Sunday, February 5, 2017

Kitchen - the drawers near the stove

The drawer stack next to the stove is intended to hold cooking related items: knives, hot pads, pans & lids, you know, the usual. When I had the small tool chest there I found that the shallow drawers worked great for holding an amazing amount of stuff without it jumbling together. So that's how I designed the wood drawers too; a stack of five drawers with the top two being 3", the next two 6", and the final drawer 8" (or thereabouts, there are some decimal places in there to make everything fit properly). I used my super scientific method to come up with the heights - I measured my pans and left a margin for growth. 

After drawer design the next big question is what will you do for pulls, right? I was leaning toward using rocks like I did on the mudroom cupboards. Rocks are easy. We have them all over the property and the streams kick up some really cool ones that are smooth enough to actually glue to. I'd been testing a couple in the kitchen for months to make sure they'd stand up to normal wear & tear. They did and I liked the look. Then I realized that I liked the look against painted drawers, not against natural wood. Against the cherry they just sort of disappeared. So, out with the rocks. 

My next thought was to use antique silverware. It's readily available and relatively cheap (especially when compared to designer drawer pulls - holy crap! those things are pricy). There are tons of examples on Pinterest but most of them seemed to have you drive a screw through the utensil to attach them to the drawer. I didn't care for the look of the screw head so I decided to see if I could make it work with flat head bolts and super glue. 

I collected a bunch of old spoons, forks, knives, etc. I decided which ones I wanted on this stack, figured out where the bolts needed to be for the test pull, glued it on and tried it for a couple weeks.
Checking position 
Performing a trial
I'm pleased to say that I not only liked the look, it worked. So we moved on to the other drawers.

Good thing we hadn't put on cupboard doors yet
Here's the finished stack (note that poly has not yet been applied to the drawer fronts, that's why they're not as dark as the carcass). I used a variety of soup and sugar spoons here. I've got a great selection for the other stacks too - antique grapefruit spoons anyone? Butter knives. Table knives (the rounded kind, not the pointy ones). Ice tea spoons for the long drawers. It's been fun finding them at antique and junk stores, and I even got some from my Mom. 

I'm inordinately pleased by this
Positioning was a bit tricky. You can't just drill holes at a set interval and attach the pulls. Some spoons are longer or thinner than others and you have to choose where the bolts go. So if we end up hating this, it's gonna be ugly to go back to standard pulls. For that reason we've decided to stop building drawers and move on to another project for a few months. I want to really test these and make sure they won't pop off during normal use before I put them everywhere in the kitchen. 

Some close-ups of the drawers and pulls. I love all the old spoons I found. They've got so much character.
The 3" drawers - knives, hot pads, other utensils
The 6" drawers - shallow pans & their lids
Bottom drawer, 8", deep pans & their lids
And here it is from a distance. I sure hope this works because I really like how they look.

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