{House} The First Big Project

The closets in my apartment are unique, because the closets are extra deep.  One of the closets already has shelves all the way up the back, with a tension rod in front.

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It only took a few hours for me to realize that this is incredibly impractical.  In fact, I had to remove some dresses just so I could take a good picture of it!

The other closet only had one top shelf (tho there are supports for a second, higher shelf) and a normally hung rod.  This left about 18 inches worth of space between the door and the clothes–and in a small apartment, every bit of storage space matters!

After dealing with the other closet, I figured out that a moving clothing rack would be the most practical solution, since it could be rolled out of the way to easily reach the shelves behind it.  However, most garment racks are larger than my closet, which is just two feet wide.  Also, since the other closet is for dresses, I wanted a double rod to hang more short items like shirts and skirts.

So like any good DIYer, I decided to make my own!

There are a lot of posts about how to make your own garment rack on the internet, but these two (this and this) caught my attention as being some of the few with two rods instead of just one.

Again, the hardware store going out of business came to my rescue!  It took a little digging to get all the right pieces, but for less than $70, I got:
– 4 1″ diameter 36″ long pipes,
– 2 3/4″ diameter 18″ long pipes,
– 4 tee connectors for 1″ pipes to 3/4″ pipe,
– 2 floor flanges for 1″ pipe, and
– 4 castors.

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I had browsed prices at Lowe’s and Home Depot, and those prices were pretty comparable to the prices at the hardware store before the 50% discount.  This project wasn’t exactly cheap, but it could have been much more expensive.

The pipes needed a thorough cleaning, and then they were ready for assembly.  I started with the top bar: an 18″ pipe with two tee connectors.

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Then I screwed in a 36″ pipe to each tee.  As I’d learned, the next part was tricky: attaching the middle bar.  I started off by adding a tee to the end of one of the long pipes.  Into that tee, I added the second 18″ pipe.

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Then I screwed the final tee into the long pipe and lined the middle bar up to it.  I unscrewed the 18″ bar from the left in order for it to be screwed into the tee on the right (hard to explain in words, but easy to understand when you’re doing it).

img_7355I guess this is the part where I got too excited building something to remember to take pictures, but the remaining steps involved screwing the last two 36″ pipes into the tees, and adding the floor flanges.  I had to stand it up, lay it back down, and fiddle with it few times to get it to stand up without being held (especially since the floor is a little uneven in the closet), but I eventually got it worked out.

I wasn’t able to find a piece of wood in the dimensions I’d like for the bottom support and casters, so there’s still a part II to come.  But that didn’t stop me from putting it in place and hanging clothes on it!

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In order to get the clothes to hang properly with the rack in place, I needed to move the shelf that was already in the closet.  It was just made up of two pieces off 1 x 12 wood (which weren’t nailed down), so it was very easy to move one to the upper support.

Now I just have to install the shelving unit I bought on the wall behind it.  And maybe spray paint the pipe garment rack so it doesn’t look so industrial.

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