Free woodworking project sportsman's gun rack

Gun racks are some of the simplest small woodworking projects for beginners. Enjoy this sportsman’s rack free woodworking plan. If you like this free woodworking plan, please join our mailing list and we will let you know when we post the next one. Thanks!

Sportsman’s Gun Rack – Free Woodworking Plan

Here’s the ideal method of storing those prized rifles and fishing rods—the sportsman’s rack. Not only does it make an eye-catching display, but it also has a locking compartment for storing shells, lures, and other items.

Free woodworking plans: sportsman's gun rack

Material List for Sportsman’s Gun Rack Free Woodworking Plan

  • Part A: Top; 3/4″ x 4″ x 26″
  • Part B: Sides (2); 3/4″ x 5″ x 36″
  • Part C: Shelves (2); 3/4″ x 5″ x 25″
  • Part D: Back; 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ x 25″
  • Part E: Door; 3/4″ x 4 15/16″ x 24 7/16″
  • Dowel buttons or plugs; 3/8″ diameter x 1/4″
  • Flathead wood screws; #8 x 1 1/4″
  • Wire nails
  • Hinges with screws (2 sets)
  • Magnetic catch and plate
  • Lock and key
  • Door pulls
  • Hanging hardware
  • Wood glue

Instructions for Making the Sportsman’s Gun Rack

Step 1

Select two 8′ lengths of good quality 1 x 6 lumber, hardwood or softwood. Cut the top (A), sides (B), shelves (C), and door (E) to length, then rip them to width. Rip the pieces 1/16″ wide at first, then use a jointer or hand plane to clean up the ripped edges.

Step 2

Cut a pair of 1/2″-wide x 1/4″- deep dadoes across the inner face of each side piece to receive the ends of the shelves. Space the dadoes 5″ apart and set the lower one 5-1/2″ above the bottom end of each board, as shown in the front view drawing.

Free woodworking plans: sportsman's gun rack

Step 3

Cut a 1/4″-wide x 1/4″-deep rabbet along the back edge of each side piece in the area between the dadoes to make room for the ends of the plywood back panel.

Step 4

Cut 1/4″-wide x 1/4″-deep rab bets along what will become the inside rear edges of the shelves to accept the upper and lower edges of the back panel.

Step 5

Cut a 4″-long notch 3/4″ deep into the rear edge at the upper end of each side piece to make room for the ends of the rack’s top rail (A).

Free wood working plans: sportsman's gun rack

Step 6

Dry assemble the pieces to make sure everything fits correctly. Fine tune the joinery as needed.

Step 7

Begin the layout of the curved shapes on the top rail and side pieces by making templates from cardboard or heavy paper using the patterns provided as guides. Then use the templates to trace the patterns onto the boards.

Step 8

Before laying out the hook pat terns on the side pieces, decide how you want to use the rack. If you want it to serve as a gun rack, set the hooks on the left side 1 -1/2″ lower than those on the right, as shown in the front view drawing. But, if you want the rack to hold fishing gear, lay out the hook pat terns the same way on both side pieces.

Step 9

Use a bandsaw or saber saw to cut out the patterns traced on the top rail and sides. Make relief cuts into the hook pockets before cutting around the tight inside corners. Cut along the outside of the lines, then smooth the edges while sanding down to the lines.

Step 10

Center the latch plate part of the lock next to the front edge on the underside of the top shelf. Mark around it, then chisel out the shelf as needed for mounting the plate.

Step 11

Clamp the top rail, sides, and shelves together while drilling pilot holes for #8 wood screws. Drill 3/8″-diameter x 1/4″-deep counterbore holes over the pilot holes in the sides and countersink the holes that run through the back of the top rail.

Step 12

Disassemble the rack and sand all the parts. Lightly round over all sharp edges that will be exposed after assembly. Then, reassemble the shelves, sides, and top rail using wood glue and #8 x 1-1/4″ flathead wood screws.

Step 13

Cut a piece of 1/4″ plywood to size for the back (D). Fasten the back to the shelves and sides using glue and wire nails.

Step 14

Glue 3/8″-diameter wood plugs in the counterbored screw holes. After the glue dries, sand the plugs flush with the sides.

Step 15

Temporarily mount the hinges on the door, then fit the door in place and fasten the hinges to the bottom shelf. Check to see that the door operates properly, then mark the location for the lock keyhole.

Step 16

Remove the hinges from the door and shelf. Drill the keyhole in the door, as well as holes for the door pulls.

Step 17

Sand the door, breaking all sharp edges. Apply the desired finish to the door and the rest of the rack. After the finish has dried, mount all the hardware on the door and rack, including your choice of hardware for hanging the rack on the wall.

Free woodworking project: sportsman's gun rack

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