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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to build a spice rack for our kitchen. I'm the cook between me and my fiance, and I'm sick of our spices being thrown around. I'm also getting into woodworking as well, so I figure I'd combine the 2 hobbies.

I don't have much experience in wood working. I posted an intro thread which has pictures of the table I built (nothing fancy, just a bunch of home depot pine screwed together). I'd like to get better at it though and do some quality pieces.

Here's what I'm thinking... walnut and maple (maybe pine, or something cheaper), but definitely 2 contrasting woods.

Overall dimensions are 36"x12". The outer box and drawer faces are all dovetails (I think that's the right name for the joint?) The vertical dividers and the shelves are all dado joints, and the drawer back will be doweled to the sides. The drawer bottom will be a 1/16" ply set into a dado joint.

Most of the boards are .75" thick, and the drawers are all .5" thick. I thought about making everything .75" so that I could plane everything all in one pass, but the drawers seemed too bulky that way. Maybe I should make everything .5" thick?

My questions:

1) How to attach the handles? Should I just try to buy some premade handles, or make them myself and use screws through the back of the drawer face? Is there a better way?

2) Is .75" too thick for all the boards? Should I step down to .5"?

3) I'm limited in tools and workshop space. The only tools I have at home are a circular saw, drill, RO sander, some clamps, and some squares. I'd like to buy the lumber pre-planed if I can. Otherwise, I'd use a jointer and planer at a workshop I can rent ($8/hour). However, keep in mind I'm new at this and it would be a steep learning curve. Do lumber yards or home depot sell good planed (S4S?) walnut and/or maple?

4) Anything wrong with the design?
 

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Old School
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It's a nice design, and should look good when finished. I would suggest ¼" ply for the bottoms of the drawers. It's readily available, and works out well in grooves in the drawer parts, and will help to square the drawer box.

I would use ¾" for the parts, ½" for the drawer sides. Those handles look good, and wouldn't be that hard to make. Just screw them on from the inside.






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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a nice design, and should look good when finished. I would suggest ¼" ply for the bottoms of the drawers. It's readily available, and works out well in grooves in the drawer parts, and will help to square the drawer box.

I would use ¾" for the parts, ½" for the drawer sides. Those handles look good, and wouldn't be that hard to make. Just screw them on from the inside.










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Thanks for the tips. I gues 1/4" ply would work. How far up should I cut the groove on the drawer sides? Is 1/16" feasible, or is too close to the edge and I'd risk tear out? Maybe a 1/4"

I am aiming to have as much room as possible inside the drawers. THat would give me about 2.5" of height.


Also, what kind of clearance do I need between the width/height of the drawer and the width/height of the drawer gap? Meaning, if my drawer gap is 7.25"x3", what should I try to cut my drawer face to?
 

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4) Anything wrong with the design?

The dovetail orientation is backwards in the drawing. As shown, if the glue should fail the case parts would succumb to gravity, by slipping right through the tails!

I cook too, but I think it would take up a lot of space in my kitchen, but would look nice. Cutting dovetails by hand takes some practice, too.
 

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Thanks for the tips. I gues 1/4" ply would work. How far up should I cut the groove on the drawer sides? Is 1/16" feasible, or is too close to the edge and I'd risk tear out? Maybe a 1/4"
From the bottom edge, ¼" is fine.

I am aiming to have as much room as possible inside the drawers. THat would give me about 2.5" of height.
Make sure you allow enough clearance for what will go in there.

Also, what kind of clearance do I need between the width/height of the drawer and the width/height of the drawer gap? Meaning, if my drawer gap is 7.25"x3", what should I try to cut my drawer face to?
I wouldn't go with anything less than 1/16" - 3/32".







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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
4) Anything wrong with the design?

The dovetail orientation is backwards in the drawing. As shown, if the glue should fail the case parts would succumb to gravity, by slipping right through the tails!

I cook too, but I think it would take up a lot of space in my kitchen, but would look nice. Cutting dovetails by hand takes some practice, too.
Our current kitchen has a ton of extra counter space. If we end up downsizing (which is a decent possibility), I could always sell it or store it until we buy a house.

Which dove tails do you mean? Right now the walnut vertical pieces are sitting on top of the long maple boards, so there's vertical support everywhere. I'm not sure how else to orient them.

I think the shop I rent has a dovetail jig and a router that I can use. I can try by hand, but it may not be pretty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
From the bottom edge, ¼" is fine.



Make sure you allow enough clearance for what will go in there.



I wouldn't go with anything less than 1/16" - 3/32".











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Got it... 1/4" from the bottom.

I actually don't know what would go in there, but I'll find something. Maybe bagged spices. Either way, they're not meant specifically for something.

Do you mean 1/16" all around, or just on one side? Meaning should I cut the drawer face to 7 3/16 x 2 15/16, or 7 1/8 x 2 7/8?
 

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Old School
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Which dove tails do you mean? Right now the walnut vertical pieces are sitting on top of the long maple boards, so there's vertical support everywhere. I'm not sure how else to orient them.
If your joinery is glued you should have no problem.

Do you mean 1/16" all around, or just on one side? Meaning should I cut the drawer face to 7 3/16 x 2 15/16, or 7 1/8 x 2 7/8?
The drawer face is what the drawer box is. Allow 1/16" gap on both sides. IOW, deduct 1/8" from the width of the opening. You can do the math...I have to take the dogs out.:laughing:






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It's an attractive design IMO. Here's a tip from a wannabe chef who has a nice pull-out spice rack. Please google images for "pull-out spice rack".

You are going to want to have a bar or something across the face of each shelf to prevent the spice jars from tumbling to the floor. Or you might make the shelves into trays. This is essential if there will be adult beverages consumed while cooking. I heard that somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's an attractive design IMO. Here's a tip from a wannabe chef who has a nice pull-out spice rack. Please google images for "pull-out spice rack".

You are going to want to have a bar or something across the face of each shelf to prevent the spice jars from tumbling to the floor. Or you might make the shelves into trays. This is essential if there will be adult beverages consumed while cooking. I heard that somewhere.
We have a pull out spice rack now actually... built into the lower cabinet next to our stove. I hate it. I can only see the spices that are on the top shelf without squatting down and rifling through them. Anything below the top shelf is a pain to get out. That's why I wanted to make this one.

I was thinking of putting a long rod or dowel across the long shelves. Thinking maybe a 1/2" x 1/2" or even smaller on either side. The trays instead of shelves isnt a bad idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If your joinery is glued you should have no problem.



The drawer face is what the drawer box is. Allow 1/16" gap on both sides. IOW, deduct 1/8" from the width of the opening. You can do the math...I have to take the dogs out.:laughing:






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Haha math is definitely not the problem. I'm an engineer by profession (for better or for worse).

Do you think I need to deduct 1/16" or 1/8" from the height as well?
 

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Haha math is definitely not the problem. I'm an engineer by profession (for better or for worse).

Do you think I need to deduct 1/16" or 1/8" from the height as well?
You have the bottoms of the drawers riding on the horizontals. You could use a 1/16" spacer as two bottom runners, to make the drawers slide better. You could use 1/16" plastic laminate (like Formica), and allow the 1/16" gap above the drawer front.





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We have a pull out spice rack now actually... built into the lower cabinet next to our stove. I hate it. I can only see the spices that are on the top shelf without squatting down and rifling through them. Anything below the top shelf is a pain to get out. That's why I wanted to make this one.

I was thinking of putting a long rod or dowel across the long shelves. Thinking maybe a 1/2" x 1/2" or even smaller on either side. The trays instead of shelves isnt a bad idea.
Agree with you on the location down by the stove. Not great. I was just trying to illustrate the bar/tray idea, which you were already on to.

How are you going to hang it on the wall? Some hanging strategies would result in a slight foward tilt if the hardware was in the upper back corners. The bar/tray might mitigate that problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You have the bottoms of the drawers riding on the horizontals. You could use a 1/16" spacer as two bottom runners, to make the drawers slide better. You could use 1/16" plastic laminate (like Formica), and allow the 1/16" gap above the drawer front.





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Hmm good idea.

So in the end, I'll have a drawer front that's 7 1/8 wide (leaving a 1/16 gap on either side) and 2 7/8 high, leaving a 1/16 gap on top and riding along a 1/16 (or smaller if I can find it) plastic rail on the bottom which would be located on the edges (under the maple side walls). I like that idea - I was worried about the edge grain on the maple side walls riding across the grain on the shorter shelves and dragging across.

Do I have that right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Agree with you on the location down by the stove. Not great. I was just trying to illustrate the bar/tray idea, which you were already on to.

How are you going to hang it on the wall? Some hanging strategies would result in a slight foward tilt if the hardware was in the upper back corners. The bar/tray might mitigate that problem.
I was actually planning on having it free standing on the counter top. I would put in some wooden/rubber feet to keep it from sliding around on the granite.

I could hang it... maybe by placing a skirt on the top back edges and drilling through it into some wall anchors.
 

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I was actually planning on having it free standing on the counter top. I would put in some wooden/rubber feet to keep it from sliding around on the granite.

I could hang it... maybe by placing a skirt on the top back edges and drilling through it into some wall anchors.
Good ideas. I actually don't have much to contribute here. It's just that I post too much in "Off Topic" and I don't want a reputation as a troll. ;)
 

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Lowes and HD don't sell walnut or maple where I live. There is one local place that I can get the wood surfaced but I believe they just run it thru a planer because it is usually not flat. I buy mine rough and surface it just before needing it and if you have access to a jointer and planer I would suggest that. That way you can start with good straight flat boards.
Tom
 

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I like it. Are you going to put a back board on it?

Maybe some small hooks or loops or something to hang fresh herbs to dry naturally, if you're into that.
 
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