Ultimate Silverware Drawer???

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Project by jeff_wenz posted 07-31-2012 07:37 PM 6046 views 67 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife wanted some dividers to go in her silverware drawer. I saw it as an opportunity to design and build “the ultimate silverware drawer.”

One of the initial problems is we only have 2 drawers in our kitchen. So we try to shove a lot of “stuff” into this drawer. We have certainly used up all available space horizontally, but we were wasting space vertically. I thought a possible solution would be the design of a 2-level drawer to help maximize this space. Building a removable tray was one option, but having to lift something out to get to something under the tray seemed like a pain. Somewhere (maybe on Lumberjocks), I had seen the idea of a drawer within the drawer. This would work perfectly for my use.

The drawer is 20” wide, 21” deep and 4 3/8” tall. The drawer is made from maple with a plywood drawer bottom. The finish is a couple coats of Deft lacquer. My wife likes to keep food storage like plastic wrap, aluminum foil, sandwich bags, etc. in this drawer. So those items dictated the size of the left side of the drawer. Those items are too tall to accommodate a 2 story approach. So the double decker drawer is only on the right side.

The secondary drawer is built with ½” maple with a 1/8” plywood drawer bottom. It has self-closing 20” side mounted drawer slides. This drawer is installed with a cutout in the back of the main drawer so when the main drawer is open, the secondary drawer “opens” into the now vacant cabinet space. I hope the pictures explain the concept better than I can explain it in words.

The majority of the dividers are permanent, but some have felt on the ends and are moveable. Overall, I am happy with the design and execution of this project. I don’t know if this is the ultimate silverware drawer, but it sure is an upgrade in our kitchen.

What do you guys think? Is it the ultimate silverware drawer or not? What feature is it missing?

-- Jeff, North Carolina

19 comments so far

View Kernal's profile


29 posts in 3737 days

#1 posted 07-31-2012 09:15 PM

I love it!

Also, my answer to “What feature is it missing?” is almost always “A secret compartment.”


-- A new version of the old adage - "Count twice, buy once."

View jeff_wenz's profile


152 posts in 5011 days

#2 posted 07-31-2012 09:24 PM


Because the secondary drawer slides back into the cavity and I trimmed it out so you can;t see any of the drawer slide hardware, it kinda has a secret compartment.

-- Jeff, North Carolina

View HerbC's profile


1822 posts in 4320 days

#3 posted 07-31-2012 09:29 PM

Very clever. Now, do it with the drawer slides made of wood!

Just kidding. Great design.

Keep up the good work.

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View sras's profile


6699 posts in 4590 days

#4 posted 07-31-2012 11:04 PM

Nice innovation!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 4059 days

#5 posted 07-31-2012 11:18 PM

Sweet! Excellent use of space.

View jeff_wenz's profile


152 posts in 5011 days

#6 posted 08-01-2012 12:02 AM

I’m not completely happy with the dividers that are not permanent. Some are too loose for my liking. Other than making news ones that are slightly longer, does anyone else have any ideas?

-- Jeff, North Carolina

View WoodChips_Mac's profile


90 posts in 3591 days

#7 posted 08-01-2012 12:58 AM

Nice! I like the frame of the upper drawer to hide the slides.

-- "Still Learning"

View jeff_wenz's profile


152 posts in 5011 days

#8 posted 08-01-2012 01:09 AM

Thanks Mac. Hiding the hardware has been my focus the last couple projects.

-- Jeff, North Carolina

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


24636 posts in 5136 days

#9 posted 08-01-2012 02:31 AM

Very original and interesting idea. I like it ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View omextreme's profile


49 posts in 3837 days

#10 posted 08-01-2012 02:57 AM

Looks great, I built one last year (maybe you saw mine!!) but I like your hidden hardware and the split design. I will be adding another one to my kitchen soon and will probably split it like you did….

What its missing…. I added bumpers to the back of the slide unit so if you close the main drawer without pulling the slide part closed it does not bang so loud when it hits the back of the cabinet.

Here was my first one,

View jeff_wenz's profile


152 posts in 5011 days

#11 posted 08-01-2012 03:03 AM


It may have been your project I saw the idea. Thanks!

-- Jeff, North Carolina

View SebLolo's profile


65 posts in 3677 days

#12 posted 08-01-2012 10:23 AM

Very interesting idea!

View Chris McDowell's profile

Chris McDowell

645 posts in 3613 days

#13 posted 08-01-2012 03:57 PM

This is a great idea. This is the solution to a couple of our drawers. Thanks for sharing.

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

View ChrisK's profile


2076 posts in 4542 days

#14 posted 08-01-2012 04:38 PM

Great execution of a good idea.

-- Chris K

View tool_junkie's profile


333 posts in 3989 days

#15 posted 08-01-2012 05:08 PM

Seems like you were in my kitchen and saw the only two drawers we have in there, not to mention the mess they carry currently.

This is great inspiration. I think I will have to do the same with our drawers.

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