Let’s just say there’s no competition in our house for who gives the best Christmas gifts. It’s ALWAYS James. He loves Christmas and I think he just likes to show off. Last year I got amazing leather makeup cases that he stitched himself, and sure enough this year he managed to surprise me again! I’m one of those weird people who just really LOVE baths. It’s one of my favorite things to do after a long day at work. Obviously, James knows this about me. I’ve always wanted a bath rack, but with all the home renovation we had going on I never thought that’s what I would be getting for Christmas. And let me tell you it is gorgeous and matches our home perfectly! We decided to share with you how could make one yourself! I’m going to let James take over on the instructions this time, because obviously this was all done secretly by him.
The goal for this project was to let the material be the star of the show. Because this bath rack will be in a wet environment, I needed to select a wood that stand up well. I chose teak because it is a very dense hardwood with a high resin content. This means that the wood is naturally water and rot resistant. I went to a local hardwoods dealer and selected an 8 foot board of 4/4 lumber. The wood was rough sawn so I asked the shop owner to surface it for me on the jointer and planer. I helped him unload a few sheets of plywood from a truck and in return he surfaced the wood for free.
I had drawn up an idea for this project on the computer using SketchUp, so I had a general direction for how I wanted the build to go.
I began ripping the boards down on the table saw. I had planned on making these strips 2 inches high, but the boards we’re not quite 6 inches wide and I wanted to get 3 strips from each board. I divided the board into 3 and made sure to include the kerf of the balde to ensure these pieces were all the same size.
I didn’t want the rack to just set on top of the edges of the tub, so I added a bevel to the edges of the strips. This allows the rack to sit nicely “in” the tub instead of “on” the tub. I made a jig to help me make consistent cuts on all 12 bevels.
I wanted the bath rack to closely follow the style we have throughout the house, so I decided to join the pieces of wood with a few pieces of brass rod. I ordered a 2ft section of a marine grade brass rod, cut it on the band saw and surfaced the edges on the lathe. These brass rods ended up looking much nicer than I originally expected. In my original design, these rods were going to only be visible on the ends of the rack. I decided that the allowing the brass to be visible in between the slats gave the rack a much lighter look.
I had to drill holes in the slats to accept the brass rods and to accept a dowel for the middle teak block. I used the drill press as it made it easy to make very precise holes that were easily repeatable across all the slats. I made a quick jig with a clamp to make sure that the holes were in the same place on each piece.
Once the holes were drilled in all of the pieces, I dry fit all of the parts to ensure everything lined up correctly. Once I was sure it did, I took everything apart to sand and finish the pieces.
I finished the teak with 4 coats of teak oil in natural finish followed by a light coat of paste finishing wax. I chose this finish because the oil naturally enhances the water resistance of the teak while still allowing for a real wood feel. The finishing wax adds a nice matte finish and one extra layer of moisture protection. This can be reapplied every few months, as needed.
After the slats we’re waxed, I added a bit to the brass rods and reassembled the project. I was really happy with the how the brass came out in this project. I was afraid that the rods would not be strong enough on their own, but in the end I think they are very nicely proportioned with the wood.
This is the finished product in action! Check out that tile job in the background – only a few more weeks until our big renovation reveal. And, yes, James did the bathroom tile too, he’s a real DIY guy.
We really hope you enjoy reading our blog. We miss all of our friends and family and can’t wait for people to be able to come stay with us in our new home! If you enjoy our blog please like, comment and share it with your friends!