Instructables
Picture of Hanging Magnetic Spice Rack
My wife and I really enjoy cooking, so we have a lot of spices. We have a fairly small kitchen so we need to maximize our counter space for work areas. We had our spices in a cabinet but hated that they took up an entire shelf. We were looking for a spice rack that drops down from under the cabinet, but didn't find any we liked so we came up with this. The spice jars have a small flat Neodymium magnet glued onto the top and we mounted a sheet of metal to the underside of the cabinet from which the spices hang.

This setup unfortunately adds a little inconvenience because you need to affix a magnet to the top of every new spice jar. To make it as painless as possible we have a little bag in our junk drawer with the glue and magnets ready to go.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Magnets
We ordered 100 3/8 in x 1/16 in Thick, Grade N42, Rare Earth Neodymium Disc Magnets from Magnet 4less for $9.00.

http://www.magnet4less.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_11&products_id=107

Glue
We went through a lot of different types of glues trying to find one that worked well bonding metal to plastic. I didn't want to use epoxy just to avoid mixing. We settled on plain old Krazy Glue and then Loctite Super Glue once we ran out of the former. They both worked equally as well.

We had 28 spice jars and with through a whole bottle of Krazy Glue and a half bottle of the Loctite. The Loctite had a much larger size (20g) than I could find for Krazy Glue (5g).

Metal
We ordered two custom-cut metal A366/1008 0.0359" (20 ga.) cold roll steel sheets from OnlineMetals.com for $28.51. Just a friendly reminder, make sure to measure twice before placing your metal order! Also, make sure to measure the area where you want to mount the metal, not the actual cabinet dimensions, and take a little off for a safety margin.

We went with cold roll over stainless for two reasons. The sheet would be mounted under the cabinet and not seen, so no need to get the "prettier" metal. Second, and most important, the cold roll steel has a much stronger attraction with magnets, compared to almost none with stainless steel. I think the cold roll can rust up, but I'm not sure how much of a problem that will become.

http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?pid=12780&step=4&showunits=inches&id=944&top_cat=197

Screws and Washers
We had plenty of screws and washers left over from other projects so we just used the ones that looked best. Pick screws that are short enough that they don't go up through the bottom of the cabinet. If you don't have any short ones just cut a long one down and drill a pilot hole.

Step 2: Prepare the Metal

I wish I had a drill press for this step. All you need to do is put a hole in each corner for the screws, and maybe a hole in the middle for wide sheets. Sounds simple enough. I had no access to anything more than a power drill so that's what I used. By the last few holes I realized the more weight I put downward the faster it went and the less the bit slipped when starting the hole.

Don't forget to put a piece of scrap wood or something similar under where your are drilling so you don't put a hole in whatever your sheet is sitting on.

Step 3: Mount the Metal Sheet

Picture of Mount the Metal Sheet
Hold the sheet up to the bottom of the cabinet and mark where the holes are. Drill small pilot holes and then fasten the sheet to the cabinet using the screws and washers. Again, try to find screws that are short enough that they won't go through the bottom of your cabinet. Same goes for your pilot holes, don't go all the way through the wood.

Step 4: Prepare Spices

Get all your spices, magnets, and glue ready. Put a drop of glue in the center of the lid, put the magnet on top of that drop, then cover the magnet completely with glue.

We never found a glue that would bind the magnet to the lid strong enough to hang. Instead, we create a puddle of glue within which the magnet is held.

Step 5: Hang Spices

Picture of Hang Spices
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HangingSpices3.jpg
HangingSpices2.jpg
Make sure the glue is completely dry, it should feel like plastic. Once it's dry hang em' up! We had two spices that were heavy so we added a second magnet. Other than that we were good to go.

Almost all of our spice jars had flip-open lids, rather than screw off. We were worried that the lids would flip open hanging or when we pulled them down, but it turns out that the flip lids need more force than the magnet so there hasn't been any problems.

Looking at my pictures I realized I have almost all McCormick seasoning. I in no way advocate for McCormick!
sparker257 months ago
Just a suggestion regarding the glue. Auto parts stores sell a 3M brand glue for attatching rubber trim to metal. Comes in a squeeze tube and is very strong. Would definitely do the trick for bonding plastic lids to metal magnets. No mixing required.
taylon5 (author)  sparker257 months ago

Thanks for the suggestion!

Hmmm, there's an 'ible for making etched spice jars from recycled Frappacino jars. I wonder with their metal lids if you could just let the magnet do its thing between lid and mounted steel without having to glue...? This is a fantastic idea tho.
taylon5 (author)  Kestapotamus1 year ago
Thanks a lot! I think that would work great with the Frappacino jars, maybe a bit big though.
tacamaral3 years ago
This is a great idea! : )

Let me just give you two tips: when drilling through sheet metal, the drill bit tends to dance around the spot where you actually want to drill (I think they like to tease us): to avoid this, get a nail and hammer a small dent exactly where you want to drill.

The other one is that the metal will probably rust, especially because it's in a kitchen. You can either varnish the sheets with a thin layer, just to stop moisture and oxygen from reaching the metal, or you could get galvanized steel, since it won't rust. : )
This is a great idea! My husband and I just bought a bunch of great spices from myspicesage.com and now my cupboard overfloweth.

As far as lids and such go; we get our spices from the previously mentioned site (they're wonderful!) or we get them from our local Winco store where they have a fairly large bulk foods department which includes a good sized bulk spice section. They also sell different sized plastic spice bottles for very reasonable prices. I would think that using lightweight plastic spice containers would help to ensure that the magnet would stick to the steel plate and not pull loose because of heavy glass containers.
tetrislvr3 years ago
why dont you just reuse the same lid on the new jars?..that way you dont have to keep regluing..!
taylon5 (author)  tetrislvr3 years ago
Great suggestion.
dawoj3 years ago
Nice idia
Spice rack4 years ago
I really like how you organize things on the picture with the spice rack. It's clean, accessible and well organized. great post!
taylon5 (author)  Spice rack4 years ago
Thanks a lot!
Scott_Tx4 years ago
Nice, I'm thinking you could reverse this too. Put a bolt or screw in the lid of the spices and get a magnetic tool rack to put under the shelf.