Coat Hanger

Product description
Christmas holiday is a perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the workshop which is dominated by model making and prototyping throughout the year. A coat hanger was needed, an opportunity to play around with molded plywood was sought for so, there you go, a coat hanger was made. The materials where really lying around. The point was to avoid buying new materials since the workshop is filled with off cuts from a variety of furniture materials and left over components.
The design was quite spontaneous and being a one-off object to be used in a domestic environment, its design took around ten minutes while standing in the middle of the workshop and gazing at material piles and bundles. The last time a plywood mold for plywood molding was built in the workshop was when the toilet handles were made 8 years ago (2010) and since then a job related opportunity where plywood would be molded did not show up. It would have to be for the joy of doing it and the only time available for this was during the holidays. The pole with the rectangular cross section was welded from three separate pieces that were left over from a recent project. They were cut square, welded and grinded to form a single longer piece. The exact height of the coat hanger had not been defined yet. The pole would be cut to length once the rest of the pieces were made and a test assembly was performed. The plywood pieces came from leftovers from two separate and different projects one of which was the building of the cajons 8 years ago. Extra material had been purchased in case the need came up to build more cajons but since the last batch, time has been filled with commissioned projects and to be honest, back then building cajons was a novelty. Nowadays everyone is doing it. If we were to build musical instruments again we would have to be more original.

Two types of plywood were used. An top oak veneered 5mm plywood and a ‘regular’ 4mm cheap plywood.

The mold was made of birch plywood as you can see in the picture. The making of the mold has not been documented but it should be said that it started of as a 90 degree angle mold. A test piece was molded first. Once the molded part is removed from the mold, it flexes back a few degrees to an angle larger than 90 degrees. This needed to be measured and once this took place, the mold was reshaped to cater for this particular flex angle.

For the actual molding of the plywood pieces a rubber mat was used underneath so as to protect the working surface from the glue. Yellow glue dries very quickly.

From the plywood strips that were used, the inside one, the one with the smaller radius was notched so as to relieve some tension and facilitate cold bending. It turned out that one or two strips of the inside ones were cracked during bending but the tremendous pressure of the clamp together with the glue used, were enough to mold the entire array into a single body with no problems whatsoever.

After demolding, the pieces were cut to shape and formed round at the edges. Holes were drilled for the bolts to go through and countersink holes for the bolt heads and washers.

Then came sanding and varnishing using a water based clear varnish.

Of you have any questions about design or building this coat hanger then please send us an e-mail and we will be happy to help.



Images from the design and development process