> I don't think it really matters where you put the lower stretcher - any
> arrangement for 4 arms and 4 connection points can rack if you stress it
> If your camping spots tend to be nice and level and you're not too much
> of a
> clothes horse the shoulders on a lower stretcher would probably be
> sufficient to
> keep it from doing so - if you're really going to load this thing down and
> keep ending up on slopes you're going to need some kind of angled brace.
I've been going more and more to three-legged camp gear, just because even
level ground is often lumpy enough to produce this racking problem you
mention. Besides racking strain on your joinery, four-legged items can be
just plain unstable, on ground where a three-legged item would be secure.
This can be an issue with something as tall as a clothes rack, especially
given how easy it is to snag the rack when removing something in a hurry.
I have no idea whether you could document a period example, but how about
using the tusk-tenon joinery to make a clothes rack with a triangular
footprint? It could have lots more room on it, given that it would all
knock down and store flat, and be more stable; also the more open interior
would help in drying damp garb and gear.
It could be joined out of narrow boards, or turned--like an oversize
version of a three-legged stool, without a seat.