Any Ideas for Designing a Cutting Board Storage Slot in a Cabinet? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-09-2018, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Any Ideas for Designing a Cutting Board Storage Slot in a Cabinet?

Here's my idea and what I'm currently working with:

I'm rebuilding my derelict kitchen base cabinet which had a cutting board slot and runners, but it never had a cutting board (lost to the ages in the past 90 years).

I've built a new face frame and I've included the 1" tall slot at the top for a cutting board.

I've already got a couple cutting boards, one large and one small. When I have the leisure I'd like to make a few cutting boards with interesting profiles so that stored on edge they provide an interesting silhouette and design element for the kitchen.

On to the challenge:
My kitchen has limited countertop work space. I have a great big double farmer sink with a top dimension of 42" x 25". So my idea has been to make a large cutting board 18" x 19-"20" which can be placed, inset, onto the top of either side of my sink: the sink has a lowered lip (see pic) that perfectly supports a board. The cutting board can be placed entirely over one side of the sink and can thus function as an auxiliary counter top or cutting board space and with the added benefit that it can drain directly into the sink if there's any liquids or juices involved. I never have a pressing need to use both sides of my sink at once (maybe occasionally for dual sink system dishwashing or food prep washing) and furthermore the cutting board can easily slide from one side of the sink to the other (so pots and pans for example could soak underneath it keeping both sinks functional). It's easily removable just by lifting it out.

My challenge is how to store it in the cabinet ... so it can be easily pulled out and still look elegant. If it's not completely and easily accessible without any hitch, it wont be fully utilized.
I've made the slot at the top of the face frame 18-1/4" x 1". There'll be an approx. 1" overhang at the front of the counter top (butcherblock) and the counter top front profile will most likely be a window sill profile.

I have a couple wood runners made (rabbeted strips of wood) which will mount to the interior of the face frame and rear wall (it's a built-in cabinet) for the cutting board to slide on. I may look into some slippery plastic for the top surface of the runners, or alternatively just wax them. I'll have a 1/8" gap on either side of the cutting board when it's stowed in it's slot for looks, but if I need a tighter fit to prevent side-to-side slop and racking, I can mount the runners a little closer to gtoether to get a tighter fit.

But how to design the leading edge so it's easy to pull out of the slot, elegant looking, and fucntional? I was originally thinking maybe a small brass spherical drawer pull in the center ... unobtrusive and elegant. However, that may intrude on using the cutting board on the sink and needing to slide it across so it sits flush on the opposite side of the sink ... the brass pull would make contact with the sink's rim.

Another idea is a cleaner execution with a plain flat leading edge for the cutting board. I wonder if there's a spring loaded plunger/catch of sorts that can be mounted at the rear wall so that when I push the cutting board in, it hits against and depresses the catch/plunger; when I want to pull the board out, I push the cutting board in a little and it depresses the plunger/catch which releases the spring and pushes the board out 1"-2" ... enough to get a finger underneath into a routed out finger slot so the board can be pulled all thew way out.

Any ideas?
Or other suggestions?
Thanks a bunch!
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-09-2018, 07:34 PM
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a push to open latch ......

This is a simple spring loaded latch and when it's push in, it pops out. It may not pop out far enough, you'll have to determine that, but they are very cheap:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Magnetic-Pu...YAAOSw4A5YvMrs

I would make wooden channel runners on the sides to keep it from falling down or getting cocked sideways. You can't use drawer slides because it needs to come all the way out, and they are typically screwed to the sides. A combination of drawer slides and a U channel could work, however.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-10-2018, 11:11 AM
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Make the guides L shaped on each side of the cut out attached to the cabinet. Line the guides with laminate (formica) for the board to slide on. Route a finger pull on the bottom face of the cutting board. Place stops on the guides to prevent the board from going into the cabinet too far, allowing the board to stick out enough to grab the finger on the board. If you thing that a finger pull on the bottom of the cutting board may be hard to grab the board, a second way is to route a finger pull on each side edge (right/left) at the front and rear (in case the board is put in backwards). In either example the cutting board when inserted would stick out slightly.

Last edited by gmercer_48083; 06-10-2018 at 11:21 AM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-13-2018, 04:38 PM
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There are lots of touch-latches out there. This one is made for mounting to the back of a drawer but could be mounted to the cabinet back instead. It has about 3/4" throw, which is more than typical for touch-latches: Touch latch
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-13-2018, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
This is a simple spring loaded latch and when it's push in, it pops out. It may not pop out far enough, you'll have to determine that, but they are very cheap:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Magnetic-Pu...YAAOSw4A5YvMrs

I would make wooden channel runners on the sides to keep it from falling down or getting cocked sideways. You can't use drawer slides because it needs to come all the way out, and they are typically screwed to the sides. A combination of drawer slides and a U channel could work, however.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
Make the guides L shaped on each side of the cut out attached to the cabinet. Line the guides with laminate (formica) for the board to slide on. Route a finger pull on the bottom face of the cutting board. Place stops on the guides to prevent the board from going into the cabinet too far, allowing the board to stick out enough to grab the finger on the board. If you thing that a finger pull on the bottom of the cutting board may be hard to grab the board, a second way is to route a finger pull on each side edge (right/left) at the front and rear (in case the board is put in backwards). In either example the cutting board when inserted would stick out slightly.

As I wrote I already made 'L' (rabbeted) shape runners for the board to slide on and am considering lining the runner with a thin plastic/synthetic for to make it slide easier (and add wear resistance).

The measurement from outside of face frame to the back wall is 20".
The cutting board is 18" x 19".

I don't want the board to stand proud of the faceframe after it's inserted; I want it to be flush. The overhang of the counter top is only 1" and it will receive a windowsill profile on the edge which makes the actual overhang at the bottom edge of the counter top just a fraction of an inch ... so the cutting board would project beyond the profiled counter edge and look weird, as if it's not pushed in all the way, and endlessly irk me.

There's only 1" of clearance between the cutting board end and the wall when it's inserted (no cabinet case back as it's a built in). So any plunger/spring hardware needs to be no longer than 1" long when retracted.
One other option is to widen the cutout groove in the face frame from 18-1/4" to 19-1/4" so that the cutting board stows with the longer dimension inserted. That still only leaves 2" of clearance at the wall for some sort of plunger mechanism. The faceframe is only 33" wide and the top rail is about 28"wide ... the width of the cutout already seems large and I'd prefer not to widen it further and diminish the structural integrity of the face frame.

Anyone know of a hardware item that would fit in those dimensions?
Or some other method of retrieval to pull the pull out?

Last edited by Lovegasoline; 06-13-2018 at 07:57 PM.
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-15-2018, 08:43 PM
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1" is very tight for a touch-latch, but Hafele makes one that might work (#245.55.913)

Touch Latch
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-15-2018, 10:47 PM
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Cut a piece of plywood and mount it flush with the bottom of the cutting board slot. This becomes the base for the cutting board. No hardware or drawer guide is necessary.
Design the new cutting board to extend 5/8” out the slot opening with a groove on the bottom of the board so you can pull it out of the cabinet for use.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-16-2018, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
Cut a piece of plywood and mount it flush with the bottom of the cutting board slot. This becomes the base for the cutting board. No hardware or drawer guide is necessary.
Design the new cutting board to extend 5/8” out the slot opening with a groove on the bottom of the board so you can pull it out of the cabinet for use.
From above:
"I don't want the board to stand proud of the faceframe after it's inserted; I want it to be flush. The overhang of the counter top is only 1" and it will receive a windowsill profile on the edge which makes the actual overhang at the bottom edge of the counter top just a fraction of an inch ... so the cutting board would project beyond the profiled counter edge and look weird, as if it's not pushed in all the way, and endlessly irk me."
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-16-2018, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NVwoodworker View Post
1" is very tight for a touch-latch, but Hafele makes one that might work (#245.55.913)

Touch Latch
I need to look more closely at that hardware ... I'm not grasping the mechanism and activation.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-16-2018, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Seeing how this is beginning to become an obstacle ... it's preventing me from assembling the cabinet and face frame as I don't want to find myself in an irreversible situation without a solution.

I'd like to use a plunger of some kind and I want to source one with a smooth and positive mechanism ... I don't want to go through this effort and end up with something that only sort of works, or works in a sad half azz or 3/8 azz manner. There's so much cheesy hardware and poorly designed and manufactured junk out there these days I'm reluctant to buy anything sight unseen. I'll need to do a test before I commit to completing this cabinet.

One idea that just popped into my mind is to use a rod to pull the cutting board out instead of a spring loaded plunger.
For example, a 20" long 1/4" OD stainless steel rod with a small 3/8" - 1/2" brass spherical knob (or other tasteful knob) screwed onto one end; the other end threaded to receive a small flat disc of metal about the size of a half dollar coin (can even use a coin?), drilled and tapped at its center - so it screws onto the end of the rod. The external end of the rod terminates with the brass pull and passes through a hole (or hole w/bushing) in the (1" high) face frame rail underneath the cutting board slot and enters the cabinet; inside the cabinet it extends underneath the cutting board (passing through a support a few inches out from the wall) and terminates near the wall with the small metal disc ... the back edge of the cutting board contacts the disc when it's stored in the cabinet ... the brass knob functions as a stop and assures that the leading edge of the cutting board is flush with the face frame (the rear threaded disc can be turned like a screw to fine tune this alignment and a locknut added to fix the disc's position). To remove the cutting board one pulls the knob an inch or two until a finger groove on the bottom of the cutting board is revealed, or alternatively pulls it out another inch or two so the cutting board can be pinched with both hands and pulled all the way out. A stop of some form can be added to prevent the rod from extending out too far where it will be forgotten and eventually walked into and bent. Or better yet [plunger brainstorm!] a lightweight cylinder spring 2"-3" long can be placed over the end of the rod (retractible ballpoint pen style spring) so it's captured between the disc at one end and the rear rod support at it's other end ... it can function like the ball plunger on a pinball machine ... and will retract back into place and automatically reset when released. A small rubber bumper at the wall or the disc end of the rod can mitigate the audible impact of the plunger spring reseting.
A design like that will render the minimal 1" clearance space between cutting board and wall as no longer problematic.

Or something like that.
Does that sound functional, straight forward, elegant, and easily made?

Last edited by Lovegasoline; 06-16-2018 at 05:28 AM.
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post #11 of 14 Old 06-18-2018, 12:41 PM
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It's starting to sound overly complicated to me, but it's your kitchen. Do what you want.

IIWM-- I'd either let the cutting board stick out a little or cut a recess into the face frame to allow the user's fingers to engage the finger slot in the board.
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post #12 of 14 Old 06-18-2018, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NVwoodworker View Post
It's starting to sound overly complicated to me, but it's your kitchen. Do what you want.

IIWM-- I'd either let the cutting board stick out a little or cut a recess into the face frame to allow the user's fingers to engage the finger slot in the board.
It's either a hardware challenge or a design challenge now, or both.

NVwoodworker, the face frame hasn't got any space left for a finger cut-out as it would weaken the face frame substantially: have a look at the pic. The top rail of the face frame is 2" wide; the cutout slot for the cutting board is 1" wide. That leaves only 1" of remaining top rail and all of that is gonna be needed to retain structural integrity. If I cut into the face frame underneath the slot to fit a finger the face frame will fall apart.

Also, there's the overlay of the drawer faces to consider which will cover a small part of the top rail and the small center rail.

That's why I want to think this through before glue up.

Last edited by Lovegasoline; 06-18-2018 at 03:36 PM.
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-18-2018, 03:33 PM
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Make your track so the board can slide in, cut a groove in the track just a hair wider than the cutting board, but make the groove slant down about a 1/4" or so toward the front, and make it a blind groove, stopping just short of the front edge by about a 1/4".

Make the cutting board an inch or so shorter than the front to back distance. In the back, put a spring, perhaps 3/4" diameter by 1" long.

Pushing the cutting board in compresses the spring, and the front edge of the board will drop down in the groove, preventing it from moving out.

To remove, press on the top of the board and lift slightly, the spring will force the board out over the lip of the groove, and can be easily pulled out.

Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
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post #14 of 14 Old 06-18-2018, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Lovegasoline View Post
It's either a hardware challenge or a design challenge now, or both.

NVwoodworker, the face frame hasn't got any space left for a finger cut-out as it would weaken the face frame substantially: have a look at the pic. The top rail of the face frame is 2" wide; the cutout slot for the cutting board is 1" wide. That leaves only 1" of remaining top rail and all of that is gonna be needed to retain structural integrity. If I cut into the face frame underneath the slot to fit a finger the face frame will fall apart.

Also, there's the overlay of the drawer faces to consider which will cover a small part of the top rail and the small center rail.

That's why I want to think this through before glue up.
Appreciate everything you point out but you are not cutting through your face frame, you are only routing a cove and this can be short, say 2” long (centered). Just enough to get a finger or two on the cutting board. Also, if you install a piece of plywood behind the FF for the CB to slide on as stated above, the plywood will further strengthen this piece of FF. A slight short dado or router groove on the bottom of the CB near the front edge will give just enough for a finger to pull the board forward but won’t be seen from the front. Much easier than resorting to more hardware.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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