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Spice Rack

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Project by Dan Wolfgang posted 12-14-2017 02:18 AM 479 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We have always kept our jars of spices and herbs in some plastic baskets. My wife primarily cooks, but I cook and help enough to know how poor of a system this is. And yet, we’ve stuck with it for… well, decades. It’s also worth noting that my wife loves to cook so we have quite an assortment of options.

So anyway, last year my wife spotted a little set of shelves at Ikea that she thought would be good to hold the spice jars. The obvious problem with this set of shelves, however, is that it would hold but a fraction of what we have. I said I’d build something for them. A year ago. I’ve been reminded of this a few times.

Earlier this year I decided to move on it, but was concerned with how to build it. A spice rack doesn’t need have 3/4” or 4/4 shelves. I guess I could run everything through the thickness planer to get to appropriate thicknesses? My that’s a lot of waste. I decided I needed a resawing frame saw, and the joke I noted in that post is that yes, I do need a giant frame saw to build a spice rack!

I resawed a lot of red oak to make this spice rack. The sides are 1/2” thick and the shelves are 3/8”. The spice rack is two foot wide and a bit over four foot tall. (It was originally going to be another “big” shelf taller [for the large restaurant-size containers] but I got distracted in resawing the sides and irreparably damaged the end.) The shelf retainers are dovetailed into the sides to prevent bowing (not that bowing should ever be a problem with red oak and lightweight spice jars), and the back slats have dados cut into them to support the shelf to prevent bowing from weight or time. I think it’s very overbuilt, so hopefully something that will last, like, forever. I mounted it to the wall by screwing through the back into two studs.

Finished with BLO and Briwax creamed beeswax. I couldn’t believe how horrible the beeswax stuff smelled, and it took a few days for the smell to dissipate. This was my first time trying it and the odor alone makes me think it may be my last.

I have made two terribly annoying mistakes in this build:
1) I never considered that the retaining wall was going to cover the jar labels. I noticed this as I was putting in the jars. Argh. I’ve alphabetized the jars and we touch them enough that I’m sure we’ll have them all memorized in no time, but still annoying. We talked about writing the contents on the side of the jar lid (many are already labeled on the top of the lid).
2) I planned the height of the retaining wall appropriately, to allow us to pull jars in and out easily. Unfortunately, during the build, I realized I had some wood cut to a “close” size and thought I’d save myself a little effort and just use that. In the moment, I didn’t consider that there was a reason I chose the height of the wall on purpose! Again, while putting the jars on the shelf I realized I was sliding them in sort of diagonally… which requires a bit more space, so one less jar per shelf. Argh.

Anyway, it still looks good and is very functional! Perhaps most importantly: this was done 100% by hand. A variety of saws, planes, chisels, and I even used an egg-beater drill to put the holes in the back for mounting.





9 comments so far

View Rick's profile

Rick

8555 posts in 2905 days


#1 posted 12-14-2017 04:48 AM

Nice spice rack Dan! Very clean design and nicely “Handcrafted”.

-- A Chip On The Shoulder Usually Indicates Wood Higher Up. (Rick, Ontario, Canada)

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

3891 posts in 2138 days


#2 posted 12-14-2017 04:49 AM

Really nice.

When that is full; if you do not have the spice;you do NOT need it!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View observer100's profile

observer100

366 posts in 982 days


#3 posted 12-14-2017 11:37 AM

Looks great from here. Beautiful really … dovetails and hand tools gives you extra credit. Survived any mistakes … and the story reminds me to keep thinking three steps ahead. Great photos … very nice project Dan!

View Ron Aylor's profile (online now)

Ron Aylor

1922 posts in 519 days


#4 posted 12-14-2017 12:18 PM

Nice work, Dan. Perhaps you could take advantage of your perceived mistake and rout out the middle of the walls a bit to be able to read the labels.
 

 
Sorry for the way the routed slots look … just threw this together in MSPaint.

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

29707 posts in 2738 days


#5 posted 12-14-2017 02:40 PM

This is a beautiful and practical spice rack. Nice work!

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Upgrayedd's profile

Upgrayedd

85 posts in 1054 days


#6 posted 12-14-2017 06:06 PM

:)

-- Upgrayedd - spelled thusly, with two Ds, for a double dose of this pimping.

View Upgrayedd's profile

Upgrayedd

85 posts in 1054 days


#7 posted 12-14-2017 06:09 PM

Nice Rack!


“Perhaps most importantly: this was done 100% by hand. A variety of saws, planes, chisels, and I even used an egg-beater drill to put the holes in the back for mounting.

- Dan Wolfgang

For realz… why would you want to get’r done in a fraction of the time, when you can knock it out in a year. :)

-- Upgrayedd - spelled thusly, with two Ds, for a double dose of this pimping.

View Dust_Maker's profile

Dust_Maker

55 posts in 2193 days


#8 posted 12-14-2017 09:46 PM

Lots of joinery. Nicely done.

-- Jonathan 2Cor. 4:6

View Dan Wolfgang's profile

Dan Wolfgang

138 posts in 679 days


#9 posted 12-15-2017 02:49 AM

Thanks for all the feedback and encouragement, all! It was a fun project.

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