When my sister purchased her first home, I built her a custom golf rack. After noticing her mess of a silverware drawer, I decided to help her out with a little more organization! This silverware organizer was built out of 3/4″pine boards with non-slip mats in the trays.
I grabbed some measurements of her drawer, then used Sketchup to ensure the best use of space. I played around with some of my own silverware and decided that five trays 2 1/4″ wide, plus a 3″ tray on the right hand side for larger utensils, and a long, wide tray in the rear would be the best use of space.
3/4″ thick dividers were too bulky looking, so I decided to rip them down to a 1/4″ thick, after I had cut them to width. Ripping such thin material has the risk of the 1/4″ piece falling down the gap between the blade and table insert. I didn’t have a thickness planer at the time, so I used the table saw with a piece of plywood clamped to the table. This essentially gives me a zero clearance gap, making the operation safer. I cut just over halfway, flipped the piece, and finished he cut.
With the long and short pieces all ripped down, I taped them together and cut them to their final length on the miter saw. A stop block could have been clamped to the fence for repeatability, but with such a small amount, tape works fine.
The dividers are all dadoed into the stretchers to keep them in place and help with alignment. To do this, I taped the two stretchers together, flipped them over, and routed a dado through them on the router table with a 1/4″ straight bit. The taller piece of wood in the back was screwed to the miter gauge, to give me a place to safely hold onto, as well as prevent tear-out.
With all parts cut to size and the dados cut in, I gave everything a good sanding. Using the table saw to rip the pieces to thickness isn’t ideal, and required a bit of flattening. Luckily soft pine gives in easily to 120 grit sandpaper.
The bottom of the silverware organizer was cut from a piece of 1/2″ plywood and glued/nailed to the sides using the 18 gauge brad nailer. The side rails are all pin nailed using 23 gauge pins, due to the thin material. Once the bottom was secured, all of the dividers can be slid into place with a bit of glue.
Per usual, I overdid it with the clamps!
I sprayed a few coats of polyurethane on the project to protect it from the abuse I’m sure it will receive. I don’t use spray poly often, but on a project like this, with so many small parts and corners, it works great.
Non slip drawer liners in all of the dividers keeps silverware held in place when the drawer opens and closes. Four small scraps stapled into the corners keeps the organizer itself stuck to the bottom of the drawer.
This was a very simple, yet functional project. It turned out quite nice and is getting plenty of use, which is really the best you can hope for one of your projects!