Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Silverware Drawer Organizer

This one has been on the to-do list for a long time.  I'd seen projects like this from other people and I stole various ideas from them.  We wanted easy access to the most often used things, but also storage for the lesser used items as well.

The drawer as it was before

The design is a two-tiered tray system.  The most commonly used things will go in the upper tray and lesser used items in the lower tray.  The upper tray is not as deep, so it can slide back, revealing the front compartment of the lower tray.  There are no progress pics in this post - just a finished product.  But you'll get the idea from the pics and descriptions.

Lower tray left, upper tray right
All parts are made of 1/4" poplar, except 1/8" plywood bottoms

The corners of each tray are joined with a single dovetail

The upper tray has 6 dividers, making 7 compartments.
Each divider was shaped to make it easier to reach down into the compartments.
The dividers are fitted into stopped dadoes in the front and back

The lower tray has a large side-to-side front compartment
and 5 front-to-back compartments

The lateral divider is housed in stopped dadoes in the sides ...

... and the other dividers are housed in stopped dadoes in the lateral divider and the back

Here is the lower tray installed - it's a nice fit in the drawer

The upper tray installed, slid towards front ...

... and here the upper tray is slid back revealing some of the lower tray

Here's the drawer loaded ...

... and with the upper tray pushed back revealing lower tray

To access the rear compartments of the lower tray, we have to pull out the upper tray.  But the intent of those rear compartments was to hold rarely-used items.  Time will tell if we like this better than the way the drawer was previously.

The trays are finished with three coats of shellac, followed by a coat of wax.  The light weight of the poplar didn't add much weight to the overall drawer.

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