Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Diagonal Drawer Divider Tutorial

Remember that list of New Year's resolutions I shared?  The impossible one with too much for one person to do?  Well, I've been working on a few of them.  Actually "organizing the closets" turned into a lot more when a friend of mine inspired me to join in on the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge.  This is an encouraging site that gives a manageable task to complete each week, helping you to tackle the whole house in the course of a year.  A couple of weeks ago, the task was to organize the cabinets and drawers.  I immediately remembered this cool utensil divider I saw on Pinterest.

This comes recommended by This Old House, and is made by MasterBrand.  I was ready to buy the thing...until I found out it costs a whopping $75!  So instead, I showed the picture to Jonathan, who said he would make one for me. 

It cost him less than $5 and took him one evening to make.  (That is, one child free evening while the rest of us were in Arizona.)

I had recently moved all my spoons and other large utensils from a container on the counter to this drawer.  It was a huge mess.  While my drawer still doesn't look quite as magazine-worthy as the one in the showroom, it is improved by about a million.

Here we go!

Materials needed:

- Miter saw (You might not have one of these just hanging around, but it's what makes the angled cuts of wood, so it's pretty important.)
- Wood.  Our drawer is 4" deep, so Jonathan used 1x4's (which are actually 3 1/4" high).   You need enough to make a box on the inside of the drawer, and then the diagonal slats.  For ours, 2 8 foot boards was more than enough.  There are different qualties of boards. Jonathan went with the least expensive, but made sure to seach for boards that were straight.
- Hammer and finishing nails
- Wood glue
- Tape measure
- Clamp (or an extra pair of hands, if your wife is not out of town)

Step One: Make a box.
Measure the inside of the drawer.  You want the box to fits snugly inside of it.  Here's how to do this using minimal math.  To make sure the sides of the box are exactly the same length, cut one board, then use it to mark the cutting line for the second board (picture one).  Then place both boards inside the length of the drawer and measure the width (picture two).  This is the length needed for the second set of boards.

Step Two: Assemble the box.
Use wood glue to bond the corners together, making sure that the long pieces of wood are on the lenght of the box, and the short pieces form the width.  Finish the corners with nails for added sturdiness (picture three).

Make sure the finished box (picture four) fits inside the drawer before proceeding (picture five.)

Step Three: Cut the diagonal inserts.
Decide where the inserts will be placed in the box.  Mark the lengths on the board (picture six).  Using a miter saw, cut the board at a 45 degree angle.  Make sure that the cuts form a trapezoid (picture seven).

Again, if your board are the same length, you can measure second board against the first (picture eight) 

In our drawer insert, Jonathan made one section larger than the other to accommodate my unwieldy wooden spoon collection.  In this case, not all of the insets are the same length (picture nine).

Step Four: Attach the diagonal inserts to the box.
Using a clamp (or a friend), hold the inserts in place while you attach them to the box using finishing nails (picture ten).  Especially if your box fits flush with the edge of the drawer, drive the nails as deeply into the wood as possible, because they will add to the overall width of the box (picture eleven).  This will also keep the inside of the drawer from being scratched.

And there you have it! The perfect home for large utensils at the perfect price.  I asked Jonathan if he was going to finish the wood.  He said I could take apart the newly installed childproof drawer lock and do it myself.  Unfinished it is...


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