Tri-level Silverware/Knife Drawer

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Project by RussInMichigan posted 06-06-2014 02:31 PM 3943 views 34 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The old silverware and knife drawer needed serious attention. I made a new one.

The first photo shows the end result, a silverware organizer with two levels of knife slides above it – one for heavy cutlery, and the other for paring knives and steak knives.

The second photo shows what needed the serious attention. The knives were mostly thrown in together meaning their edges were bound to get banged up, requiring more sharpening. The solution avoids the blades ever making contact with other metal when they are in their proper place. I hope we can keep a keen edge longer on our kitchen cutlery.

The third photo shows the drawer box. Half inch Baltic birch plywood, dadoed out for a 3/8” Baltic birch bottom. I dovetailed the corners and rounded over the top edge of the box.

The fourth photo shows the silverware organizer itself.

In the fifth image I’m doing the layout for the heavy cutlery slide. I cut paper to the right size, set the knives in place and traced the handles and blades. Once the template was ready I mounted it with spray adhesive to a 3/8” maple glue-up, then cut out the handles recesses with my scroll saw.

Picture six shows the carving of the finger recesses in progress. I removed most of the waste with bench chisels and gouges. Then, I finalized the shape and profile with a sanding drum on a Dremel. The final surface resulted from sanding through the grits from 60 to 320.

I finished all the organizer surfaces with butcher block conditioner and elbow grease.

Have a great day, Lumberjocks.

8 comments so far

View Michigander's profile


220 posts in 3582 days

#1 posted 06-06-2014 06:33 PM

Nice job! The “before” picture looks like our silverware drawer. Thanks for the inspiration to do something about it!

View Northwest29's profile


1710 posts in 3653 days

#2 posted 06-06-2014 07:42 PM

Very inspirational and nicely done. Good thing you had a deep enough drawer.

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3055 days

#3 posted 06-06-2014 08:33 PM

Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 3943 days

#4 posted 06-06-2014 09:26 PM

Thanks a lot folks.

Michigander, add a drawer remake to your list of to-do projects.

Northwest29, If the drawer opening had been too shallow, I would have made the back of the lower level to hold knives and boxed up some of our silverware. I think we have at least 24 pieces of each type. Even though the drawer was deep enough, I really did have to play with stock thicknesses for the bottoms of the drawer and trays and the height of the bottom level organizer to make it all fit pleasantly.

Thanks, Hoss. Hey, in your photo there are two people. Are you the large burly-looking one in the back, or the not quite as burly-looking one in the front?

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3658 posts in 4875 days

#5 posted 06-07-2014 04:07 AM


I was really proud of my knife drawer until I saw yours!! I would have to leave the drawer open for company to see if mine looked like yours!

Here’s my knife drawer:

It works, but it’s no match for yours!!


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26461 posts in 4268 days

#6 posted 06-08-2014 10:27 PM

That is a real nice setup. I love organizational projects!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 3943 days

#7 posted 06-09-2014 12:19 AM

Thanks Jim. Having good storage which protects the cutting surfaces saves a lot of time, too.

None of these are great knives, but a keeping a good edge on a marginal knife can make it a passable utensil.

I really like the knife organizer that lightweightladylefty showed above, too. What she implemented is almost exactly what I imagined initially. My main reason for opting for the way I did do it, was that I really wanted to try out various carving techniques. To complete the carving I used scroll saw, hand saw, various gouges, bench chisels, carving knives, Dremel tool, and router.

Have a great day.

View tyvekboy's profile


2118 posts in 4176 days

#8 posted 10-13-2014 09:30 PM

I wonder if my drawers are deep enough to do the same?

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

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