When it came time to knock up a batch of hot cross buns the other day, I thought I had the perfect tray to bake them in, but after half an hour of rattling and banging around in the kitchen cabinets, it turned out that I did not.
What I did have was a storage problem with my baking trays, cooling racks, pot lids, muffin trays and roasting pans. I decided that I could save space if I stored more of the flat items standing up on their long edge between vertical dividers. Measurements were taken and rough plans drawn up.
I cut two pieces of 17mm plywood to fit. With the blade of my table saw set to 6mm in height, each piece was passed through once and the fence moved 53mm further from the blade so that the 3mm plywood dividers would set up 50mm gaps (except for the final cut).
A quick test fit for the base and top showed that all was well.
I gave it a good sanding, an undercoat and then I applied two coats of matte white paint with a light sanding between coats. After each coat and while the paint was still wet, I pushed an offcut of 3mm plywood through each of the grooves and wiped off any paint that was dragged out. This is an important step as it stopped the grooves from getting smaller and smaller with each coat of paint.
A few days later and we were ready for fitting.
I put the base part in place and, using three batons, I cut to a calculated length (original gap minus two thicknesses of plywood minus a teensy fudge factor). I held the top piece in position to check the fit and to measure the height of the dividers in situ. Also note the small rebate that I routed out to fit around the magnetic catch for one door and the spring catch of the other.
With a couple of dividers in place to ensure the vertical alignment of the slots, a few brad nails locked the top and bottom pieces in place. No glue in case I ever want to move this rack to another position. The brads were mainly to stop the upper and lower pieces from moving side to side and becoming misaligned. The top is mostly held in place by the rest of the dividers.
I batched out a bunch of dividers on the table saw and used a jigsaw to cut a half circle on one end. I gave all the edges a good sanding and the top and bottom edge got a rub with a cake of soap for lubrication.
Pick a slot, slide in a divider and we're just about done.
Rack 'em and stack 'em and this project is complete.