How to Make a Simple Walking Stick and Umbrella Rack
Although my wife may not need a walking stick all the time, it is useful to have one on hand in the event we plan a day trip—just for a bit of support if we are likely to be on our feet for long periods.
We do have a modern foldaway walking stick stowed away in the car for emergencies, but the more traditional walking sticks, which we have inherited over the years, are far more comfortable to use. It was with this in mind that during a recent renovation of our front porch I decided to utilise some spare space in our porch, between our potted plant and the cupboard. A stickler for not liking wasted space and always looking for ways to utilise it, using this space specifically for walking sticks seemed an ideal solution. And by doing so, it also provides a useful place to keep the odd brolly or two. If we did use umbrellas more frequently in making the walking stick rack, I would have added a couple of cup hooks on the end for hanging them from.
This is a simple project that takes less than an hour and only requires a few bits of scrap wood, so it need not cost anything make. All photos here were taken by me during the making of this simple, yet effective, walking stick rack.
How to Build a Walking Stick Rack
If you follow these simple steps, you can make your own umbrella or walking stick rack in no time:
Time required: 1 Hour
- 2 x 3/4 inch (18 mm) thick timber, 2 inches (50 mm) wide by 4 inches (100 mm) long
- 3/4 inch (18 mm) dowel rod, length of proposed rack
- Electric drill
- Forstner bit
- Masonry drill bit
- Drill driver bit or screwdriver
- 4 x 2 inch (50mm) screws
- Hand saw
1. Start by finding a bit of scrap wood to make a couple of end brackets. Just about anything would do: a bit of skirting board, a piece of 1 inch by 2 inch timber, an old floorboard from which you can cut a couple of small bits of wood from etc. You will also need some kind of rod. I used a bit of rod from an old towel rail, which became spare when recently we renovated our shower room. You could use a thick piece of dowel or even a piece of copper pipe.
2. The optimum gap seems to be about 2.5 inches so, unless you intend fixing the brackets around something (as I did for the front bracket). Brackets about four inches long should be more than sufficient. The wood I used for my brackets was offcuts from an old bookcase, which I then cut to the required width and length for this project and then quickly rounded the edges off with a sander. The offcuts I used had a decorative routed edge to it, which I opted to keep as a feature for the new brackets. Having prepared your brackets, cut a hole at the end of each one to the same diameter of the rod. If the bracket is to be butted against a wall, you can cut right through. Otherwise, you should only cut partway through, e.g. between halfway and three-quarters way through the wood. For this, you will need to use a Forstner bit (as shown in the photo), rather than a hole drill or hole saw bit.
3. As I was fixing one bracket to a back wall and the other bracket overlapping the front wall of the cupboard in the porch (as shown in the next photo), they were of different lengths. Therefore I did not need a back piece of wood to fix the brackets to. However, if you intend fixing the walking stick rack to a wall in the manner that a towel rail would be screwed to the wall over a radiator in the bathroom, then you would also need a back plate to fix the side brackets to. In this case, the back plate would just be a piece of timber longer than the rod, plus double the thickness of the two brackets. The brackets would then be glued and screwed to the back plate when fitting the rod, and the back plate subsequently screwed securely to the wall.
4. Once made, just simply screw your rack firmly to the wall. The rack is not limited to keeping walking sticks together. It is also useful for keeping umbrellas of any type tidy. The big ones can be stored like the walking sticks. Smaller gents' brollies with handles will hook over the rod, and ladies' folding brollies with hanging loops would easily hang from cup hooks if you added a couple to one of the side brackets. In other words, modify this simple design to suit your requirements.
In this simple DIY how-to project, I recycled scrap wood to make something quick and simple for no expense. I would be interested to hear your views and tips in the comments at the bottom of the page on recycling and re-purposing old materials (rather than buying new) to complete simple DIY and crafts projects around the home.