Hole-in-the-Wall Spice Rack

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Introduction: Hole-in-the-Wall Spice Rack

I love to cook! Unfortunately, I have a very small kitchen. Because all my counter-top appliances, gadgets and spices take up a lot of space, I have to be clever about using the limited space I have. Over the years my spice collection has outgrown a conventional spice rack, plus, I don't have a wall to hang one on. Fortunately, I do have a wall that I can hang one in.

Initially, I was unsure if the wall between my kitchen and dining room would accommodate a recessed spice rack, so I drilled a one inch "peek-a-boo" hole behind my calendar and evaluated the hidden studs and electrical service behind the wallboard. I took some measurements and found nothing preventing the installation, so I began building the Hole-in-the-Wall Spice Rack. I designed my rack to hold 38 “Spice Islands” brand jars, the design can be scaled up or down to suit anyone’s kitchen.

Supplies

table saw

drill press

router

1-7/8” Forstner drill bit

1/8” roundover router bit

6mm birch plywood

12mm birch plywood

1-1/4” sheetrock screws

1-5/8” sheetrock screws

#7 x 2-1/4” Deck Plus stainless steel trim screws

wood finish

Step 1: Hole Layout

Step 2: Best Way to Drill Large Diameter Holes in Wood

Two 12mm plywood panels about 12” x 20” were cut and screwed together in the waste margin to form an assembly. The hole placements were laid-out on the front panel and center-punched with an awl. Each mark was drilled with an 1/8” pilot hole that would guide the 1-7/8” Forstner bit. The best results were achieved by drilling the forstner bit ¼” deep in the back side of the assembly and then finishing the hole by drilling from the front side. This method ensured a hole with no wood tear-out on either side.

Step 3: Roundover the Edges

The assembly was then unscrewed and the holes on both sides of both panels were trimmed with a 1/8” radius roundover router bit. These radii gave the rack a pleasant appearance and help guide the jars into their holes.

Next, the two panels were cut to their final size. It's important to offset the panels so the holes are 1/16” lower in the rear panel relative to the front. This gives the jars a slight downward slant in the back to help keep them in place. It's important to that in mind when trimming the panels.

Step 4: Build the Box

With the front panels cut to size, it was time to build the five-sided box to hold them. I left enough clearance between the panels and box so I could easily assemble and disassemble the rack for the remaining steps.

I cut four 12mm thick x 3-7/8” wide boards. Two of them were nominally 10-3/4” long, the other two were nominally 19-3/4” long.

They were glued and screwed together in four places, a 6mm back panel was simply glued to the back of the box. A 6mm thick, 7/8” inch wide mitered frame was glued to the front of the box to finish it.

Step 5: Panel Spacers

Eight small pieces of wood were needed as spacers to hold the panels in position so they could be screwed to the box. Four 1-1/4” cubes were positioned between the box back and the rear panel. They were glued to the interior side of the back of the box and provided extra height so shorter screws could be used to hold the panel stack together. Four 1-1/4” x 1-1/4” x ¾” blocks float between the two panel. To simplify assembly, they could have been glued to the back of the front panel. I found it easiest to predrill the holes in the blocks and panels, and then glue the blocks as described. Apply pieces of cellophane tape anywhere you think glue may leak out, you don’t want any parts to be accidently glued together or you won’t be able to take the rack apart.

Step 6: Mount the Box in the Hole in the Wall

With the box in it’s final form it was ready to be fitted in the wall. The peek-a-boo hole I made in the wall was enlarged to accept the box. The exact hole placement was based on the location of the adjacent studs, build-out boards were added to create a mounting surface for the box. Four clearance holes, two on each side, were drilled in the box for sheetrock screws to hold the box in the wall.

Step 7: Finish the Wood

After demonstrating the parts could easily be assembled and disassembled, it was time to sand the wood and apply a finish. I chose a clear varnish to match my cabinets. Thinning the varnish with mineral spirits enabled me to wipe multiple thin coats of finish on the wood with a cloth. Applying thicker coats with a brush to all those holes would have created a lot of drip marks.

Step 8: Quick-read Labeling

I labeled the spice jar lids with 1/2” wide, white Brother P-Touch laminated tape. I chose a narrow font so I could cram a lot of letters into the limited space on the lid. After printing the labels, I trimmed them to length with a scissor and then “clipped” the ends with a curved fingernail clipper. I’ve found a slightly curved label ends appear more aesthetically pleasing than a 90 degree scissor-cut end on the small diameter lids.

Step 9: Functional and Attractive

I've used the Hole-In-The-Wall Spice Rack for over a year now. It’s very convenient to have all my spices just an arm's length from the stove. Because the spices are in the wall instead of in the cabinet, on the counter or on the wall, I have more room to store other kitchen items.

Fun fact: over one-third of my spices have names that begin with the letter "C".

Plywood Challenge

Participated in the
Plywood Challenge

1 Person Made This Project!

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17 Comments

0
Kardean
Kardean

11 months ago on Step 1

Will most definitely make this

0
sawdustagain
sawdustagain

Reply 11 months ago

Great, I look forward to seeing your version !

0
ToolboxGuy
ToolboxGuy

11 months ago

Very nice build!
I built something like this, long ago, that was a very similar solution, but freestanding. I found that taking the back plate and trimming off a 1/4" to 1/2" from the "bottom edge" would provide that tiny angle to keep things in place better, tilting up the spices just a bit more. I would consider making a mini drawer in this also, for your measuring cups and spoons. Of course, I would have to scream if someone alphabetized my spices "vertically" but if you find it more comfortable, great!

0
sawdustagain
sawdustagain

Reply 11 months ago

Good suggestions!

It would be possible for other builders to stagger the rows instead of the columns, if they like. If they have enough room, they wouldn't have to stagger the jars at all.

Increasing the tilt on the jars is another good idea. One might have to increase the diameter of the holes for clearance.

0
ToolboxGuy
ToolboxGuy

Reply 11 months ago

Yes, the holes become a bit more elliptical, so one must drill into the wood at the same angle of tilt you intend to have. I good drill press can tilt the table for that action. The router bits should still work fine, as long as the bearing wheel is smaller than the narrow side of the ellipse.

0
jjmcgaffey
jjmcgaffey

11 months ago

My parents have a couple in-wall shelves - but they're just pockets, with the spice jars standing on glass shelves within. I really like your slotted-in jars.

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jrial
jrial

11 months ago

This looks great! I might keep this in mind for when I redo my own kitchen. Not as an in-wall mount (it's an outer wall, don't want to mess with its insulating properties), but this idea can also function mounted on the wall, or even as a free-standing tower.

Storing the spice jars horizontally, in "holes" slightly larger than the jar itself minimises the amount of light that can reach the spices, so they're gonna last longer. And you can store way more jars in the same footprint. Awesome idea. :)

0
sawdustagain
sawdustagain

Reply 11 months ago

I hadn't thought about minimizing the light, your are right!

0
calienteyoga1
calienteyoga1

11 months ago

Amazing results! I have thought of doing something similar for storage. Thanks for the clear instructions.

0
sawdustagain
sawdustagain

Reply 11 months ago

Glad I could inspire you, hope it results in a new Instructable!

0
JudyP63
JudyP63

11 months ago

Wonderful idea and good instructible!

0
WVSundown
WVSundown

11 months ago

Excellent idea and the finish is perfect!! Congrats!

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Makerneer
Makerneer

11 months ago

Well done, I like it! Thanks for sharing!

0
GFire
GFire

11 months ago

NICE!!!

0
hmv4u
hmv4u

11 months ago

clever use of space

0
kenbob
kenbob

11 months ago

Brilliant idea and beautiful instructable. Thank you for sharing!

0
sawdustagain
sawdustagain

Reply 11 months ago

Your kind comments are much appreciated.