Rack for backpacks

A couple weeks ago Lady of the House asked me to do something to all those backpacks hanging on the floor and corners. Naturally I took the challenge and started to make plans and specs with her. The goal was set:

1. Be able to carry 3 medium sized backpacks, fully loaded with books.

2. Looks nice.

3. Stays on the wall.

The starting point was a pine board. I cut it to lenght and drilled some through-holes to it. I also did three round pockets on rear side of the board. It also got some paint to match the wall it was going to.

When woodworking was settled, it was time to fire the lathe up.

Since I do not have pictures from the first rack, here are some from the second one.

 I ordered some hooks from that Swedish four-letter international furniture brand, only to find out that support mechanism inside that hook was plastic. 

That black thing in the middle of those shiny metal parts.

Before they arrived I planned to turn some aluminum plates to support those hooks. When the plastic was found it was only the matter of some more turning. I ended up using only the cap from the original hooks. 

I turned plates under the hooks and to backside of board. 

I drilled a hole on that plate going to backside to keep it from turning if tightning bolt get loose. I made a midsection part which actually holds the load. It was turned to lenght, threaded, and drilled from steel. Because of the set parameters I could not find standard bolt to fit inside midsection. Lathe solved that problem. That bolt holds everything together. It goes through midsection, support plate and pine board straight to the backplate which threads holds it in position. Bolt can be tightened up with an allen key. Midsection has an shoulder which keep the bolt from slipping through. The cap can be rotated in place when other parts of the hook are assembled.

When all parts was done, it was time to assemble the rack and attach it to the wall. 

The end product was actually so good that I received another order, this time a little shorter one and a different colour. 

As of writing this it is not on the wall yet, but it is ready to go.
(This blog text was created with a mobile phone application and boy, I feel that it killed all that small amount of smoothness of writing I may have had..)



I made a little cutters for cutting in half all kind of tablets. These are made of 3mm stainless steel sheet. Design is quite rough but I like them that way. They are meant to be in everyday use, so scratches are inevitable.

This is where I started, a sheet of metal and a freehand drawing.


I welded two plates together with mig.


The drilling has started. I was going to make this with freehand.


After some cutting.




Things are getting in shape.


After that I milled slots to avoid misalignment. I milled only 1mm deep and bent the rest of halves. Since fitting halves to the milling machine was a bit difficult, I had to use a file also.


Here we are getting some rough shape.


I cut the blades to correct length and sharpened the other blade. From a drawing you can tell that I forgot to make that little curve that keep spring in position. But no worries, I got it in the other route.


Since then I changed to a softer spring, made some guardian rails for it and put a new bolt for keeping halves together.

And polished them too.



And that’s it!




A New Toy

I have got my hands on a new toy. A dividing head.


But it lacks a tool for tightening objects in to the chuck. So we need to make one.

I took a 22mm diameter shaft and measured that square hole has a 10mm side. So I need to take 6mm off from each four side of  the shaft. Chuck has a wheel of 36 teeth and one can lock those teeth in position, one at the time. A quick calculation gives that when the first side is milled down 6mm, 18th teeth must be locked in and then milling can continue. After that 9th teeth locked and milled. And the last 18th teeth and milled. (Of course this can be done by 9 teeth at a time.)

Her we are in the middle of the process.


When all sides was milled, I bored a 13mm hole to the shaft. At first I used a center drill bit and a lubricant and then I gradually moved from 6mm to the big one.


All I have to do is to cut those 22mm and 13mm shafts in convenient length and make some adjustments that 13mm shaft don’t slide through the hole in 22mm shaft. And of course to do some grinding. Shafts are just some ordinary steel (st52 or something like that) so I am not expecting them to last too long, but time will tell that. On the other hand, I don’t believe that this dividing head (and its new tool) is going to get too much attention in its current location. Conveniently other chucks around the shop uses a different size of a square tool.


Here is the Machine behind all of this..


And no, I don’t own it, I just can borrow it and facilities around it.

Remember to use at least safety goggles (and Colin’s safety tie 😉 ) when using metal working machines!