Of course Bethany washing clothes with her homemade laundry plunger doesn’t make much sense if she doesn’t have a way to dry the clothes. In the summer the clothes line works great. The clothes are dry in a matter of minutes. But winter is not so much fun. Who really wants to go outside and hang wet clothes on the line with a 10 degree windchill? The solution was a wall mounted laundry rack.
We decided something out of reach of the kids and dogs was the most sensible. In my usual fashion I looked at what other people had built or bought and modified it to suit my purpose. We wanted something sturdy, simple, and easy to clean. It also had to look nice and fold completely out of the way.
At Lowe’s we bought a 2’x4′ sheet of 1/2″ birch plywood, 2 8′ poplar 1x2s, 5 48″ long 1/2″ poplar dowels, 2 simple 2″ hinges, wood glue, 2″ drywall screws, decorative chain, and a window latch. The hinges, wood glue, screws, chain, and window latch are things that we normally have around because I hoard things like that, but this time we didn’t have any. That drove the cost up. If we’d had some of those basics, the project would have cost around $35. It ended up costing about $55, but I have leftover glue, screws, and chain to use for something else.
I cut the 1×2 poplar into 2 48″ lengths and cut pieces to fit in between so the rack would be the exact height of the plywood. Just shave a little off with each cut until you get it right. If you cut it too short, you wasted it, unless you can find a board stretcher somewhere. I drilled 5 evenly spaced 1/2″ holes in each of the three shorter pieces of 1×2.
It took a little trial and error, since I don’t have a great wood working setup, but I managed to clamp the corners of the rack and pre-drill and countersink the screw holes. I was afraid if I didn’t I would split the 1x2s. With the frame assembled, I gently tapped the dowels through the holes I had drilled. Some of the holes felt a little tight so I rounded them out a bit with the drill bit. It’s better to do that than to damage something trying to drive the dowels through.
Once I had the rack assembled, I fastened it to the plywood sheet with the hinges, then had Bethany figure out how far out she wanted the rack to hang. I cut the chain to the correct lengths and attached it with drywall screws so that it will hang out of the way when the rack is folded up. A simple window latch holds the rack closed when not in use.
A few screws were poking through from mounting the hinges and chains. I cut those off flush with an angle grinder. With the laundry rack assembled, I doubled checked with Bethany that it was what she wanted, then took it apart for painting. I painted, and painted, and sanded, and painted. It took twice as long to paint as it did to build. I’ll definitely be spray painting the next one!