Saturday, November 30, 2013

a commuting bicycle hanger in reclaimed redwood and doug fir

This project originally began as a built in construction that seemed too intrusive to integrate into the space we wanted to use for stowing our commuter bikes. The unused sketchup model Here. I instead tried to do something a bit lighter weight, using the studs as the main load bearing component. sketchup here.

I wanted to experiment with new joinery technique so the shelving carcass involves dadoes with stub tenons on the lower tier, and a mitered half blind dovetail on the top. Since this piece is for our commuter bikes it has low pressure associated with the joinery and I felt like I could be a bit more loose with the saw. Redwood is nice and soft and i've been working with it a lot recently, but it's so fragile that i am looking forward to using stuff that is a bit more resilient.

project photos ensue. apologies for the photos, the shelf is intended to hold helmets for la Femme and myself. also maybe a few extra doo-dads that make bikes go. chain lube, spare mags, etc.

the hardware came from someone who has the audacity to call it "Leonardo" and while it is OK, I do not think the original dude would be happy with the crappy welds. port side has two 3/4" doug fir pegs for hanging coats and such. Might have some more aiming inboard.

First step was to try to optimize the arrangement of bikes. Horizontal space was premium in this application, so a staggered,overlapping formation was chosen and sorted out on my garage wall. Please remind me to never clutter this wall so that such experiments can continue.

I mocked up a support board as proof of concept and it felt "right". We have Lath and Plaster hell here, so no modern stud finder reliably divines the stud. I resorted to what my hero Nassim Nicholas Taleb would charitably regard as "stochastic tinkering" to drill tiny probing holes into the wall near the baseboard to verify stud location, and then run these findings up along the wall using blue tape.

Shelf unit is attached with two housed bridle joints. I had performed a lot of tinkering and verifying to get the placement right. The japanese square was an invaluable tool, even though the non empirical units on the reverse side drive me crazy.


  1. This is an exquisite rendering, Adam. The design is imaginative and efficient. I believe it is located in your entry hall to the left as you enter the house (with your bikes) - across from the 'donning' bench. I especially like the write-up and the term "stochastic tinkering". I've recently done something like that but mine didn't come out unnoticeable.... The gentle profile curve is a nice touch (using a wooden spline) letting the users have some maneuvering room and allowing the whole design seem helpful and accommodating - not as obtuse as the rough and square cornered place from where you originally came. Ha, ha.

  2. As someone who needs to some up with something similar I can only marvel at how smooth you make it look. Bloody marvellous, well done.

  3. thank you, User One (your cyber handle is rad) - it takes some practice but after 2 months' use it's held up just fine. having a nice resting spot for your wheels is paramount to domestic tranquility.