Spice Rack Bandsaw Drawers




About: BongoDrummer is co-founder of Flowering Elbow. He loves to learn about, share, invent, and make things, particularly from waste materials. Check out his youtube channel: www.youtube.com/floweringelbow

Our story starts when I finished making a disc sander and yearned to use it to make something nice and curvy. A bandsaw box style thing seemed the perfect little project to put it through its paces.

Unfortunately the the first attempt was a bit of a fail (see the first video). But fortunately it focused our ideas about what we actually wanted to make, and resulted in something quite cool!

This instructable is about that second build, which was a tall set of drawers that we now have on our kitchen wall. We use it to store spices (but I'm sure you guys can think of all kinds of other uses).

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Step 1: Make a Shape Design

As I mentioned this is a big tall design, which is a bit unusual for a bandsaw box - I haven't seen any others. I wanted a kinda alternating fish like design, and after some playing about in Inkscape, this is the rough and ready shape I came up with (.svg attached).

I didn't spend too long on this as I figured I could 'seat of pants bandsaw' to make adjustments ;)

Once happy I printed out the design leaving an overlap between sheets. Then I stuck them down to some laminated wood I had prepared (I go into that fun in the video). Don't do what I did and use a spray adhesive that doesn't ever want to be removed - it increases the required sanding!

Step 2: Cut Out the Shape on the Bandsaw.

Because this box is made from laminated wood, I havent glued the back on yet - you shouldn't either! Or if you have a back, cut it off before cutting the thing in half.

Why the cutting in half? Because it's so tall It would not fit inside the throat of the bandsaw. This would stop us cutting all the curves we need to. So yeah, choose one of the lines and cut the box in half.

Then you're ready to cut out the drawers on the bandsaw. I used a 3/16" 6tpi blade, which is quite good for this sort of work.

Step 3: Shape the Back and Glue It On

Next I shaped the back on the bandsaw so that the main body fit on nicely. When happy go ahead and glue the back on.

When gluing on the back, the two halves are rejoined, rejoice!

Step 4: Slice Off the Front and Back of the Drawers

Before we cut out the middles we need to slice off the front and back of the drawers.

I set up the rip fence on the bandsaw and cut away. If you are mega fussy you might change the blade to a thin kerf ripper, but really, who's gonna bother with that?

Step 5: Cut Out the Drawer's Middle, Glue on the Fronts and Backs.

For these drawers I chose to make some have dividers, some not - you can make any shape cubbies in the drawers you please.

Once you have sliced out the middle on the bandsaw, glue the front and back back on.

When that's dry, the optional step is to sand them smooth. I did this on all the outside radius curves using the big new disk sander :D Satisfaction was only slightly diminished by not having a bobbin sander to do the inside curves, and the thought of lots of hand sanding. Really all this is optional - there is a certain charm in bandsaw lines ;) So long as there is no burnt bits. Burnt bits will not be tolerated!

Step 6: Make Some Handles

Once more it's time to unleash your awesome creativity and make some handles! I used the scraps cut out from the middle of the drawers, cut them on the bandsaw, and further shaped them on the disk sander.

Step 7: Keyhole Slot or Other Mounting System

Originally I was just making this to try the disk sander, but when Sam saw it, It was deemed we must keep it for our own kitchen. As such we needed to mount it on the wall, and a wall fixing is a good idea in general, with something this tall (not mega stable when stood on its base).

We used a keyhole router bit to make the keyhole slots in the back.

Step 8: Glue Squeeze Out, Finishing, Oiling.

There's always a bit of glue squeeze out (at least when I make things!). So lets remove that!

I used a small chisel to get into the nooks. Its not fun and it takes a while. I waited for a sunny day and sat outside ;)

Same goes for the final hand sand.

I used Osmo PolyX-Oil to finish it. It's my favorite finish: green, eco, children's toys and food safe, durable, you can even use it as underarm deodorant.

Step 9: Populate Your New Drawers

So as I mentioned we are using it as a spice rack (alphabetically arranged, of course), but I'd love to hear (and see!) what you might do.

I hope that was of some use, happy making.

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    31 Discussions


    I really like this. It combines two things I really like: clever woodworking and spice racks. Nice job!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is the most genius, clever and beautiful wood working I've ever seen on Instructables. I'm now dreaming of hobbit hole walls lined with your beautiful draws!

    Hi John. Thanks! If you take a look at the instructable there is a .svg file download of the template, which is to scale - so that takes care of dimensions (oops I see that's not showing up as intended, will sort that out later when I have time).

    For Materials - take a look at the second video - each of them are discussed. As usual I am reluctant to give a 'proper' bill of materials because they are all reclaimed. I would much rather people use what's available to them. For example, I used mahogany, but only because I fond it in a skip, I wouldn't like people to go out an buy that - there's not so many of those trees left...)

    Hope that's ok? Post a pic if you make one :)

    LOL. Me to :)

    Na, only joking, I could have fixed it really, but I had started formulating more exciting plans by that point.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Very interesting design and amazing result!
    I would have personally chosen a different kind of handles, I like round, small, classic drawer handles, just a personal thought.

    By the way, it looks like some of your photos suffer from high ISO levels (the slight coloured grain you can see in some photos), try lowering the camera ISO setting to the lowest possible, you'll need a steadier hand, but the quality will increase enormously. I've been impressed on how good my photos look after I found this out!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    very cool!

    I used to work at a wood shop when I was a teenager making jewelry boxes like you showed in the video. Me and one other guy made A couple hundred of them a week. Great fun. We used CA glue (cyanoacrylate) with a spray hardener for all the drawers and smaller parts. They were sort of like puzzles where you had to remove a "key" piece to be able to slide out another piece that led to a tiny drawer. We used buckeye burl and a redwood burl.

    Nice job, and cheers!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Nicely done; congrats on the sander win, btw. What did you do with the cut-outs from the drawers? I'm surprised you didn't go the rest of the way and make lids with them.

    1 reply

    I just made the handles from bits of the middles. The rest went in the stove. I didn't actually realize we were going to keep the box and use it as a spice rack - if so maybe I would have considered lids - but to be honest 14 extra complications only sounds appealing in rose tinted retrospect.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful labor of love!

    Perhaps a pair of teadrop shaped bongos next. Whole different set of harmonics and might be sweeter than spherical. Or not. :-)


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is so just so amazingly beautiful!!! Wonderful work!!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    fan-frickin-tastic...looks like it's straight out of the Shire.