Intro: Tri Level Chest Freezer Organizer
Do you have a chest freezer that's just full of stuff and you always have to take stuff out to get to it? Well, my grandmother has a chest freezer and it was a little hard to get stuff in and out without moving everything. I did some research discovered that the best solution seemed to be a three-level system.
The first part of this project is a base of HDPE plastic which I cut into pieces that fit together as a grid. The second layer is some plastic trays that can slide across the top of the first layer. Then the third level is a couple of wire baskets, that came with the freezer, which hangs from the top lip.
Step 1: Decide on the Height for Your Base Layer Grid Then Take Some Measurements.
This freezer has a raised part in the right corner where the internals live. Making the grid flush with the height of this raised section looked like a good place to start.
Measure the height, length, and depth of the area where you want the grid to be.
It's a good idea to not have the grid so tight in the space in case there is frost or ice that forms inside the freezer.
Take 1/4 - 1/2 inch off of your final measurements so that there will be a little gap for the frost/ice that forms on the interior freezer walls.
Step 2: Measure and Cut Out the Plastic Pieces for Your Base Grid.
For a 6 section grid, you will need 4 pieces of plastic that are cut to the exact same height dimension.
You will need 2 pieces that run the entire width (left to right) and 2 pieces that run the entire depth (front to back),
For best results use a table saw as it will give you the most even and consistent cut. A second choice, if you don't have that, would be a circular saw. You could also use other types of saws but depending on your skills and experience you may not have consistent dimensions with your cuts.
Step 3: Cut Some Notches So the Pieces Can Fit Together
Now that you have the pieces cut you'll want to decide on how you want your grid to look. You can have the spaces be identical sizes but it's not entirely necessary.
Once you determine how you want your grid to look make some measurements to mark the center of each intersection. There should be two marks or measurements for the two long pieces and two marks or measurements for the two short pieces. These marks will be where the intersections are located at. These are the areas where you will cut notches in your material.
Now that you know where the intersections will be located it's time to make some marks.
On one of your pieces make 2 marks on the same edge of the plastic where the two intersections will be.
Now measure the height of your material and take half of that. If your material is 14 inches high then half of that would be 7 inches. It's ok if your notch is a little over half but will not work if the notch depth is less than half.
Using a carpenter's square draw a clearly visible line from the mark on the edge of the material straight down the material until you get to the previously measured halfway point.
This line is marking the location of your notch but not the width of the notch. You can either measure the thickness of your material and use a ruler to make some additional markings for the notch. Of you could use a scrap or other piece of material on its edge, place it over the line you just drew then draw a line around it. You'll have the exact dimensions of your notch visible on the material.
Using a hand held jig saw would make cutting out this notch fairly easy. Just go slow and stead and try to gut out the best you can and stay inside the lines.
Repeat the process for the other notch locations on all 4 pieces. You'll have 2 notches on each piece of material.
**Please pay attention and make cut the notches on the going in the same direction for each piece of plastic.
Step 4: Do a Test Fit and Make Adjustments As Needed.
To assemble just match two pieces together and one part will have a notch going up and the other will have a notch going down.
If the pieces are too tight you may need to make some adjustments to the notch that is binding. Depending on how much material needs to be removed, you can use a file or some sandpaper until the pieces fit together without any effort.
Step 5: Install the Base Grid Into the Freezer and Fill With Food.
Step 6: Locate Some Baskets or Bins That Will Be Used for the Middle Layer.
This freezer has some wire baskets that hang from the top edge of the freezer.
Measure the distance from the bottom of the basket and the top of the base grid that you just installed.
You should have several inches of space and should be able to locate some appropriate sized baskets or containers that can sit on top of the base grid and can move around below the metal hanging baskets.
The last step is to put everything neatly back into your freezer
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