DIY Hall Tree with built-in Lights
This is a large Hall Tree, with built-in lights. A hall tree is typically placed in a mudroom or next to an entryway, and used as functional coat hanger, seating area, and even storage solution. This build was quite simple, and with a minimal amount of intermediate cuts, it’s a basic build any novice can accomplish. My favorite part about this project are the two built-in lights. The inspiration behind adding these lights to this project was for those working professionals, farmers, and early morning gym rats, that are out the door before the sun comes up. It gives you a place to sit down, put on you shoes, and have a little light all in one cozy spot. For me, my entryway light switch is on the far said of the hallway, and every step I take going back and forth is one step closer to waking up the family.
Step 1: Cutting the backboards and rear legs.
The distance between the inside face of each of the rear legs is 4ft. Start with cutting each of the tongue and grove boards to 54 inches (4’6”). The extra six inches will allow for three inches of overlap on back side of the rear leg. After each of the tongue and grove boards are cut to 54 inches, cut the primed white pine boards to 88 inches.
Step 2: Building the tong and groove backboard
These particular tongue and groove boards have two different sides. One with a V-groove every three inches, and one with the V-groove only at the bottom and top of the board. I wanted the visual of smaller horizontal boards, for this use, facedown is the thinner V-groove (every three inches) facing the ground.
Place 9 tongue and groove boards facedown horizontally near one another, but not touching. Using wood glue, apply small amount of glue to the tongue portion of the tongue and groove boards. Using a rubber mallet, tap down the tongue and grove boards until the base of the tongue butts up again the groove of the follow on board. Using two 1x2 select white pine boards, cut to 4 feet, place them vertically (perpendicular) across the tongue and groove boards, and screw them approximately 1 foot in from each side.
Step 3: Prep the rear legs to be attached to the backboard
Lay two primed white boards approximately 4 feet parallel from one another. Using a 6ft 2x4 to ensure the top and bottom are flush across. Measure the top, middle, and bottom of the primed white boards to ensure the four-foot measurement is at each location. From the bottom measure and mark 17 inches. From the inside of the primed white board measure and mark 3 inches vertically, from the 17 inch mark all the way to the top. This will be reference points for placement of the tongue and groove backboard created in the previous step
Step 4: Attach the backboard to the rear legs
Flip over the tongue and groove backboard and place it on the primed white legs, using reference markings from the previous step. Ensuring the bottom of the backboard is aligned and measures 17 inches from the bottom. Repeat measurements from Step 3, and attach the backboard to the primed white board using 1 ½ inch GRK cabinet screws vertically every 6 inches.
Step 5: Attaching Seat Ledger:
Cut a 2x4 to 57 ¾ inches. Butting the top of the 2x4 to the bottom of the tongue and groove backboard. Measure in ¾ of an inch from each side of the primed white board, attach using 3 1/8 inch GRK all-purpose screws.
Step 6: Finish Rear Legs
Box in the legs, using the Airstrike Finishing Nail Gun and 2 inch nails. For all items I use a nail gun for, I throw a light bead of wood glue on the mating surface to prevent the boards from popping the nails. You will need to use the Ryobi Jigsaw to notch out the inboard face leg, to allow for it form around the backboard attached and seat ledger.
Step 7: Frame in the seat
Cut four 2x4’s to 14 inches. Drill out 1 pocket hole on each of the boards. Apply wood glue to the end of the 14-inch board, attach each to the ledger board, using a 3 1/8 inch GRK all-purpose screw, spacing each apart 12 inches on center.
Step 8: Lay the seat
Using the 2’x4’x1” press panel board, notch out the placement of the Rear legs using a Ryobi Jig Saw. Tap into place and screw the rear end of the seat to the ledger in the rear. Using Airstrike Nail gun, nail along the 14 inch boards, attached in the previous step. Using 1x3, frame the bottom edge of the seat.
Step 9: Install the front legs
Screw the front legs between 14 inch framed 2x4 in step 7, and the bottom edge of the seat frame in step 8.
Step 10: Install Corbels and top Shelf board
Ensuing the top of the corbel is flush across the top and vertically level, screw from the back of the backboard, the corbel in place. Using the same method to notch out the seat top, notch out the shelf and screw it into place.
Step 12: Install the lights
Dry-fit the light in place, determine your placements, and market with a pencil. Drill a hole just off center from your markings, to be later used to feed the wires. Attach the mounting hardware that came with the lights. Take the lights, feed the wires through the hole, and full mount the light to the mounting hardware.
Step 13: Wire the lights
Using a butt splice, add in a splice wire that will connect the left light to the right. Drill a hole into the back side of the primed white leg, to feed the wire down to the switch. Using a wire nut, connect the two lights to a wire that will run to the switch. I had red wire, and white wire, left over from a previous project, otherwise I would have used same black and white wire combination to keep it clean and easily understandable.
Step 14: Wire the Switch
Mark out the measurement of the switch, and using the Ryobi JobPlus, notch out a hole to mount the switch. Locate the fed wires from the top and pull them from the notched switch hole. At the bottom of the same leg drill a hole to feed the outlet plug. Using a string, fish it down the leg to meet with the outlet plug wire. Wire tape the string to the outlet plug wire and pull up the plug wire to the notched switch hole. Using wire strippers, strip away the outer wire jack, and attach it to the switch screws. Plug in the outlet cable, and check for proper operation. Once all is good, place electrical tape around the screw heads and full mount the switch to the light. Attach a switch cover plate.
Step 15: Add Hooks and Aesthetics
Determine the style and the amount of hook you would like to add, as well was aesthetics.
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5 or 6 decorative hooks
(2) wall sconce lights
(2) different color 16ga wire
(2) 1x3 common pine board
(2) 14" decorative legs
1 1/4 grk cabinet screws
(3) 2x4 studs
3 1/8 grk all purpose screws
16ga 2" finishing nails