Silverware Drawer/Service Tray

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Project by Dadoo posted 03-10-2008 03:37 PM 3240 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The third picture shows the humble beginnings of this project. A pile of silverware in a cheap plastic keeper, with our expensive knives tossed in for an added risk…”Hey kids! Step right up! Reach right in and maybe you’ll pull back a bloody finger!” My wife inherited her mother’s silverware (which matched ours) so now we have well, a lot! So much in fact that she has the other half still stored in the attic. She also likes to entertain occasionally and I’ve seen where she sets out handfuls of silverware in little baskets with ribbons and flowers! (Wives are just so cutesy aren’t they?) So this unit is designed to be removed (handles) just for that purpose. I also designed it to accommodate our good knives, keeping them separated and to protect the edge from little fingers.

There were no plans as I designed the whole unit in my head using only occasional measurements. The wood is 100% reclaimed (100+ year old), 7/8” thick hard maple flooring that I planed to 1/2” thick. Planing that stuff is interesting as every now and then you sense the aroma of old spilled beer, or apple pie, or something. It definately does not smell like fresh maple! I wonder if I’ll someday smell a turkey dinner, but apparently the turkey never hit the floor. They must’ve never owned a house dog or cat either! The wood is also very hard on the planer blades as well.

The corners are joined with a simple rabbet, glue and 18ga nails. The bottom is a sheet of Luann. I know it’s a blasphemy to paint hardwood, but I wanted it to match her cabinets. And it’s really not painted…It’s pickled! I was surprised that it did match the first time! I also left the interior natural as kind of a contrast, ya know? It’s all a big experiment. The interior corners were an experimental attempt to add a little flair to the butt joint. I dunno…it’s different.

Anyhow, she came out to the (lab) last night and guessed at the surprise (I’m not tellin’ ya what I’m making.) unit. I tried to tell her that it was a tray for storeing my sockets and ratchet handles but I accidently paused to think, and that gave it away. Anyhow, she loves it and I guess that’s all that matters right?

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

14 comments so far

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 4022 days

#1 posted 03-10-2008 04:05 PM

Nice solution, Dadoo. I’m sure it will be apprecitated every day. Those are some of my favorite projects – the practical ones.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4016 days

#2 posted 03-10-2008 04:15 PM

Pretty cool, Dadoo! Something familiar about that last picture.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View kjwoodworking's profile


266 posts in 3915 days

#3 posted 03-10-2008 04:45 PM

Excellent work. I like the handles for easy removal. I agree with Tom and Gary as some of my favorite projects are the practical ones too and that last pic does look familiar as well.

Good Job.

-- Kirk H. --

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3850 days

#4 posted 03-10-2008 04:51 PM

very nice Dadoo. It not only gives you a chance to spend some time in the “lab” but it lets you make mama happy as well. And that is what is important. Thanks for the story as well. It adds a nice element to the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Dominic Vanacora's profile

Dominic Vanacora

508 posts in 3898 days

#5 posted 03-10-2008 05:15 PM

Nice idea. Also nice to hear you reused 100 year old flooring. Thats funny about the smells. I wouldn’t think it wood smell after a few weeks never mine years. Thanks for sharing your great idea.

-- Dominic, Trinity, Florida...Lets be safe out there.

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4355 days

#6 posted 03-10-2008 05:21 PM

That came out nice. I really need to work on something like this for our kitchen drawer.
I like the contrast as well as the raised corners, keeps it from being boring.
good job.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4019 days

#7 posted 03-10-2008 06:01 PM

The unit is 2 7/8” high fitting into a 3” high drawer. So I had to recess where the handles go just so they would fit! Another one of those “build as you go” things!

The smells generated by the planer are there. I picked up on an odor that smelled like the inside of an old beer keg while planing this. The only thing I can think of is that someone spilled his beer and it soaked into the boards. Which is also why I figure they never owned a dog or cat. Thank God!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3903 days

#8 posted 03-10-2008 07:49 PM

Great way to organize the drawer, and to up the safety level for the young ‘uns.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3796 days

#9 posted 03-10-2008 09:17 PM

great job. that sure makes your drawer more organized.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#10 posted 03-10-2008 09:19 PM

So much nicer than mine….I’m still a member of the cheap plastic club. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 3908 days

#11 posted 03-11-2008 12:13 AM

great job dadoo ! if i had that many kitchen tools id only wash the dishes twice a year ! looks good .

View grovemadman's profile


556 posts in 3800 days

#12 posted 03-11-2008 02:35 AM

Nice job and a great thing to do for your wife.

-- --Chuck

View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3963 days

#13 posted 03-11-2008 04:31 AM

Dadoo, That look great. We have a few drawers in our kitchen that look like that last one. Do need to make something like this. Is the knife block out of the same wood?


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4094 days

#14 posted 03-11-2008 09:42 AM

Dadoo those drawers look like every drawer in America. Of course you’ve got one of the neater drawers now – nice job. Now we will all be building similar inserts for our kitchens.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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