Wool Organizer

My mother-in-law sent me a link to a Wooden Wool Organizer the other day, and asked “Is $48 a reasonable price to pay for this?” I had no real idea, but she’d just been out to help us for two weeks after we had our son. Surely I could drill a bunch of holes in a piece of wood and save her $48, right? Besides, I had some scrap Red Oak that was almost the perfect length.

As with any project, I first had to start with a shop improvement.

Short table with sander on top

For my birthday, I’d gotten a combination sander, but I’d never really had a place to put it. Since this project was going to involve a lot of sanding, I first built a quick table out of scrap. With that done, I tackled the wool organizer. Since I don’t know a lot about wool, I thought I’d make a first draft.

My spade bit set only has ¾” or 1” bits, and the scrap of wood I had was only 2½” wide, I opted for ¾” holes. I used a sander attachment for my drill press to round over the holes—probably not the best idea, since my drill press isn’t built for lateral force like that. I finished with one coat of danish oil, followed by three coats of wipe-on high gloss polyurethane.

Wool oranizer with wool on it

I’m glad I did a first draft, since I got a lot of feedback. As you can see in the forth hole from the bottom of the left side, I had a little bit of tear out from the spade bits. For the final version, I’ll either drill from both sides, or use my router to round-over the holes (and, since I don’t have a routing table, I may rig one up, though with a fence and screwed instead of clamped). I’ll also either spring for a ⅞” bit, to make the holes a little larger, or use a wider piece of wood with a 1” bit. It’ll depend on what’s in the garage. Finally, I’ll wait quite a bit more time between coats, to let the finishes be a little more cured before I apply the next coat.

In retrospect, maybe $48 isn’t so far off, considering how much effort needs to go into making sure the wood is smooth enough for the wool to not catch, and the finish well cured enough to not impart a smell onto the wood. I’ll try update here (maybe with build pictures) when I do the final piece.

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