Canadian Woodworking

Hall hooks

Author: Steve Siddall
Illustration: Carl Clayton
Published: October November 2002

Around our house, the coming of winter is not a welcome time of the year. Coats, hats, scarves and more tend to clutter an otherwise tidy hall.


Perhaps a few special coat hooks, strategically placed, will eliminate this little problem. It seems to be working for my daughter’s jacket and hat.

The first thing you will want to do is prepare the material. Although not obvious in the photograph, the hook is made by laminating two or more pieces of thin material with grain direction 90 degrees to each other similar to that of plywood. This gives the hook strength in all directions and is the reason the hook doesn’t break when used.


Oak was the wood of choice in this project but you can use any hard wood. I’d steer away from all soft woods. After all, it is a load-bearing project and you never know when a little person may lift themselves by one of them (definitely not recommended).

If you are going to make two-ply hooks, which is how this one was made, you will need 2 pieces 3/8” thick 4” x 6”. Remember that one piece needs the grain along the 4” direction and the other along the 6” direction.

If you prefer to have the visible sides of the hook with the grain horizontal, you need to make three-ply material using 3 pieces ¼” thick with the outside grain horizontal, centre vertical and outside horizontal. The reason I suggest this sequence is because the mounting screws will then be put into cross grain which is much stronger than end grain.

While you are in the mode of preparing material, you might as well prepare a piece for the back plate that’s ½” thick, 4” x 6”. By the way, all the measurements that I’ve given are slightly oversize to allow for finish cutting.

Enlarge the two designs, cut to shape and sand the edges to remove all saw marks and uneven curves. Round the edges accordingly with a router. You’ll notice that the hook pattern shows the ends and back of the hook a little longer for trimming. There’s usually a little chip-out at these points from rounding the edges over.

To round the edges over, I strongly suggest you make a jig that you fasten to your bench that you can put the hook into on its flat. This way you can keep both hands on your router where they are supposed to be. Similarly, fasten the back plate down to a jig board when routing.

Trim the hook as shown and drill the screw pilot holes and the two holes for the wheel axles. Determine their diameter from the axles available to you. Drill and countersink the back plate holes as well for #6 x 1-1/4” flat head screws.

After a final sanding, trial assemble the wheels and axles to the hook. You will need to trim the length of the axles because I didn’t want you to drill the holes excessively deep. Assemble the hook using glue at all points. Once dry, you’re ready for finishing. Don’t forget to finish the screw hole plugs at the same time.

Won’t that clutter spot look great with several of these!

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