Introduction: Wooden Plate/Charger Storage Holder

About: Avid hobbyist and Handyman

"Necessity is the mother of invention" and it doesn't matter if it is yours or someone else's, if its necessary, then the invention will follow. This holder was made because of a client/friend's need to transport these plates for one of her events.

These plates are not your everyday dinner plates, so the typical plate storage would not have worked. Furthermore, she wanted to transport and store a certain quantity which the common holders could not deliver on. In fact, these are not plates but beaded glass chargers.

Step 1: Materials

Although these holders can stand alone, I initially design this to fit a storage tote purchased from Lowes.

  • 2x3x8 (I used 2x3's because of the weight of these chargers). For smaller and lighter plates smaller dimension lumber can be used. ($2.22 each)
  • 3/8 x 4 dowels (.98 each)
  • 1 5/8 Trim screws ($9.47/bx)
  • Wood glue ($2.97)

Step 2: Tools

  • Hand or circular saw
  • Speed square
  • Writing or scoring implement
  • Cordless drill
  • Drill press or Multi-Angle Drill Guide Attachment
  • 3/8 drill bit
  • Tape Measure
  • Mitre Cutter
  • Small hammer

Step 3: The Process #1

Holder Framing Layout

Measure the inside length and width of the tote and cut your 2x3 to match

Place the 2x3s in the tote with the width (short side/base) first then the length (long side/rail) on top.

Stand a plate or plates between rails. This is used to figure out the spacing of the dowels and width of holde,

PLEASE NOTE: You may have to slide one of the long side's 2x3's in depending on the size of the plate.

  • If you have to adjust for the plate size, mark where the adjustment is made on the base.
  • You know you at the right adjustment when the bottom of the plate is about 1/4" from the bottom of the tote. You don't want the bottom of the plate to be resting on the tote.
  • Remove the plates
  • To center the rails, take the measurement from the mark you made on the base to the nearest end and divide by two.

Measuring the width of plate

  • Temporarily attach the frame in order to calculate the spacing of dowels
  • Stand plate up again
  • Slide marking the implement along the front and back of the plate.
  • Make mark around 1/2 from the inner edger of rail
  • This will determine the spacing.

For these vintage chargers, the spacing was 1 inch. For regular 8' dinner plate, I find 3/4 spacing to work.

PLEASE NOTE: The picture above is to be used as a guide, and not for the actual design. I was experimenting with different dowel positioning and this was the only picture I took (bummer).

Step 4: Process #2

Using a tape measure, mark your spacing for the dowels along the rails.

PLEASE NOTE: You don't want the dowels too far out. They act as a cushion for the plates.

Loosen you temporary attachment

Now it is time to drill the holes for the dowels. Some individuals are skilfull at drilling straight holes by using only their hands. I tried it and it did not work out for me.

Initially, I used a Multi-Angle Drill Guide Attachment which I purchased from Amazon. This worked very well. But I needed to make more holders, so I upgraded to a drill press that was much faster and less painful (OUCH!). I received an excellent open box deal for the press at Harbor Freight.

  • I used a 3/8 bit to drill the holes

CAUTION: Do not drill the holes all the way through the rails. Leave about a 1/4".

Step 5: Process #3

Properly align the rails to the base

  • Flip over and attach the base to the rail using the trim screws. I used 2 screws per corner.
  • Sink screws below material.

CAUTION: Remember where the holes are for the dowels inserts. You don't want a screw to be inserted in one of the dowel slots.

Cut dowels to length. I used a manual the miter cutter. You can group dowels together and use a powered miter saw. Be careful not to chip inserts.

  • To find the length of the dowels inserts, measure the diameter of the plate and subtract the width of the depth of the base.

Keep this in mind when determining how much dowels to purchase.

Squeeze a small amount of glue into the holes and tap into place.

CAUTION: Add glue to no more than 3 holes at a time. I find the glue to dry very quickly making it more difficult to insert the dowels.

Note: If the holes were drilled all the way through, some of the glue would run out. This will prevent a tight bond and also cause a messy work area.

Let it dry overnight then sand the edges for a smooth finish.

Step 6: TADA

I'm sorry I do not have more pictures. I did not plan on doing an instructable while making this.

This was a 21 plate holder charger. My friend/client was very pleased with the end product.

Like everything in life, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

I hope this was helpful. Your feedback is always welcome