September 25, 2013

Tack Locker Project: Part 1

You three were correct from my previous post, I am building a tack locker!

When we bought this house (built in 1963), it came with some very inconvenient cabinets:

I call them inconvenient because this is a not-to-scale representation of what my 6'4 husband looked like chopping vegetables on that countertop before we removed the upper cabinets:

Forehead, meet inconvenient cabinets.

After removing said cabinets and my amazing husband giving me a surprise birthday present of a dishwasher and lights in that area in 2012, it now looks like this (the unpainted section has since been painted and the dishwasher is now boxed in):

Big improvement!

Anyway, that cabinet that was so inconvenient before is now finding a new life as a tack locker, and here's how I've done it so far:

Step 1:  Remove crosspieces with a hand saw.

It's actually supposed to be used to remove pieces of door casing above floors or something, but don't tell it that.  It did fine.

Ta da, empty box!

Step 2: Wood fill holes, sand, vacuum, wipe, repeat the last three often

Step 3: Cut 1" x 2" furring strips on which the pegboard can rest (I had the strips left over from a project I did in 2012, so $0!)

Step 4: Prime with leftover oil-based waterproofing primer ($0!)
Step 5, not shown: Use bad-ass table saw to cut down pegboard ($13).  Realize tiny adjustments are not as easy to make on the table saw as they are on the miter saw.  Learn how to take off the blade guard and use the push stick on the table saw to preserve fingers.

Step 6: Paint pegboard using a light grey sample quart left over from painting the living room in 2012. ($0!)

Step 7: Mount pegboard using screws, and giant washers for future stability ($5)

Step 8: Use bad-ass table saw to rip down a board I took out of my husband's closet when I redid it last winter, and turn said moderately straight board into moderately square door. ($0)
That is where I am right now.  The door is 3" deep, and will accommodate dowel rods inside it on which to hang (dry) saddle pads.  The primed side-wall you can see here will be covered in cork, while the facing side is more pegboard.  I've used Amazon points to pay for heavy-duty gate hinges ($0) and locking casters ($0) more to get it off the ground at the barn than to move it (it's not heavy, and I won't be taking it to shows, but it will still move occasionally).  I realize it looks giant here, but it's shorter than I am, and I am 5 feet tall.

Still to come: covering the outsides and door with aspen siding ($24), hanging the door, adding a handle ($?), buying pegboard accessories, adding casters, buying/mounting cork ($15), waterproofing the bottom ($?), adding ventilation ($?), adding external towel racks for drying wet pony boots/use as handles ($?) and finally painting and adding corner trim and other fancy things.  My goal is to keep it under $75, and I'm only able to throw money at it every so often, so it might be a while before it's finished.

What features would you look for if you were building a tack locker?


  1. Very cool and creative! I would need lots of racks for harness equipment and shelves for stuff. And a western saddle rack.

    1. You need a big one! This one won't hold a saddle for sure, but I don't need it to. There are some gorgeous ones out there that do hold saddles. If I were you I'd get one of those gorgeous harness cases the draft horse hitches travel with. I see them at the HHF every year and they are just so cool!

  2. Such a clever idea!! I could definitely use one of those.

    1. Thank you! Maybe I'll get better at building and make you one. Haha.

  3. Very cool! Will you get to keep it at the barn? I have a plastic cabinet and wish it had peg board or something! The organization possibilities!

    1. Yeah, especially if it make it look really classy and professional, which I think I can. My tack trunk currently is out in the open, in a social/tack cleaning area next to Connor's stall and the wash rack, so if it doesn't look classy and professional it might just get moved to a less high-traffic location. I am surprised more equestrians don't use pegboard, they even have baskets and stuff!

  4. Nice!! There is something really fun about using left over bits and pieces of stuff... And why have I never thought of using peg board in the tack room? Seriously?

    Most of my garage is peg board and I have more in the basement for tools. I even have two big pieces of peg board left over from fixing up the garage in our new house! Sheesh. Guess where that peg board is going this weekend?!?

    1. Your pegboard revelation was similar to my train of thought this whole time. Tack trunks are really the worst kind of organization, even if you do it well, because you can't see everything. Pegboard isn't pretty or traditional, but I'm determined that I can make it pretty and traditional, and also very much more functional than my tack trunk.

  5. We had a cupboard like that too that we cut down - hated that thing!