Drying Rack and Trays

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Project by RGtools posted 07-09-2012 03:48 PM 3219 views 7 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Sorry about the photographs. The lighting was not my friend on some of these. This is a fun project that would be great practice for traditional joinery in context with room for error. I have some decorative elements I need to do to this should I ever get time…but the unit needed to be put to use so I may complete those this winter.

Some statistics on the project.
24 mortice and tenon joints all draw-bored.
28 Dovetails, cut to varying levels of quality (most were quick and dirty pins first with fully coped baselines…a great way to get a strong joint fast if you are not worried about the aesthetics of the joint)
18 components for the rack.
56 components for the trays.

The rack is hand tool only. The trays were made in hybrid mode due to the sheer number of matching components (face & edge 1 flattened with a jack plane, planed to thickness with lunchbox planer. Sawed to width on table saw). The joints were cut by hand for practice and experimentation purposes (And because I hate using the router for this).

The mesh (window screening material works better than cheese cloth) is secured with runners nailed to the dovetailed trays. The key here is you are trying to encourage airflow. I posted a bit about the trays earlier.

I used Alder for most of the project, but ran out due to some home repairs that took priority over my stash of wood. This is why you will also find components made of Walnut, Hemlock and Hickory. The all Alder trays with Hickory runners ought to outlast me and I think they look better than the two tone trays.

I think you could get way with 2 more bays of trays without reducing airflow, that’s all I would change. Since this is to handle food, I did not apply a finish. I would use walnut butcher block oil if I were to add anything.

Set in a warm room, sopping wet mint is dry enough for good tea in about 3 days.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

10 comments so far

View Brandon's profile


4382 posts in 4450 days

#1 posted 07-09-2012 07:18 PM

Looks great, Ryan, and I imagine it works great too. :-)

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4302 days

#2 posted 07-09-2012 11:05 PM

Beautiful idea. Gr8 way to dry some good herbs for spices.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View thedude50's profile


3613 posts in 3976 days

#3 posted 07-10-2012 05:53 AM

what r u drying in the rack here in California I could sell the racks to the pot growers. I bet they would pay top dollar for a nice rack like that .

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Enoelf's profile


192 posts in 3762 days

#4 posted 07-10-2012 01:02 PM

I sense one of these in my immediate future. I hadn’t decided what to make the bottoms out of, thanks for helping with that decision!
Thanks for sharing.
Well done.

-- Central Ohio, Still got 9 and 15/16 fingers!

View AnthonyReed's profile


10196 posts in 3939 days

#5 posted 07-10-2012 05:24 PM

You draw-bored the cross-stretchers too? It is possible to do that on the 3/4” edge without splitting it?

Nicely done Ryan. It came out great.

-- ~Tony

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 4153 days

#6 posted 07-11-2012 04:27 PM

Thanks to all for the kind words.

Right now I have Coriander, Mint, Yello dock, Garlic, And Oregeno drying. The nice thing about the trays is it allows you to dry whole plants and then continue processing after the plant is dry (a real boon for any sort of grain /seed crop). Dude you are probably right. Perhaps I will tap the Oregon market for that as well.

Tony. The cross stretchers are drabored with 3/16th pins. The stretchers themselves are plenty strong to take the pins (you could use a full 1/4 pin and be fine) the stretchers are the problem. I left them long to avoid breaking out the relish past the pin when I assembled the joint. After the glue dried I trimed the tennons flush. Next time I will just leave the tenons long and notch the top to give on more spot to hang herbs.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View AnthonyReed's profile


10196 posts in 3939 days

#7 posted 07-11-2012 05:27 PM

Ah hah, got it. Thank ya Sir.

-- ~Tony

View mafe's profile


13872 posts in 4588 days

#8 posted 07-12-2012 03:51 PM

Looks wonderful Ryan.
Wonderful project and wonderful to get spices all winter.
Have a wonderful summer both,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View balidoug's profile


536 posts in 3977 days

#9 posted 08-12-2012 01:27 PM

Ryan, I missed this somehow back when you posted it. Looks good, and practical. Nice work.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 4153 days

#10 posted 08-13-2012 12:42 PM

I have to skim back through the posts myself (I almost missed Mafe’s toolchest), thanks for the kinds words. This thing has been getting a workout and I am quite happy with the results. As an added benefit, it makes my harvest room smell wonderful.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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