The utensil drawer in my kitchen has long been an annoyance. I have a generic organizer that doesn't fit in the drawer well and it definitely isn't tall enough. It's an annoyance that's easy to ignore, but I decided to fix it. In the process I organized a few drawers. It revolutionized the junk drawer. No longer do I spend minutes searching for an item. While I considered plastic, I opted for 1/4" MDF.
• 1/4" MDF
• wood glue
• clear spray paint
• Table saw, with crosscut sled
• Router with 1/4" flute
• Band saw
• French curve, optional
This is subjective based on your drawer. My drawer was 11"x19"
• (1) 11"x19"
• (2) 19"x4" - (2) 1/4" dado cuts
• (2) 10.5"x3.75" - (4) 1/4" dado cuts
• (4) 9"x4"
• I already had scrap MDF on hand. If you need MDF, you can get a 2'x4' piece from a big box store for $8.00.
• Always use caution with power tools.
• I would not attempt to cut pieces this small on a table saw without a crosscut sled.
• I wear a respirator when tooling wood. I don't want to breathe in tiny wood particles, especially MDF.
• Paint in a well ventilated area and wear a respirator
I built the organizer to fill the entire drawer and to be as tall as the drawer. I sized this to the silverware I have, but I did make it slightly larger. I don't know the standard silverware size, if such a thing exits, but I also don't plan on upgrading silverware anytime soon.
I cut the pieces on a table saw and when the pieces fit on my sled, I used that.
I used a router to cut the dados. I used a divider as a guide, holding it in place by hand and lining up the pieces so I could do a cut through both pieces. My router bit didn't cut quite wide enough for the MDF to slot in. I made my cut, then placed a piece of paper folded (3) sheets thick on the guide and cut again. This made the slot the perfect width for the MDF. I settled on (3) sheets thick by starting with (1) and working my way up until the MDF fit the slot.
I cut a swoop into the center dividers because you cant' reach into the center spaces with them being so narrow and tall. The lowest point is 5/8", the rest I just did what 'looks good.' I used a flexible ruler to draw the radii. The curve was cut out with a band saw with all (4) dividers taped together. I then sanded the edges.
The side runners and bottom did need an 1/8" trimmed off to fit in the drawer. You may have seen an extra dado on one of the side runners. Measuring twice doesn't always work when you've written down the wrong dimension. Luckily I was off far enough that I could just cut another dado and not have to worry about filling the slot/creating an extra large slot.
I don't have to glue this, and decided not to. It holds together perfectly fine, constricted by the drawer. Having it able to break down also makes future clean up easier. I did clear coat it to facilitate future clean up, though it's unlikely I will clean it that often.
I liked this one so much, I built a second for a different drawer.