Back-Stoop Boot Scraper
Win the battle against muddy feet!
By Eric Smith, St. Paul, Minnesota
Store-bought doormats look nice, but I've yet to find one that can actually clean out deep, zigzag boot treads. Last spring, while sitting on my back steps digging out "mystery gunk" from the logo on the bottom of my 9-year-old's high-tops, I came up with a plan for the ultimate boot scraper/doormat.
The basic construction is simple; the only tools you need are a drill and a saw. I used short sections of 1-inch aluminum angle for the scraper, along with the toughest brushes I could find. After I cut the pieces, the project took about an hour. As you work, keep these points in mind:
- Use a square corner of your worktable as a guide when building the basic frame.
- Predrill all screw holes with a #7 countersink bit; otherwise the 1x2 may split.
- Depending on the brushes you use, you may need to shorten more than one crosspiece (or none at all), so the brushes sit flat.
- Four pieces of 1x2 x 8-foot pressure-treated lumber (Cut three pieces of decking (B) and one support (A) from each 8-foot length.)
- 1-inch aluminum angle
- 1 pound of 1-1/4-inch deck screws
- Eight #6 x 3/4-inch pan-head screws, for attaching the metal scraper
- Two bilevel scrub brushes, or any stiff-bristle brush
- Exterior wood glue
- A=4—25" supports
- B=12—23-1/2" crosspieces
- C=2—1" x 7-1/4" angle iron
- Create a square framework.
Lay out and fasten the supporting 1x2s (A) to the front and back crosspieces (B). Use clamps to hold the pieces in place. The doormat is assembled upside down, so all the screws will be hidden.
- Screw on the decking.
Using scrap 1x2s for spacers, set the crosspieces in place and attach them to the supports with glue and a screw. (The fourth crosspiece is short
to accommodate the knobs on our brushes.) Slightly adjust the spacing for the last few crosspieces so the slat spacing remains fairly consistent.
- Attach the scrapers and brushes.
Predrill holes and install 1-1/4-inch screws where the plastic base of the brush meets the wood. Flip over the piece and drill 3/32-inch holes through the aluminum angle where it rests on the crosspieces. Then remove the angle and widen the holes with a 9/64-inch bit, so the screws go through the metal easily.