of vinegar and 0000 fine steel wool, I treated the bare wood.  Was hoping for a silvery, driftwood, weathered result. Something in the range of this gradation sample:

coatrack gradation

OK, it was now or never.  Time to open the month-old vinegar solution.  At this point, the steel wool had almost completely oxidized and disintegrated.  It looked like apple cider.  So exciting!  I probably need to get out more.

coatrack vinegar
Vinegar solution applied to charred pine.

I did not take into account that the vinegar solution would continue to react to the charcoal application.  During the two weeks between applying the vinegar, and revisiting the project to finish it up, the wood continued to deepen into a chocolatey tone.  Not what I was expecting, but gorgeous anyway.

coatrack unfinished

Now to protect it.  Something subtle, not shiny.  Again, I miscalculated.  A water-based satin polyurethane deepened the chocolatey appearance dramatically.

coatrack polyurethane
Water-based polyurethane over pine, with vinegar and steel wool treatment.

Now.  Those spikes.  Must fasten them on.  Place them, square them, nail the screws to mark the positions.  Then drill pilot holes into the screw marks, reposition the spikes, and affix the screws.

coatrack jig
A simple jig keeps everything square.

And after all that work..?  I sort of forgot to plan how to hang it on the wall.  It will be mounted on 1/2 inch T111, so a guy at work (grazie, RG) suggested removing a couple of the existing 1 1/4″ screws, and replacing them with 2″ or 2 1/2″ screws that would hit a stud.

Somehow, all the stars aligned, and spikes #3 and #7 were perfectly spaced with the studs.

coatrack finished 1
I could hang an elephant on this thing.  Not that I would, but I could.

Look, the heads of the spikes are all aligned perfectly, yet the tops wander up and down.  This is exactly the sort of impression I’d like people have when they come in from the back porch.  I am so pleased.

3 thoughts on “Railroaded and Burned – Part 2

    1. Thank you! It was a great project. Newt road-tested it today. As he put his coat on to leave, he said “maybe not a good idea to keep the coat rack in a cold place.” Hmmm… point taken.


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