One “problem area” in my house is a space on the floor that shoes seem to gather. Of course, I should just put them in the closet, but it is just so much handier having them free from such confines! I think a good compromise is a shoe rack, which allows easy accessibility to my shoes, but keeps them from being strewn about the floor.
I’m calling this a Gentleman’s Stand for no other reason than I couldn’t decide what it really is, plus Gentleman’s Stand just sounds so fancy! In fact, I began this design by looking at examples of valets, which are a type of vanity cabinet for men. They have storage for accessories, but also a hanger for a suit jacket and a bar to hold pressed pants. I wear a suit about once a year, so a valet is not very practical for me.
Instead, I designed a shallow stand that will store a few pairs of shoes and a couple drawers for storing accessories and keepsakes. This only extends out about a foot from the wall, providing plenty of room to walk between it and my bed.
Making the Gentleman’s Stand
I began by edge joining boards to make wide panels for the top of the stand and the shelf. I made these oversized and will cut them to fit later.
The legs are only 3/4″ (18mm) square, and need to provide a sturdy base. The easiest way to ensure they fit together accurately and squarely to make the sides of the stand is to join them using half-lap joints. These are interlocking notches that self-square and take the guesswork out of assembly. I cut the notches halfway though the boards by making multiple passes over my table saw blade, sliding the board over a little after each cut.
The testing to make sure I got a snug fit.
Once the notches were all made, I ripped the board into the four legs. Making those notches first, then cutting the legs ensures that they will all match up.
The lap joints make assembly a breeze.
Next, I glued the sides into place. I used a scrap of wood to measure out the spacing for the lower board.
Once the glue had dried, I reinforced the joints by drilling holes in the ends and gluing in dowels.
I cut out a square notch in each corner of the shelf. This will fit between the two side assemblies.
Then I drilled pocket holes into the sides and upper rear stretcher that will be used to screw the top on.
Gluing this all together was a little tricky. I had to get the shelf and two rear stretchers into place at the same time. But with a little patience, I got it all.
I cut a bunch of this slats for the shoe rack. I just spaced them apart by eye and glued them in place. The provide a lot of stability to the stand.
There wasn’t a lot of clearance to drill the pocket screws in place, so I used my right-angle attachment to help attach the top.
Next, I glued on the drawer runners.
Making the drawers is simple. I rabbeted the ends of each of the side pieces and glued the front and back pieces into these notches.
The thin plywood drawer bottom fits into grooves along the long edges.
When slid into place, the drawers slide just a little further back from the front of the runners. The drawer fronts extend down and will stop when the meet runners.
The drawer faces just get glued to the fronts of the drawers.
Finally, I finished everything with spray lacquer.