Spice Cabinet

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Project by minntc posted 11-12-2009 03:13 AM 2256 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this “spice rack” in 2007 as a Christmas present for my wife. It’s quite obviously more than a spice rack, since we are not world-renowned chefs requiring 14 cubic feet of storage for spices. The first dilemma in this project was deciding where to put what was going to be a plain ol’ spice rack. Over the stove wasn’t a good option, since we had no vent hood and my wife’s too short to be reaching over flames for a spice jar. Next to the stove was okay, but still not ideal. So I decided on over the garbage can. Then I made the face you’re probably making right now, realizing that idea stinks. What to do, what to do…

So I came to the only logical conclusion: include the garbage can in the design. This kept me from having to ask how big the footprint would be, since this was a nook in the kermit the frog-green walls of our kitchen, but it added its own challenge, namely how to keep the stink from spreading. This one was easily accomplished by faithfully hauling even if the bag isn’t full, combined with a sealed compartment for the canister at the bottom of this cabinet. I’ve got some drawer slides and a 5”-tall drawer with a piano hinge attaching the front along with a drawer catch that allows the door front to fall away to get the can out.

Next came the idea of recipe card drawers, since we were organizing those anyway. Then while contemplating the project in my living room, I looked up from my notebook and noticed all the cookbooks we had in our entertainment center that we didn’t have room for in the kitchen. Another easy decision. Last came my favorite feature, the “landing pad”, another project I had been thinking about, but I couldn’t decide a logical place to locate.

Behind the spice drawers, I’ve hidden a power strip with enough room to plug in 3-5 devices and route the charging cords up behind the cabinet. I couldn’t really hardwire it in, because if we sell, I’d like to take the cabinet and work it into our next place, so the cables are a bit of an eyesore, which you can see in the second picture. Still, not too shabby. The cubby also has enough room for a key bowl, wallets, etc. and it does a good job of hiding that clutter from plain sight. Of course, it’s a tiny cubby with a ~7” opening, so I installed an LED light strip, and added one to the bookshelf cabinet while I was at it.

The last nice touch was the chalk board door on the cabinet so we can leave notes for each other. All in all, this was a blast, and my first experience with Peruvian Walnut (mistakenly wrote Brazilian originally). It only took me until next Christmas to get the hardware on! I had originally hoped to build little racks for the spice drawers so I could get three rows of spice jars in there, but I didn’t have enough depth to use full-opening drawer slides, so I don’t think I’ll ever actually make those.

Thanks for reading and thanks to the vets, including my dad, a retired Sr. Chief in the Seabees (Can Do!)

-- -jth | Minneapolis

7 comments so far

View minntc's profile


12 posts in 3319 days

#1 posted 11-12-2009 03:15 AM

Forgot to add, that splotchiness in the first pic is partly my phone, but it went away completely after a light sanding and two coats of teak oil.

-- -jth | Minneapolis

View minntc's profile


12 posts in 3319 days

#2 posted 11-12-2009 03:57 AM

Your comment threw me for a loop for a sec, until I realized I got my post wrong. It’s Peruvian Walnut, not Brazilian/Ipe. It was very easy to work with though, lovely deep colors. This was (is) one of my first “real” furniture projects, and I don’t have a lot of experience, so I don’t have much to compare working with this wood versus anything else. I should also disclose I had a ton of help from my dad and my uncle :)

As for weight, it’s not too bad. I think I had 1/4” ply for the panels in the left side and doors, 1/2” ply for the drawers and right side, with no back on it. It’s probably around 80 pounds total. And thanks for the compliment!

-- -jth | Minneapolis

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215 posts in 3763 days

#3 posted 11-12-2009 04:26 AM


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117328 posts in 3778 days

#4 posted 11-12-2009 06:58 AM

wonderful work and design

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3874 days

#5 posted 11-12-2009 01:44 PM

Nice cabinet.

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3396 days

#6 posted 11-12-2009 05:22 PM

Very nice cabinet. Everything has to be multi functional these days. Great ideas.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

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4542 posts in 3795 days

#7 posted 11-17-2009 10:00 PM

Great design and excellent use of space, going to have to remember this for our kitchen

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

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