better outdoor living at home spring


Horse Bridle Rack


This is an attractive rack that will keep bridles, reins, halters, and other tack equipment for your horses organized. It is sturdy, and it will be a great looking addition to the stable. Or, it could make a great gift for someone you know who owns horses.

This bridle rack is simple to make. It is constructed with just five pieces of lumber, and it can be either painted or stained. Also, this bridle rack is quite versatile for other organizing uses: it could be used in the garage or garden shed for gardening clothing, garden hats, or inside your house in a mud room to handle coats, scarves, and backpacks.

You will need the following materials:

Wood

• 1 – 1” x 12” x 22” board, for the backboard – (we used a pine board)
• 2 – 1” x 2”, each cut to 8 1/2” lengths, for the back of the rack to keep it from warping or twisting; and to hold the eye    hook screws
• 2 – 2” x 4”, for the scrolled arms, initially cut to 12” lengths to provide enough space for clamping, and/or putting it in a vise grip while cutting out the scrolled shape; after your shape is cut, the 12” length can be cut down to a 6 1/4” length (from its longest points)

Hardware

• 2 – 2 1/2” screws, all-purpose or dry wall
• 8 – 1 1/4” screws
• 2 – eye hook screws, to hold up to 40 pounds
• 2 – metal coat hooks

How to make it:

The top edge of the 1” x 12” x 22” backboard is arched. This was done by drawing an arc at the top of the board and cutting it out with a jigsaw (make sure the arch’s starting point and the ending point are the same distance from the bottom edge of the board). The horizontal ‘grooves’ in the backboard were cut with a router, using a 1/8″ x 7/16″ straight bit. The ‘grooves’ are spaced 3 3/4″ apart (center to center), but you can choose your own pattern or spacing. The router bit was set to cut the ‘grooves’ to a 1/4” depth.

Place the eye hook screws, centered in what will be the top end, in both of the 1” x 2” x 8 1/2” boards. Pre-drill holes for the eye hook screws. These screws can be installed by hand (you may have to use pliers, though, for the final turns). These 1” x 2” x 8 1/2″ boards will be attached on the back of the backboard with three 1 1/4″ screws for each board. Position the 1” x 2” boards 3” from the side edge of the backboard and down far enough so that the eye hook screws will be hidden from view in the front.

The pattern for the scrolled arms of the bridle rack was actually created by tracing the arm of a rocking chair onto a piece of paper placed up against the arm of the chair. Then the tracing was cut out and used as a template for the scrolled arms of the rack by laying it on the 2” x 4” x 12” boards and drawing the outline of the template onto these boards.

Then this shape was cut out using a jigsaw. After the shape was cut, it was further refined by sanding to smooth out any non-rounded (sometimes the jigsaw may leave angular spots or ridges in its wake) or unsmooth spots.

The edges, on the area of the arm where the bridle will hang, were eased by hand sanding. Before attaching, cut to the 6 1/4″ length. The scrolled arms were attached to the backboard, from the back side, with one 1 1/4″ screw (top) and one 2 1/2″ screw (bottom). See photo B. The arms are located 5 1/2″ from the side edge of the backboard. Pre-drill holes for the screws in both the backboard and the scrolled arms. Make sure that when each screw is fully installed it will not protrude out on the scroll of the arm any where.

Place the metal coat hooks, centered under the scrolled arms, with enough room between for ease of use. We used all black hooks and screws because we thought it would look great with the stain we chose (and we think it worked out well!) We used a cherry color stain and a matte-like polyurethane – we thought a finish that was glossy would not fit as well in a rustic stable setting.

 

Bridle rack at work in the horse barn

We stained all the wood pieces completely before we assembled them. The polyurethane was applied after it was assembled, before installing the hooks.

This rack would look great painted, too!

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