Build A Vintage-Inspired Egg Rack

by Daisy on 01/30/2015

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This is one of my favorite things around the house.

The first time I noticed an egg rack was in a movie. It was Gosford Park, and believe me or don’t believe me, but I was more interested in this thing than in Clive Owen. I froze the movie over and over to get a better look (at the egg rack). It was in the kitchen, of course, and the one at Gosford was much bigger than this single-dozen number, but I was smitten. I had to make one for my own hens’ beautiful eggs.

Here is what I did, step by step, including instructions for the distressed/antiqued finish. I use it all the time and every time I put in an egg it makes me happy.

It would make a fine Valentine’s Day present for your favorite chickenista.

Tools you will need: handsaw, drill, 1/8″ drill bit, 1/2″ drill bit, 1 1/2″ hole saw, clamps, speed square, locking pliers, & (not pictured) vise.
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Materials:

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Supplies not pictured above: wood glue, 4 @ 3/16″x 2″ dowel screws, paint and brushes.

After assembling all your supplies, tools, and materials, here’s how you put it together:

Step 1: Marking the boards

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With the pencil and the square, mark off two , 9-in. lengths on the 5 1/2 inch wide 1/2 inch craft wood board. You won’t cut them apart yet, just make your pencil marks. (It’s much easier to clamp and drill the long board than two small boards). They are identical with one exception: you are going to drill 1/2 in. holes in the corners of one section and 1/8 in. holes in the other.

Make marks 7/8″ from the two edges of each of the eight corners.

Make 6 marks on each board 2 1/4″ from the short sides and from each other and 1 1/2″ from the long sides as shown in the photo above.

Step 2: Drilling the holes

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Fit the drill with the hole saw and drill HALFWAY through the board. The pilot bit will peek through the other side of the board, like this:

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Flip the board over and fit the pilot bit into the hole peeking through and finish drilling the hole from the other side. This is to ensure a neat cut with no messy tear-out.

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Finish drilling all the holes, remembering to drill one board with the 1/2 in. corner holes and one board with 1/8″ corner holes. Cut the boards out. Sand the egg holes well. It’s helpful when sanding holes to wrap sandpaper around a dowel to get in all the curves.

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Step 3: Attaching the center support and the ball feet

IMG_2512Holding it secure in a vise, drill 1/8″ pilot holes, about 3/4″ deep in the bottom of the candlesticks.

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Get your dowel screws. Here’s a picture of the package. They’re a bit out of the way in the hardware store and you may need to ask someone who works there to help you find them.

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Secure one end of the two-ended dowel screw into the  locking pliers/vise grip and twist it in half way. You want an equal amount sticking out of both sides.

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Put some wood glue on the bottom of the candlestick. Still holding the screw with the channel locks, twist the candlestick on to the screw until it seats onto the board.

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Put the round dowel cap in a vise and drill another pilot hole in the flat side. Put a touch of wood glue on the flat surface and screw it onto the other end of the screw.

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Cut 4 sections of 1/2″ doweling. I used 1 3/8″ sections. Your measurements may vary from this, so I recommend you add the total dimension of the hole in the candlestick, plus the thickness of the board, plus the depth of the recess in the acorn dowel cap. That will be the total length you need your dowel sections to be. Cut them out and dry fit them before you put your glue on and assemble it. When you’re sure of the fit, glue and insert the dowel piece into the recesses in the top of the candlesticks.

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Step 4: Adding the top level and the finials

Glue and place the top board on top of the base, inserting the dowels through the 1/2″ holes in the top corners.

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Glue and add the finials to the 4 corner dowels.

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Almost done!

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You can paint, stain, or wax it as soon as the glue is dry. If you want to distress it and make it look old, follow the steps below.

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Paint the rack with primer and let it dry.

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Beat the poor thing up. Use sandpaper, gouge-y things, blunt objects. In places where normal wear and tear are liable to damage things, go to work on it and create some superficial damage.

IMG_2549Get out your crazy project paint leftovers and go wild. Colors that look vintage are especially good. I used black, red, and a Mediterranean  blue. After the crazy paint dries. take a bar of wax and hit some of the corners and high spots with the wax. This is to create a resist that will make parts of the topcoat rub off easily to expose some of the undercoat colors.

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Finish with your topcoat. After it dries completely, take a rag and rub away where you waxed it to reveal peeks of color. Leave it like this, or finish with a light distressing glaze. Rub it into the distressing marks and crannies like persistent dirt that you can’t clean out. Wipe (almost) clean.

Enjoy your egg rack!

 



{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Rhoda Edwards January 30, 2015 at 5:40 pm

A beautiful piece. Thank you for this lovely idea. Have a great weekend.

Lisa @ Fresh Eggs Daily January 31, 2015 at 8:13 am

OMG! I love this! And I have that drillbit too! I’ve seen racks similar to this too and coveted one forever! I am definitely going to try this …and sharing your post over on my FB page. Lisa

Daisy January 31, 2015 at 9:43 am

Rhoda Edwards–Thank you! You too!

Daisy January 31, 2015 at 9:49 am

Lisa–Glad you like it! I wanted that turned look but not having a lathe . . . this was my easy cheat. Love the share. Have a beef with you, though–you’re making me want ducks in a bad way.

Mike Corbeil February 8, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Nice egg rack but while I think you’re in the USA it’s only a guess and I wonder if you aren’t in Europe, instead. The reason is due to having learned two or three months ago that while eggs, chicken eggs anyway, in the USA and Canada need to be refrigerated when sold at grocery stores, Europeans don’t or don’t need to do this; because the eggs aren’t washed in Europe while Canada and the US have laws requiring that the eggs be washed and sanitized before being sold on the market. The exterior of egg shells naturally has some sort of protective film and washing them apparently removes this protection against harmful bacteria. Since they’re not washed in Europe, the eggs can be kept at room temperature out in the open. In the USA, eggs “are washed and sprayed with a chemical sanitizer before they are sold to the public”.

Canada does the washing but I’m not sure about the chemical sanitizer part.

“Why Europeans Don’t Refrigerate Their Eggs”, by Dina Spector, Jul. 11, 2014, 12:47 PM
http://www.businessinsider.com/should-you-refrigerate-eggs-2014-7

Quote: “Forbes contributor Nadia Arumugam pointed out that USDA graded eggs could not be legally sold in the U.K. (and the other way around) due to these different preparation methods”.

If you’re in the USA and can raise your own chickens for your own eggs, then there surely is no law requiring that you wash and chemically sanitize the egg shells, but you’d need to do that for any eggs you wanted to sell.

It’s not the article I had read for the one I did read some months ago said that Canada has a similar law as the US; but, the BI piece still provides interesting information. The following article is shorter and I think the BI one is better, but this other one seems to provide a little information not found in the BI one.

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/07/why-americans-refrigerate-raw-shell-eggs-and-europeans-dont

Here’s another piece, a very short one, that I wish to quote a little of.

http://www.thekitchn.com/is-refrigerating-eggs-necessary-176617

Quote:
Any world traveler has probably noticed that in most countries outside of the US and Canada, eggs aren’t stored under refrigeration. …

The answer appears to be that US regulations require that eggs be power-washed, which removes all organic matter (and any harmful bacteria) but also strips the egg’s shell of its protective coating, thus rendering it more porous and open to contamination. A synthetic coating is often applied in commercial operations to combat this but the eggs are still refrigerated. …

End quote

It’d be good to know what that “synthetic coating” consists of, because I’ve read that egg shells are a great source of calcium for us as well as for compost, f.e. I forget the article this was read in but decided to grind up egg shell using a mortar after cooking the eggs. This was done when poaching eggs as well as when boiling them. Once I had the shells, they were then washed out well with tap water as hot as the hands could tolerate, and then the shells were placed in the oven at around 170F for a half hour or even a little more. Once it seemed to be enough, the shells were cooled, broken up as finely as could be done by hand and then a mortar and pestle were used to grind the shell pieces more finely. It doesn’t make a fine powder, but my guess is that this probably still does provide a good source of calcium for us. The piece I read said that this is very rich in calcium as well as being easily, quickly digested.

But, now learning that the USDA requires that some synthetic substance be applied to egg shells for all eggs sold on the market in the US, and surely for eggs exported from the US, I don’t think I’d want to consume the shells of eggs from the US. The eggs I buy are from Canadian farms, but since Canada also requires washing of the eggs, maybe the synthetic chemical substance is also required.

So, I wonder if you have your own egg production, live in a European country, or don’t eat eggs you keep at room temperature using your nice egg rack. This is assuming that you don’t place your eggs on this rack and then put it in a refrigerator, for this surely wouldn’t be recommendable storage. I’ve read that eggs should be kept in their carton when refrigerated. The carton apparently is protective.

“Eggs, pasture-raised”,
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=92

Quote: “Keep them in their original carton or in a covered container so that they do not absorb odors or lose any moisture. Do not store them in the refrigerator door since this exposes them to too much heat each time the refrigerator is opened and closed. Make sure to store them with their pointed end facing downward as this will help to prevent the air chamber, and the yolk, from being displaced”.

That’s cited from the last paragraph of the selection and storage part of the page. WHFoods.com is in the US, I believe anyway, and the editor, main one anyway, is George Mateljan. The website provides a lot of interesting information for around 100 different foods, mostly plant foods, but also a few meats and a few fish. There also are some recipe suggestions, but this is little when compared to the encyclopedic information about each of the recommended foods.

Anyway, the point is that eggs bought a grocery stores in the USA (and Canada) should be refrigerated “in their original carton or in a covered container so that they do not absorb odors or lose any moisture”.

Raise your own egg-laying hens, or have family/relatives or friends, f.e., do it for you, and then you don’t need to wash, sanitize and refrigerate the eggs. Otoh, I wonder what the US and Canadian governments would say if they learned that a person had his/her chicken eggs produced on a property owned by someone else and then transported the eggs to consume them at home.

F.e., there’s a law forbidding this with raw milk, which is banned apparently across all of Canada and a lot of the USA. A person in Canada can raise his/her own cow and consume its raw milk on the property where the milk is produced or obtained but the person can’t “legally” take that milk for consumption at another location. Hence, Mr or Ms Canadian, call him/her ‘A’, say, can have another Canadian, ‘B’ say, raise or care for the cow on B’s property. ‘A’ can then go to B’s property to consume the raw milk of A’s cow; but, ‘A’ will get into big trouble with “the law” if ‘A’ is caught taking any of this raw milk home and therefore off of B’s property.

The same is possibly true for a farming family. Say they have milk-producing cows and the family wants to go on a picnik somewhere off of the farm. Can they take some of their cows’ raw milk with them for the picnik? Well, can motorists disrespect STOP signs, red lights, etc? Of course they can. But, there are legal consequences if caught by law enforcers. Given how strict the Canadian law-making against raw milk seems to me, I don’t think a farming family or anyone raising a milk cow would want to get caught taking any of that milk off of the property where the animal is legally kept.

Say you go fishing for Brook Trout. The legal limit in Quebec, Canada used to be around 10 little brookies back in the 1970s. Get caught with 12 and you could lose your fishing equipment, car, boat, whatever is attached to your car (on a trailer I suppose), and get an additional fine, possibly also some time in prison. You surely don’t want to get caught taking raw cow milk home unless your cow is on the property where your home is located.

So, while you have a nice egg rack, it evidently is for keeping eggs at room temperature and it, therefore, wouldn’t be useful for most people in the USA and Canada; because of the “laws” of these two countries being evidently contrary to Nature’s “best practices”.

I don’t buy certified organic eggs because they’re around $7.50 a dozen and when I consume eggs for weeks, months, on a regular basis, then it’s a dozen and more a week. Instead, I get eggs produced by a single farm for $3.05 a dozen through a Solidarity Market provided by Friends of the Earth and the feed for the birds is produced on this farm owned by the Clovis Gauthier family in Quebec, Canada. Their farm is categorized, say, as “green”, meaning that while it isn’t certified organic, the farming nonetheless is done in a healthy way; according to the Quebec government anyway. What I like about it, without having real proof and just going on “good faith”, is that they grow the crops used for producing the feed for their birds. Unfortunately, the birds are raised in cages. They’re evidently full-size birds but the cage sizes don’t seem roomy to me. It looks like a very clean, hygenic operation, but the cages should be either larger, or replaced with free, open space, including outdoors. Nonetheless, certified organic is too expensive and Clovis Gauthier eggs seem to be the next-best choice in Quebec; as far as I know anyway.

That’s for people who can’t raise their own birds, the top choice or way.

Live in Europe or raise your own birds and then you don’t need to refrigerate the eggs.

Daisy February 8, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Mike Corbeil–We have our own backyard flock. All the eggs in the rack are from our own hens and I do not pre-wash them. I’ve never heard of a case in which the health department tried to regulate how a home hen owner stores his or her eggs, which is just as well because I would not look upon such intervention kindly. Thank you for all the eggcellent information, links, etc.

Mike Corbeil February 9, 2015 at 11:35 pm

You’re welcome, Daisy, and I’m glad that the government doesn’t prevent people raising their own hens from keeping the eggs without pre-washing. Being able to keep eggs at room temperature evidently is the natural way and if I ever raise hens for eggs, then it’ll be the same way. It seems to be only feces on egg shells that present a problem when eggs aren’t pre-washed, but this surely is only specks of feces, so it shouldn’t be difficult to remove or to prevent it from happening at all. There must surely be a way to raise hens without feces getting onto the egg shells.

Daisy February 10, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Mike Corbeil–Providing a good layer of clean bedding and replacing it as needed as well as collecting the eggs promptly are good practices that help keep eggs clean. The occasional soiled egg is pretty easily wiped off and can be stored in a semi-clean state until right before use when it is washed. It’s something chicken-keepers get used to, at least in my experience.

Mike Corbeil February 12, 2015 at 5:57 pm

Daisy,

Thanks for the additional information. What you say about clean bedding and collecting eggs promptly definitely makes sense, but I wouldn’t have been certain about washing the eggs right before they’re used, if you hadn’t mentioned this. It’s clearly going to be safer to wash them when they’re cracked open and cooked without the shell, but, and if I had un- or non-pre-washed hen eggs, then I probably wouldn’t have bothered washing the eggs when boiling them, figuring that the boiling-hot water would be enough to kill any harmful bacteria known to occur with eggs.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=71

Quote:
Is it safe to eat raw eggs?

While I realize that some websites disagree with me on this issue, I believe that it is not safe to eat raw eggs. The main issue regarding eating raw eggs is contamination with the Salmonella bacterium with the secondary issue involving the availability of the B-vitamin, biotin.

‘ Cooking eggs destroys the Salmonella; however, they must be cooked to a temperature of at least 160’F (71’C). Sunny-side up and over-easy eggs often do not reach this temperature.


End quote

Here’s another interesting page about eggs.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?pfriendly=1&tname=george&dbid=347

Quote:
What are the pros and cons of raw eggs?

Consumption of raw eggs has been a long-standing controversy among U.S. consumers, even though public health organizations have unanimously recommended the cooking of eggs and egg products to lower the risk of illness from contamination. We’d like to give you more information on both sides of the equation (both pro and con) to help you make a more informed decision if you are thinking about the addition of raw eggs to your meal plan.


End quote

I thought to have read some years ago that both soft and hard boiling were safe ways to cook eggs, with respect to salmonella anyway; but, the following page providing a lot more information about eggs says soft boiling isn’t really recommendable.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=92

Quote:
Eggs, pasture-raised

Individual Concerns

Handling of Eggs

Health safety concerns about eggs center on salmonellosis (salmonella-caused food poisoning). Salmonella bacteria from the chicken’s intestines may be found even in clean, uncracked eggs. You’ll find these issues discussed in detail in our Q & A about raw versus cooked eggs. As a general rule, there is more risk associated with soft cooked and “sunny side up” eggs than eggs that have been hard boiled, scrambled, or poached.


End quote

WHFoods’ main way of poaching eggs causes the white to become firm while the yolk is only filmed over, leaving runny yolk. This is done with about 1/2 inch of water in a skillet, f.e., but some of the boiling water still flows over the yolk, whereas no boiling water comes really near the yolk when soft and hard boiling eggs. So, I guess this is the reason the website recommends poaching but not soft boiling, for the white gets hot enough but not the yolk.

I hope this comment isn’t too long, given the comments I already posted for this page.

Daisy February 13, 2015 at 8:54 am

Mike Corbeil–While I usually cook my eggs thoroughly regardless, I feel my home-laid eggs are much safer than factory-farmed eggs. Here’s a good treatment of the subject: http://www.mypetchicken.com/backyard-chickens/chicken-help/Is-Salmonella-a-concern-with-backyard-chickens-H19.aspx

As more and more people keep chickens in their backyards, it becomes more important to practice good disease-control when other chicken-keepers visit your flock. In addition, in the winter when the hens aren’t laying and I have to buy eggs from elsewhere, I’m careful to keep those shells away from any kitchen scraps I feed my birds. People also need to quarantine new additions to the flocks for a specified period of time to make sure no new disease is coming in from elsewhere. You can’t always tell a bird has a disease from looking at it.

Mike Corbeil February 14, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Daisy, thanks for the additional information. I unfortunately lack the means to raise my own hens and wish this wasn’t so or the case, certainly agreeing about factory-farmed eggs.

The article you provided a link for is fine, however, and based on what the article states about factory-farming of hens, I believe the Clovis Gauthier, actually Clovis Gauthier & Fils (Clovis Gauthier & Sons) Inc. located in Saint-Théodore-d’Acton, Quebec, Canada, runs a factory farm for production of eggs from chicken hens about as healthy as it can be done …, again, for a factory farm. I’d much prefer to do as you describe but am unable to do it and live in a small city while always using walking and public transporation. So, I’m also unable to get to anyone like yourself.

The following links are for a 4 minute video solely about part of the Gauthier farm and then a page providing plenty of textual information about the farm, as well as including 35 photos. Both unfortunately are French and neither shows the hens in a long row or rows of cages, but photo 34 of 35 in the page of the second link shows a couple of hens in a cage, or else cages that’re side-by-side, connected while nonetheless possibly keeping the birds separated. Both the video and the other page seem, to me anyway, to show what certainly is a factory operation, but one that apparently is very cleanly run. And it apparently is only hens laying eggs that’re caged, for we also see some of the birds loose on the floor of a room; and that room looks cleanly kept to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kwncchzl5b8

http://www.agyours.com/?portfolio=ferme-clovis-gauthier-et-fils-inc

It’s not as good as raising and caring for your own birds as you do, but it isn’t possible for me at the moment. I walk and use municipally provided public transportation, so moving to a rural area is out of the question.

Anyway, thanks for the information and … happy bird (and health) caring.

Jordan Walker March 12, 2015 at 10:40 pm

This is such an excellent idea!
Thanks for sharing this information on how to build our own egg rack. I will also share this to my friends who also have a chicken. I’m sure they will be happy to make their own egg rack.

Daisy March 19, 2015 at 7:30 am

Jordan Walker–Thank you! You’re welcome!

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