A spice rack? A Spice Rack!

What is the most ubiquitous wood working project you can think of?
A box? A birdhouse?

How about a spice rack?

This is one that has been on my to do list for years, I keep telling my wife I’m going to do it, but then more interesting projects get made first. Finally though, its day has come, the spice rack is built!

The original intention was for it to match the calendar holder I recently made for my wife. Seeing as both items would be hanging in the kitchen I thought it would be nice to see them as though they were a matching pair. But then, time constraints came along and I had only a few hours to build it. Speeding up the build meant dropping the hand cut mortises and doing things on the table saw instead.

Instead of mortise and tenons, this rack is built with half lap joints. It means I was able to cut, glue and finish (with a spray) in the course of about 3 hours. A really fun little project to make.


If you like, you can download the sketchup model here, but fair warning, I didn’t build mine to match it. Apart from the obvious mistake I make part way through the vid, I never intended to build it to exact dimensions. I knew what I wanted to build and just used the model as a guide to help visualise things.

This rack is built from merbau for the shelves and spotted gum for the sides and top brace. Putting the spray coating on was great fun and a simple way to finish it, it’s amazing how wood changes once you apply a finish. All the troubles and problems in the build just fade away.

As for the design itself, I’m still undecided on the no backing and no rail for the jars to sit behind. I skipped the rails as I don’t see how anything can fall off, if the rack is hanging flat on the wall, the shelves will be level and the jars will stay put. I’m going to hang it for a month and see how we go, if I find we are constantly knocking the jars over, I will attach a rail for each shelf.

The lack of a back panel was a choice I made because I didn’t want to lose 6mm of clearance. Now that I have it finished, I see that I probably could afford to lose that space. Once again, I’ll test it out for a while, if I decide that seeing the wall behind the jars is too unappealing, I’ll be able to take a router and a rabbeting bit to the back and insert a panel. For the moment though, I like the basic look.

So there you go, not uber exciting but a project that needed to be done!

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