This article was first posted on the Little Good Pieces blog on September 29, 2010.
While I was starting my planning for the toilet cabinet, it occurred to me that I first needed to build an outfeed table for the new tablesaw. As I was shifting gears to start on THAT, my wife reminded me that we needed some way to organize the sauce flavoring packets that were trying to take over the pantry.
The need should be apparent from the above photo. What I envisioned was some sort of divided bin that would tip out to allow access to its contents. This would, in turn, necessitate some sort of pivot mechanism. All of this would be painted (brace yourselves) white. I know, I know, but hey, it’s going in the back of the pantry behind a set of swing-out shelves and will rarely be seen. No need to waste wenge and curly maple here.
It would be preferable to make this without a trip to the lumber yard, so I headed for the scrap (excuse me – little good pieces) bin. Sure enough, there was a goodly quantity of both 1/4 and 1/2 inch birch plywood, as well as various hardwood dowels – perfect.
The bin was to be a basic box with dividers to retain a semblance of order among the contents. It would pivot on a pair of stub dowels retained in pivot blocks attached to the wall. Travel would be limited by two more dowels moving in grooves in the pivot blocks. (See the pictures below.)
Yes, those are staples – don’t look at me like that.
Consider the stresses this bin will endure. The cook (often me) will hurriedly snatch the pantry open, yank down the front of the bin and rummage blindly for that one last pack of taco seasoning that’s managed to work its way to the bottom despite the dividers. Holding his prize triumphantly, he will slam the bin closed in a panic because the onions are scorching.
Do YOU want to count on a glued butt joint for that?
Narrow-crown staples have better holding power than brads, and are unlikely to split the plywood. All the joints also received a healthy bead of liquid hide glue. Don’t worry, all will be countersunk and spackled, and should be well hidden under the paint (white, remember?).
I had originally made the front panel wider to cover the pivot blocks, but the bin couldn’t be angled into position with them in place. So, they were trimmed flush, and an alternative trim-out will be necessary. The arcs for the stop pins were simply laid out with a compass and freehand-routed with my new Bosch Colt (great little router!). No need for anything fancy here, just provide clearance to move to the stop point. Why build a jig?
The next installment should see the project completed and installed. That is, of course, if I can keep the shop cats out of the way! Stay tuned.
I hope you enjoyed this article. The second part will be coming in the near future. If you liked what you read, visit my blog: http://littlegoodpieces.wordpress.com/
-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog: http://littlegoodpieces.wordpress.com