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Spice up your picnic with this DIY condiment tote

Should you love dining outdoor — but not the effort of hauling every part outdoors — this pair of fun picket totes would be the weekend challenge for you. One tote carries condiments; the other holds utensils. Together, they make setting an outside desk a picnic. With solely six elements, the condiment service is the easier of the two and makes a terrific warm-up for the flatware tote. In fact, there are also advantages to building them in parallel. They are comparable in development, which suggests you can consolidate some operations, similar to planing and dado chopping.

Some notes on lumber and preparation

Building the packing containers begins with choosing lumber. For the frames and handles, you need a lightweight wooden that takes paint nicely. Among widespread big-box-store choices, pine and poplar match the bill. Remember that boards are sometimes bought in nominal sizes which might be bigger than their actual dimensions. It’s because the nominal sizes mirror the size of the board when it was rough minimize, before preliminary planing. Most retailers sell boards surfaced on all four sides. Subsequently, a 1×6 pine board will truly measure ¾” thick x 5-1/2″ vast. Likewise, poplar marketed as 1x or 4/four will truly measure about 1/4″ thinner.

Lumber is usually kiln dried or air dried at the mill. But it’s still not dry enough, straight from the lumber yard, for woodworking. Wooden shrinks because it dries, sufficient to spoil your challenge should you use it earlier than it has stabilized. It’s good follow to deliver your boards inside, stack them with wood strips in between to let them dry evenly, and wait at the least several days for the wood to acclimate earlier than use.

The tote options 10-1/2″ extensive (tall) handles, which may be reduce from 12” nominal (11-1/four″ precise) lumber. A cheaper various, which leads to robust handles much less susceptible to cupping, is to chop them from a panel glued up from thin strips. To make one, rip lumber into slender boards of 2″ to 4″. Square the mating edges on a jointer or router desk. Glue and clamp with bar or pipe clamps in a single day. After the clamps are eliminated, scrape off any dried glue.

Directions here assume that your inventory that has no less than one flat face and one straight, sq. edge. Traditionally, these preliminary flattening and squaring operations have been completed with hand planes. At the moment, it is more typical to use a jointer. The bottoms of the totes are 3/8” thick plywood. The plans specify Baltic birch, a high quality plywood that many woodworkers hold available. You’ll be able to substitute one other sort. Simply be sure it is billed as “void free.” House facilities typically sell appropriate Three/8″ thick pieces of plywood as “project panels” in sizes small enough to fit in your again seat.

A free download of measured shop drawings is out there here at CondimentToteShopDrawings.

Raj Chaudhry

Constructing the condiment tote

Graphic 1 exhibits the essential development of the condiment tote. It is held collectively with glue and screws, a few of which are concealed by picket plugs. The two lengthy sides (Half A) and two ends (Part B) type an oblong body. This meeting is fixed to a plywood backside (Half C). Then the handle (Half D) — which splits the field into two bins — slides into shallow dadoes in the ends and is fastened to the underside.

Build the body

1. On the desk noticed, rip the lumber for the edges and ends to their completed width of Three-1/four″.

2. Aircraft your frame inventory to five/8″. That is also an excellent time to aircraft the wooden for your handle. Your deal with might want to fit into a dado, which is a cross-grain slot, in every finish. To ensure a great match, use your router bit or dado blade to make a minimize in a bit of scrap. Use this as a gauge block to check the fit as you aircraft. Take mild passes. Cease planing whereas the stock continues to be a hair too massive to suit into the check block to go away you room for sanding.

Three. Crosscut the edges to 13-1/2” and the ends to 5-5/8”. It’s essential for the ends to be similar in length. Similar goes for the edges. You’ll be able to ensure this, on the table saw, through the use of stops on the fence of your miter gauge or crosscut sled.

four. Using a miter gauge with a stop block, minimize dadoes 5/8” vast and three/16” deep down the centre of each finish. To avoid grain tear-out on the again aspect of the reduce, you need to use a sacrificial fence on your miter gauge, which is just a straight, flat board that extends past the dado reduce.

5. Flippantly sand the inside faces of the edges and ends. They are going to be onerous to succeed in later. Begin with tough sandpaper, 80 or 100 grit, and finish with 150. Avoid rounding over the ends. Wipe or blow off the dust.

6. With an axe, mark for the four screws on both sides. The holes are half” from prime or backside edges and three/8” from every finish. Drill counterbores for screw plugs with a 3/eight” bit, 5/16” deep. The aim is to have about Three/16” of area for the plug above the screw head. Drill Three/32” pilot holes for the screws via the middle of the plug holes.

7. Clamp the body square and use the holes you’ve drilled in the sides to continue the pilot holes into the ends. Unclamp and apply glue to the mating surfaces. Screw them together with No. 6 x 1-1/4” long screws. As a result of the screws are close to the ends of the board, it’s best to comfortable them by hand (vs. tightening with a drill driver), to keep away from splitting the wooden. Wipe off any glue squeeze-out with a humid material, and give the glue time to set up.

eight. Reduce plugs from a scrap of matching wooden. Use a Three/eight” tapered plug cutter mounted in a drill press. You possibly can come out the plugs individually with a screwdriver or turn the block on its aspect and reduce them free abruptly on a bandsaw. Check the plugs in a 3/eight” gap. It is best to have the ability to push them in with your thumb. If they require too much drive, they will cut up the wood.

9. Apply glue to the plugs and start them within the holes. Flip the plugs so that the grain course of the plugs matches the grain course of the board. Push them in or, if crucial, calmly tap them house with a mallet. Once the glue has dried, use a flush chopping saw or sharp chisel to trim the plugs near the wooden surface. Sand or aircraft any remaining protrusion.

Raj Chaudhry

Reduce and connect the bottom

1. Measure the surface of the frame assembly. Minimize a bit of plywood to fit these dimensions.

2. Draw strains 5/16” in from each edge on the bottom face. Additionally draw a line down the centre. Mark for screws, two every along sides and ends, and three down the centre for the handle. (The holes via the underside into the ends have to be far enough from every corner, say 1-5/8”, to avoid interfering with the decrease screws that attach the frame sides to ends). Using a 5/16” or 3/8” countersink bit in a drill press, drill a countersink for every screw that may depart the screw head only a whisker under the surface. Setting the cease on your drill press makes it straightforward to maintain the depth consistent. Comply with with a 3/32” pilot gap via the center of each recess.

Three. Sand the inside face of the bottom by way of 150 grit. Wipe or blow off the dust.

4. Clamp — or tape the bottom to the edges with masking tape, just sufficient to hold it in place — so that each one edges are flush. Make witness marks on the underside and frame in order that it is possible for you to to duplicate their alignment during assembly. Prolong the pilot holes from the bottom about 7/eight” into the edges. Take away the bottom.

5. Brush a light-weight, even coat of glue on the underside of the body and alongside the sides of the underside where the surfaces will be a part of. Fasten the underside in place with No. 6 x 1-1/four” screws. Clamp or place weight on the the wrong way up field. Wipe off any excess glue with a humid rag. Permit to dry. Sand the surface of the box via 100 grit. Contact up the inside, where moisture from the rag and glue raised the grain, with 150 grit sandpaper.

Make and install the handle

1. Crosscut your lumber to completed length — which ought to match the surface size of your box, on paper 13-1/2” — however depart the board barely wider than the completed 10-1/2”.

2. Utilizing a pencil, combination square and compass, switch key dimensions from the shop drawing to the handle panel. Draw a center line from prime to bottom. Mark the centres of the 2 2” diameter holes, 6” apart and 7-1/2” up from the bottom, that may type the ends of the handle slot. Use a compass to draw the two” diameter holes. Mark the factors the place the deal with’s prime radius will intersect the sides. With your beam compass set to 9”, draw an arc passing by means of these points. Scribe a 9” radius arc that connects the tops of the two” deal with holes you’ve drawn previously. Draw a straight line tangent with the bottom of the holes to finish the handle slot format.

3. Mark the notches on the deal with stock where the piece will match into its dadoes and overlap the top partitions. Dimensions for these appear within the drawings, however to accommodate any small variances in your undertaking, it’s greatest to examine them towards your field. Measure the within peak of your frame, the surface box size from end to finish, and the space between dado bottoms. Draw reduce strains for your notch that match these specs.

four. Minimize out the deal with notches and prime radius utilizing a bandsaw or jig saw. For the curved prime, reduce simply outdoors your pencil line then sand the remainder of the best way to the line. A easy sanding block works advantageous however a bench-top sander, similar to a disc sander or spindle sander, makes the work easier.

5. Using a Forstner bit in a drill press, bore 2” diameter holes the place you’ve marked for the deal with slot. Reduce out the rest of the slot with a scroll noticed, jig saw or coping noticed. Clean the transitions between the drill and noticed cuts, using a half-round rasp, small sanding drum or sandpaper-wrapped dowel.

6. Sand the deal with, including the slot, by way of 150 grit. Verify frequently to ensure you don’t remove a lot materials that you simply create a sloppy fit between deal with and dadoes. When you’ve achieved a superb fit, keep away from sanding the sides of the handle additional. Wipe or blow off the dust.

7. Dry fit the handle into the body. Flip the tote on its aspect and continue the three/32” pilot holes by way of the bottom into the handle. Take away the deal with.

8. Apply glue to the dadoes and mating surfaces on the deal with, including the portions where the deal with notches prolong over the ends. Also unfold a really mild coat of glue alongside the bottom edge of the deal with. Slide the handle into place, and seat it towards the bottom. Fasten with No. 6 x 1-1/four” screws. Clean off any excess glue with a humid rag.

Raj Chaudhry

Sand and end

1. Spherical over the tote’s sharp edges and corners with sandpaper. You possibly can fill any tiny gaps or floor imperfections with a filler of glue and sawdust. When dry, sand the field by means of 150 grit. Take away dust.

2. End with two coats of milk paint, following the manufacturer’s instructions. For a distressed look, sand flippantly with 220 grit sandpaper, leaving a bit of exposed wood on the tote’s edges. Once the paint is cured, seal with several coats of a low-gloss water-based polyurethane.

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