Over the last few years I've worked as a rafting guide, we've gone through at least two different silverware storage and organization systems.  The first was haphazard.  The second was organized but, despite some calling it "The Quicksilver," required an unacceptable amount of time and effort to retrieve silverware.  I sought a better solution.  A solution that required close to no time or effort.  This Instructable is about that search.  This project (finally) puts the quick in Quicksilver.

Having said all that, and even though this project is crafted from high-resolution components and seems final, I would still categorize it as a prototype.  There's a lot I learned throughout the creation that I would alter or replace in the next iteration.  I don't know when or if that next iteration will take place, but I wanted to share this stepping stone because it's still a neat way to store silverware for rafting trips.

The final product holds plenty of forks, knives, and spoons in a spring-loaded tray for easy access and also hides a cavity underneath to store can openers, corkscrews, and the like.  All contained in a 50 cal ammo can, the standard for miscellaneous rafting storage.

For this Instructable, I'm going to share the steps to make each individual part, and then have a final assembly at the end with good photos, at which point you can tighten all the nuts and bolts and lock washers down to their full tightness.

Step 1: Supplies & Tools


- 50 cal ammo can
- zinc plated punched steel angle
- punched flat steel bar
- 12 x 24 x .03" steel sheet
- bolts
- nuts
- washers
- lock washers
- rubber U-channel (McMaster)
- silver spray paint
- hinge
- machine screws
- silverware!
- springs (Serv-a-lite #11 conical)
- adhesive rubber feet/stoppers (to keep the springs from bending incorrectly)


- bandsaw
- wrench/screwdriver/pliers
- punch or drill/drill press
- sheet metal shear/angle shear

very cool!
very cool!
I love this! Since cardboard is my medium of choice, I'll replace the metal tray with cardboard. I'll simplify by making the top tray just a lift out with a handle of some sort. Maybe just holes in the two inner dividers. Then I'd just set the silverware on top of the cooking utensils. Summer camping just got easier - and cooler!
Thanks! Sounds like you'll have a great version too - maybe you could cover the cardboard with packing tape to help shield it from the elements. One reason I went for a material like metal (and spray painted it) was that I didn't want to worry about putting away wet silverware if I'm packing up in a hurry. Send some photos of yours!

About This Instructable




Bio: Always looking for things to improve, repair, improvise, or modify. Studied mechanical engineering and physics at Stanford with a focus on robotics and international development ... More »
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