How to Build a Fabric Hanger

Step-by-step instructions for making a simple rack for quilts and linens

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This easy-to-make hanger is made up of two side pieces, a 1-by-6-inch shelf, a topper and a railing to hold fabric pieces. Here's how to do it:

Materials and Tools:

1-by-2, 1-by-3 and 1-by-6 red oak lumber
handsaw
combination square
pencil
hand drill with 1½-inch spade bit
sandpaper
block plane
finish nails
cut nails (optional)
hammer
measuring tape
backsaw
chisel
spokeshave

Steps:

1. To make the sides of the hanger, use a combination square to measure in 2 inches on two adjoining sides of a square piece of 1-by-6, and then connect the marks at a 45-degree angle. To start the cut, use your thumb as a guide and pull the saw toward you four times, and then cut along the line.

2. Locate the center for the railing hole on each side piece by measuring down from the top 3¾ inches and from the back 1¾ inches. Then use a hand drill with a 1½-inch spade bit to make the hole (once the bit breaks through the other side, turn the wood over and drill from the reverse side to avoid tearing the wood). Lightly sand the edges.

3. For the top shelf, cut a 6-foot topper for the shelf out of 1-by-3 and chamfer the edges by making long, smooth passes with a sharp block plane. Lightly sand all edges until smooth.

4. Measure in 3 inches from each end of the shelf piece and attach the side pieces to it with finish nails. Attach the topper from the bottom side. For an old-fashioned look, use cut nails next to the finish nails to cover the heads.

5. Cut a 1-by-2 to 6 feet in length so it can pass through the holes and be held in place. To secure it, notch a small rabbit in each end using a back saw for the initial cuts. Then remove any additional wood with a chisel. To soften the edges, use a spokeshave (this traditional tool is used to shape wagon-wheel spokes, but it's great for softening square lumber). Pull the tool toward you to shave a slightly rounded edge so the lumber won't snag the fabric.

6. Sand the entire piece and finish as desired. Once dry, push the rail through one hole and then the other.

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