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How to Make a Doorknob Coatrack

Use vintage doorknobs and salvaged trim to make a showpiece coatrack in less than two hours

Photo by John W. Taylor

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.

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Steps // How to Make a Doorknob Coatrack
1 ×

Determine Knob Placement

 
Step One // How to Make a Doorknob Coatrack

Determine Knob Placement

making doorknob coatrack
Photo by John W. Taylor

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.

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2 ×

Mark the Placement

 
Step Two // How to Make a Doorknob Coatrack

Mark the Placement

making doorknob coatrack
Photo by John W. Taylor

Use a pencil and the straightedge of a combination square, lightly draw a horizontal line across the center of the board.

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3 ×

Calculate Spacing

 
Step Three // How to Make a Doorknob Coatrack

Calculate Spacing

making doorknob coatrack
Photo by John W. Taylor

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.

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4 ×

Attach the Dummy Spindles

 
Step Four // How to Make a Doorknob Coatrack

Attach the Dummy Spindles

making doorknob coatrack
Photo by John W. Taylor

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.)

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5 ×

Secure the Rosettes

 
Step Five // How to Make a Doorknob Coatrack

Secure the Rosettes

making doorknob coatrack
Photo by John W. Taylor

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.

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6 ×

Glue the Knobs

 
Step Six // How to Make a Doorknob Coatrack

Glue the Knobs

making doorknob coatrack
Photo by John W. Taylor

Secure the knobs to the spindles using silicone adhesive applied with a glue gun, and let dry.

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7 ×

Condition the Trim Board

 
Step Seven // How to Make a Doorknob Coatrack

Condition the Trim Board

making doorknob coatrack
Photo by John W. Taylor

Bring back the trim board's shine by applying a wood preserving and conditioning oil with a lint-free rag.

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8 ×

Anchor the Rack

 
Step Eight // How to Make a Doorknob Coatrack

Anchor the Rack

making doorknob coatrack
Photo by <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com" target="_blank">Apartment Therapy</a>

Hang your finished rack using the appropriate anchors for your wall type.

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