At my house, coats pile up on dining room chairs and get put away only when dinner guests actually need to sit. I have a coat closet—two, in fact—but after a long day at work, I hate messing with hangers. So for a project using vintage metal doorknobs, a toss-and-go coatrack seemed just the antidote for my lazy ways. I had six knobs and their matching rosette backplates; all I needed was a nice old board to mount them on. Lucky for me, my boss, This Old House editor Scott Omelianuk, was willing to part with some chestnut trim he salvaged after taking down a wall during his house renovation. Here's the step-by-step for how to build the rack.
Determine Knob Placement
Start by lightly sanding the board to create a smooth working surface. Then arrange the doorknobs across the board's face to see how they'll look after they're attached. Once you've determined their rough placement, remove the knobs.
Mark the Placement
Use a pencil and the straightedge of a combination square, lightly draw a horizontal line across the center of the board.
Use the ruler on your combination square or a tape measure to calculate the exact distance between each knob, and then mark evenly spaced vertical lines through the horizontal line to indicate their placement.
Attach the Dummy Spindles
Position a dummy spindle over each cross-hatch marking and attach the spindle with screws. (Note: For knobs with insignias or letters, you may need to position the spindles on the diagonal so their patterns can be properly viewed.)
Secure the Rosettes
Place decorative rosettes over the spindles to conceal their steel mounting bases, and then drive in the screws to secure the rosettes to the board.
Glue the Knobs
Secure the knobs to the spindles using silicone adhesive applied with a glue gun, and let dry.
Condition the Trim Board
Bring back the trim board's shine by applying a wood preserving and conditioning oil with a lint-free rag.
Anchor the Rack
Hang your finished rack using the appropriate anchors for your wall type.