Basket weave shelf

Basket weave woodworking project
Basket weave coat rack and shelf

I didn’t get many pics while making this oak and walnut basket weave coat rack but follow along and I’ll tell you how I went about it. This took about 4 hours start to completion, not including the finishing.




The project is made of solid 3/4 inch oak and the dark strips are 3/4 inch walnut. The bottom board is 32 by 6 inches. I cut out the scallop designs on the band saw and sanded the cuts on a sanding drum installed on my bench top drill press. The designs were made using a french curve but anything will do, a compass or a lid off of a can. Because the strips are 1/16 inch thick I cut a dado along the top edge of the board 1/8 inch wide and 1/2 inch deep to accept the ends of the strips.

Coat rack woodworking project.
Weaving the oak and walnut.

With the same setup I followed this same cut on the short side pieces and the top board. I then took the bottom board and made multiple passes on the router table using a 1/2 inch bead cutting bit to achieve the bead design just below the basket weave.

The short end pieces are 1-1/4 inches wide and 2-3/8 inches long. The top board is 32 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide. The oak strips are 3/4 inches wide and 1/16 inches thick and 30-1/4 inches long. This will leave about 3/8 inches on either end of the strips to be positioned in the 1/2 inches dado made to accept them. When all three were put in place they were a little too wide for the position so I shaved a little bit off of one of the oak strips with my hand plane.

The walnut strips are 1/16 inches thick and 3/4 inches wide and 2-5/8 inches long. Again, 3/8 inches left on either end to fit into the dado. I really had no idea how many walnut strips I needed so I cut them as I went. As I positioned the first few I found out how close I could put them without applying too much pressure on the oak strips. So I just keep cutting pieces until I was finished. I evenly spaced them about 2-3/8 inches apart (approximately).

Woodworking project for a basket weave shelf.
Fitting the end caps.

The shelf bracket was designed to compliment the scallop design on the bottom board. The overall size of this piece is 4-1/2 inches wide and 5-1/4 inches long. This too was sanded on the drill press using a drum sander. I had a bit of a dilemma with the bracket and that area of the project. How was I suppose to get it all glued together to make it structurally sound and also prevent the short side piece from being seen on a side view shot. So I cut a rabbit the length of the piece 3/4 inches wide and 3/8 inches deep. I then placed 2 #0 biscuits in this area to glue it all together.
The shelf top is 7-1/2 inches wide and 36 inches long. I used a 1/2 inches Roman Ogee router bit to make the decorative edge on the front and side edges. This is held in place with 4 #0 biscuits while the area that rests on the shelf supports was glued and pressure clamped for good adhesion.

Eye balling woodworking projects
At one with the coat rack 🙂

I couldn’t find walnut shaker pegs and I couldn’t make them since I don’t own a lathe so I bought some pine pegs and stained them using a walnut stain by Benjamin Moore. I drilled the five holes using a fostner bit from the front. Then, from behind I drilled  a counter sink hole to accept #10 1″ wood screws. The tenon of the peg that fits into the hole was a little long so I cut about 1/4″ off on the scroll saw. I then made a kerf cut up the middle of this tenon so that when a screw was put in place from behind, the wood of the peg will expand easily and compress itself against the wall of the hole that it is in. I used no glue so that in the event that a heavy coat broke off a peg it could be easily replaced. For the same reason, I did not plug the screw hole from behind so that access to the screw could be made easily.

For the finishing, I applied 2 coats of Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Semi Gloss applied with a foam pad and bristle brush.

To hang the shelf I routed out a slot behind each shelf support to accept a keyhole metal clip (similar to what is used to hang stairway railings).

Coat rack woodworking project.
Phil Burt’s submitted photo.

A Newfoundland born Canadian with a life long interest in woodworking, baking and anything else that peaks my curiosity.


  • Phil Burt

    Jim, I would like to say Thank you for your basket weave shelf. I used the design to make my own, I altered it a little but the concept is the same. I did have an idea for one but couldn’t quite get it straight until I seen yours. The one I made is 60 inches long and I used 1/8 inch for the weaved pieces, as the length would allow it. Just thought you would like to know as I have had people use something I have made as an example and it sure made me feel good. I am including a couple of pics.

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