Introduction: Reclaimed Pine Utensil Caddy With Dovetailed Frame
I wanted to make a utensil caddy to fit our brand new cabinets. The overall dimension is about 16" wide, 9" deep, and 2" tall. The wood is an old 2x4 and shiplap from a house renovation. The frame is dovetailed, and the base is some leftover walnut plywood. It's finished with oil and varnish.
Step 1: Mill the Wood
I started with a 2x4 and a piece of shiplap. I used a catspaw to take out all of the old burlap nails from the shilap and cut the 2x4 into roughly 3/8" pieces. I then planed all pieces to the same 1/4" thickness. I then cut all of the pieces to just under 2" width. This is the finished stock.
Step 2: Measure and Cut Frame to Length
I marked the width of the drawer and cut the stock to length. Then I placed some utensils in the drawer and cut the sides to length.
Step 3: Dovetails! Measure and Mark Tails
I'll break the dovetails into three steps: marking tails, cutting the tails, mark and cut the pins.
Check the thickness of the stock and mark it on the sides of the mating part. I then set the angle on a bevel gauge, and marked the pins (I'm cutting the tails first, so the pins are marked to be removed)
Step 4: Cut Tails
I used a fine kerf pull-saw to cut along the lines, a coping saw to remove the bulk of the waste, then a chisel to clean the faces. The pull-saw is also used to cut away the half pins on the edge of the board. When cleaning the faces with the chisel, only cut half way, turn the pieces over, and finish the cut from the other side.
Step 5: Mark and Cut the Pins
Set the tails board to mark the angles on the edge of the pins board. Instead of using a coping saw, you can also just use a chisel to break away the waste. Set the chisel away from the knife line to break away the bulk of the waste, then pare away the remaining waste.
Step 6: Assemble the Frame
With the dovetails cut, the frame can be glued together. My dovetails were okay, but to make them look flawless, insert a shim into any gaps. I then glued on an over-sized piece of plywood for the bottom, making sure the frame was square. Once the glue was dry, I used a track saw to trim the base flush with the frame.
Step 7: Cut and Glue the Dividers
Mark the stock to the depth of the frame, and cut to length. I then used a dinner plate to mark a curve on the dividers, and used the coping saw to cut the curve. One of the dividers split while being cut, but it was a clean break and could be glued together easily. I then sanded the curve and glued the dividers in place.
Step 8: Sand and Finish
With the caddy assembled, I sanded the whole thing and applied the finish. For this I started with a coat of danish oil, and added a layer of varnish on top. I used danish oil because it looks nice, but this may have to deal with some water and a fair amount of abuse just from clanking utensils. With the finish applied, it's hard to tell where the gaps in the dovetails used to be.
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