Building a Garage Shoe Organizer: Part 1

Posted by John on October 9th, 2012

***UPDATE:  The woodworking plans for this Shoe Organizer have just been uploaded to our Plans page.  To get access, just subscribe to our free newsletter using the sign-up form in the sidebar or following this post.  Immediately after you subscribe, you’ll get an email with a link to the Plans page.***

Ahh, back to my wheelhouse.  Carpentry.  It’s been a while since I worked on anything substantial.  We’ve been talking for sometime now about adding some sort of shoe organization system to the garage to get all of our shoes off the floor.  I’ve had a basic idea of what I thought the shoe rack would look like and what works for our space.  We looked around some stores to see if there was anything that would work and we didn’t find anything.  I thought this would be a great, somewhat quick project to keep us busy and would go a long way to straightening out the garage.

Garage Shoe Organizer: Part 1 (Click here for Part 2, and Click here for Part 3)

I started with one 4’x8′ sheet of 3/4″ thick Birch plywood.  Since I’m going to paint this project and not stain it, Birch is an ideal wood choice.  MDF is also a good paint grade material, but it’s heavy as hell.  Can you use solid wood instead of plywood?  Yes, but, solid wood is a lot more expensive and is much more subject to expansion and contraction from changes in temperature and humidity.  Since this is going in the garage, which is not a heated space, solid wood is a bad idea.

The first thing I did is cut a couple 9″ wide and 75″ long pieces from the sheet.

Then I took a speed square and used it’s angle markers to mark one of the boards with lines where the shelves will go.

Once the board was marked, it was time to dress up the edges.  Plywood edges aren’t ideal for painting.

To hide the edges, I use some wood glue and nail a strip of poplar hard wood to cover the edge.

It looks a little goofy now, but once it’s sanded and painted, it’ll look good.

Now it’s time to add the shelves.  I measured the shelves to be big enough to accommodate my sneakers, since those will be the biggest shoes on the shelf.  They’re also plywood.  To attach the shelves to the rest of the assembly, I’m using pocket screws on the back of the shelf.

This was the most monotonous part of the job so far.  We’re adding ten shelves, with two pocket holes each.  That’s a good 30 minutes of clamping, drilling and un-clamping.

Once the shelves are all attached to the first side, I can attach them to the other.  More on that next time.  Here’s what it looks like now.

Feels good to be building again.  Any projects you’re currently working on?  Need to clean up your shoes?  What do you do to organize your shoes?

Find the next post here: Shoe Organizer Part 2

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