Custom Spice rack and Calculating spacing lesson

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Project by rockmolsen posted 01-01-2018 12:40 AM 1869 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was approached by a local house flipper about building a custom spice rack cabinet for a kitchen remodel they were doing. If you look at picture 2, the desire was to fill that space in a clever way by adding a spice rack using some existing spice jars that measured 2 3/16” diameter, so I decided to make the holes 2 1/4 and angle the holes some so the jars tilt downward. See the setup on the drill press ( a 7 degree angle) pic #4.

They used IKEA cabinets and I was provided some of the leftover melamine panels. I used those for the front and bottom, the only surfaces that would be exposed. The rest of the materials are a mix of 3/4 and 1/2 plywood.

I also had to create a stop to keep the jars from falling through see pic #5.

I wanted all the holes spaced evenly and after some research discovered the formula needed for the calculation.

(D – W)/(N +1)

The front board is 6 3/16 wide by 16 3/8 long.

Using the long part of the board, I wanted 5 jars, and 2 across.

D is the length of the area you’re dealing with. W is the sum of the of the widths of your pieces. In my case it was 2 1/4” x 5 (5 holes). You then divide that by N+1 – in my case 6. Here is a copy of my notes and calculations.

This worked out that I needed 55/64 ” between each 2 1/4” hole. I used painters tape for 2 reasons. 1 it gave a way to layout all the dimensions and 2 I hoped it would help avoid any tearout around the holes when drilling. I also attached some plywood behind the piece using duct tape to avoid backside tearout with the hole saw.

So doing the math, 2 1/4 + 55/64 = 3 7/64ths the spacing for the center of each 2 1/4 hole. Do the same for calculating the horizontal spacing.

Kreg pocket holes was the method for joinery. Finally if your working with melamine, regular wood glue doesn’t cut it, get some TiteBond Mealmine glue, works great.

-- Rick --------The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.

7 comments so far

View Dwight Magee's profile

Dwight Magee

54 posts in 1915 days

#1 posted 01-01-2018 02:12 AM

Great idea..fantastic job.

-- ~ Dwight

View ralbuck's profile


6541 posts in 3036 days

#2 posted 01-01-2018 03:30 AM

Very nice!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Ivan's profile


15950 posts in 3637 days

#3 posted 01-01-2018 09:00 AM

You realy used that space to the last milimeter.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3637 days

#4 posted 01-01-2018 04:02 PM

You did a very nice job on this. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View John's profile


1809 posts in 2040 days

#5 posted 01-01-2018 05:32 PM

Nice job Rick. Having some original material for the front and bottom was ideal.

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View leafherder's profile


1957 posts in 2722 days

#6 posted 01-01-2018 06:10 PM

Great job, and glad it was not me doing that math.. Thanks for posting and Happy New Year.

-- Leafherder

View rockmolsen's profile


297 posts in 2343 days

#7 posted 01-01-2018 10:58 PM

The math was a bit tricky and not my best HS subject, in fact I think I was absent the day we covered this sort of thing? I had to review and change my calculations several times but since I had just enough of the material I couldn’t make a mistake. .

-- Rick --------The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.

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