As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.  

Umbrella Rack

 

Note, I previously made a version of this back in 2013 in my pre-youtube days...

You could probably build this in an hour or two, just sayin.

Here is the situation... Our mudroom is on the small side, and our family is on the large side. So the mudroom is pretty full with our washer/dryer/sink, as well as umpteen boots and coats. As such, storage space is in VERY tight supply.

The umbrellas have lived behind the door basically forever. And yes, they fall down regularly and get in the way. I've wanted to build or buy some sort of device to restrain them for ages, but have never had the time or the inspiration.

Well the time had come, and inspiration owes a lot to perspiration, so I sat down with sketchup and forced myself to design something that would fit the space and fit the problem.

The space, as you see from this photo, is the little gap found behind the door. At the hinge there is about 3-1/2" of space between the door and the wall. Further out that narrows to about 3" at the doorstop. That is not a lot of room to work with. A fancy mission style umbrella stand... well that just was out of the question. It had to be skinny, and it had to work with those tall golf umbrellas that we had.

After a few false starts, followed by some practical experimentation, this is the design that I came up with. We've lived with a prototype of this for about two years and it works really well in that tight space.

All I really need to do is support the umbrellas enough that they don't fall over. They need some support in at least two places. But it doesn't need much more than that.

This stand is about five-and-a-half inches tall, which provides enough support so the umbrellas don't fall over. (Part of that is the fact that it is mounted above the floor!) There are two top and bottom supports, each with three holes. If you have two or four or seven umbrellas you can adust that number.

The third support in the middle is just there because I like the look of it. It probably does also help guide the umbrellas as they are inserted.

If you would like to try building one of these for your home, here is an exploded diagram that I believe contains all the pertinent dimensions. (Remember, click the image for a larger version!)

This is a quick and simple fun afternoon project. Writing and documenting it (and filming!) took far longer than the actual build. I do love big projects, but there is also something immensely satisfying about a small project that you can dream up and build in one day.

I started with a piece of black cherry from my lumber stash. The coat racks and key hooks in our mudroom are also cherry, so I'm going for consistency. You could even use pine 1x4 boards from the big box home center.

My lumber was rough, so I first ripped it on the bandsaw to rough (oversize) width, and then jointed and planed it down to size. The plans assume that you are using 3/4" thick stock. I left mine at 7/8" thick and adjusted my project as needed.

Next step was to crosscut the four large pieces to eleven-and-a-half inches in length. Again, these dimensions are not crucial; a half inch more or less will not matter, just adjust the plans to suit you!

The middle piece needs to be skinnier that the two outside pieces, to account for the thickness of the back.

 

I drilled three 1-5/8" holes in each board. The plans give the spacing and dimensions. I set my fence on the drill press stand to give consistent spacing for the holes.

Remember that the middle board is skinnier than the top and bottom. The plans allow for that by showing that you measure from the FRONT edge of the boards, when positioning the holes, rather than from the back.

I rounded over the front/left corner of the piece. I just traced a spray paint can to make a curve, and then cut it out on the bandsaw. Here I am sanding the curve smooth on my Homemade disc sander.

Chamfering the holes with a palm router. This is not a critical step, so you can easily skip it or just try some hand sanding to ease the edges.

Speaking of sanding... after this step I used 150grit in the random orbit sander and sanded all the pieces prior to assembly.

I glued the top and bottom onto the back. This is a long-grain to long-grain glue joint so it will be very strong. I used some 23-gauge pins to help hold it in position but they aren't needed for strength.

I then took measurements off the actual piece to determine the length of the right side piece. I then cut it to length and glued and nailed it onto the end.

I then glued in the center piece and after it had dried, I took it out to the garage and applied several coats of spray lacquer.

This is an old breast drill that I have.

I needed this because it's tip is pretty narrow. I needed to pre-drill some holes in the piece to mount it to a stud. However, all my power drills were too fat to fit inbetween the pieces.

Fortunately I had this drill that I had picked up 10+ years ago when I was pursuing an interest in old hand tools. I chucked the countersink bit into it and was able to drill the countersunk holes that I needed.

The purist out there will probably tell me that I'm using this drill wrong. I know. But I don't care. It worked great.

Here I'm fastening it into the stud in the wall, behind the door to our mud room. It is mounted above the baseboard, so it does not affect that or the floor.

 

What follows is a small photo album of the finished project. The first photo really illustrates how this compact little umbrella rack fits into that tight narrow space behind the door. Note that the door does not touch the stand, it is that skinny.

 

Thanks for reading!

See Also:


Quick and Simple Bike Rack


Umbrella holder (v1)


Window Replacement


Under-The-Stairs Rolling Storage Cart