Cabinet-Mounted Spice Rack

I originally made this in 2015. We recently moved, and I was able to re-use this at the new place.

The final product

This matched the cabinets at our last place pretty well. And it holds all our spices.

spice rack installed, with spices

By the time I finished this we had collected enough spices to fill it up

The plan

This started out as a simple rack, where every shelf went all the way across. But I forgot that we have some extra-tall spice containers, so I altered it to have a double-height section on the left side.

In the previous image you can see on the left side of the double-height section that I filled in holes that shouldn’t have been there. I updated the plans to make a double-height section, but forgot to remove the construction marks on the wood so I drilled holes there anyway. Oops.

original plan, pen on paper

Basic sketch, to figure out what materials I needed to buy

The wood

At this point I didn’t own many tools. I bought some oak project boards from Lowes and cut them to length with a hand saw. I also didn’t have a work bench, so I did the cutting on some cardboard on the floor of the garage. I used masking tape to keep the boards from splintering too much.

the boards, cut to length

Not the greatest lighting

The dowel jig

I made a jig to drill holes for the dowels, to align the holes in the ends of the boards with the holes in the vertical pieces.

This started out as a jig to drill the holes in the vertical pieces, and it mostly worked except that some of the boards were wider than others (lesson learned - process everything to the same size first). After drilling holes in the uprights, I converted it to work for the ends of the horizontal pieces.

And shortly before doing this I got a work bench, which made things a bit easier.

dowel jig - where the boards fit

The horizontal pieces fit down in this part, so I could drill into the ends

dowel jig - result of drilling the holes

Dowel holes drilled into the ends - not quite straight, but what mattered was that each one was the same

The button jig

There are some round rails that go across the front of each shelf, to keep the spices from falling out. For a nicer joint where the rails meet the vertical boards, I wanted to use some buttons. The holes in the buttons would need to be drilled accurately, since there is not much overhang and skewing to one side would look bad.

So, I made another jig to drill the holes for the rails through the buttons. It was just two pieces of scrap clamped together, with holes centered on the buttons.

button jig - alignment and button holes

Drilled small holes for alignment, then drilled out holes to fit the buttons

button jig - TODO

Tested with a single hole - right down the center

button jig - TODO

Finished drilling all the holes

The vertical pieces

This is after all the holes have been drilled, with the buttons in place. Somewhere around this point I realized that I also needed a button on the opposite side of the short vertical piece, so I had to fix that.

vertical boards ready for assembly

Buttons are glued in place, ready for assembly

Fully assembled

Ready for final sanding and finishing.

assembled before finishing

I sanded everything down, and gave this a couple coats of polyurethane

Dowel detail

I drilled the dowel holes all the way through the verticals, and cut and sanded them flush with the surface. I thought it gave a nice look.

visible dowel detail

I thought about staining this to make it stand out more, but liked the color as it was

Installed and ready to use!

This is where I installed it at our previous place. To attach to the cabinet, I cut some small pieces to fit under the top and bottom corners, and screwed those in from behind.

installed on end of cabinets

I did use a few screws to attach it to the cabinet, so I guess it’s not completely without screws

Update 2019: At the new place

We got rid of a bunch of old spices before we moved, and started storing our tea in this.

new place, on the end of cabinets, again

Thankfully it fit really well on the end of the cabinets again

That’s it!

(This was originally published on Imgur, in 2015)

(See discussion of this post: Reddit thread in r/DIY from 2015)