I have a love/hate relationship with my lower Lazy-Susan. We store cereals, chips, crackers, oils and larger bottles of things on the lower tray. The cereal boxes get tipped over when we spin the tray, the chip bags get smashed and a good amount of both get lodged between the wall and the tray in that unreachable outer limits.
I searched and searched for a solution and ordered the expensive wedge bins ($16.99 each!!!) that didn’t fit. Returned them at Bed, Bath and Beyond and got the larger ones, but there was wasted space where they didn’t fit my 28" round trays. One size(s) does not fit all...:) I returned those also.
I needed something taller and more custom to the things we store. I also wanted to utilize the space. After thinking about it for sometime, I knew I could come up with a solution of the idea I had carried in my mind for months.
First we removed the Lazy-Susan from the corner cabinet. This gave me a chance to actually see what space I had on the tray.
I then did a simple layout of the size of space I needed. I knew boxed cereal needed a flat back to allow them to line up, and avoid wasting space by having an unused space behind it. Bagged chips could fill up a wedge shape nicely. I actually laid out the items to see what space was needed.
I taped out the layout design...and decided it was perfect for giving me the most usable space for storage.
This is where the hard part came in....what materials to use that would be light, sturdy and not cost me a fortune. 1/4" plexiglass (have you priced that stuff) was out!!!! I thought about the plastic cutting boards....but wondered if there would be something else. I walked the isles of stores checking out every perceivable option. Looked like cutting boards were my best option. I had one large one I purchased from Sam’s Club on clearance for only $5.00 and could have kicked myself for not getting more. One just wasn’t enough to use as dividers, and I did want them to match. I ended up purchasing 2 large poly cutting boards at Walmart (15" X 20" - no handle cut out). This allowed me to cut 2 dividers from each board and enough excess to custom cut to the size needed. It also provided me with a factory edge on all exposed sides. You could use wood, but I liked the look and ease of cleaning the poly cutting boards.
The poly plastic material cut really easily with a chop saw. I cut mine in half, giving me 10" X 15" pieces. I had the 4 divider I needed and would modify the length to the size needed.
I decided to make the center piece from 1" X 12" pine board. I measured the width from the edge to edge of the tray. Because the tray edge tapers in on the bottom, I measured what I would need to cut on an angle to make it fit along the bottom of the tray. I came up apx 1" and came in apx 3/8" on the bottom to allow for the taper (NOTICE the slight angle on the bottom corners of the center brace) . I then measured where the dividers would go to make the center "square" shape for the cereal boxes.
You can see where I marked the center of the board, then I measured where the groove cut would be. To cut the groove, I just ran the board through my table saw apx 3-4 times to get the 3/8" width I needed to align the cutting board in. Just make sure the depth of the blade only goes apx. 1/3 into your board.
This is what the one side looked like. I also used the chop saw to cut an angle on the top corners....just because I liked the look of not having it square. You could round the corner like the cutting board corners if you wanted.
Now I needed the groove for the angled dividers. This would have been a challenge to do on the table saw and get it right. I just took a 1" X 2" board and cut down the center on a 35' angle. This gave me the perfect angle to make the wedge section. I measured how far out I would need to go to clear the center pole bracket and glued and brad nailed the pieces to make the groove for the angled divider. I used a small piece of the extra poly board placed in the middle to get the right distance. I did clamp it and let the glue dry over night. Clamping wasn’t necessary since I had nailed it, but just made me think it would make a stronger bond. You could also do this process for the straight dividers on the other side. It is a super easy process.
NOTE - the scrap of poly board just kept the clamp from making a mark on my board - not part of the project.
This is what the other side now looked like.
Because the inside of my cabinets are a natural color, I just sealed the wood portion with Danish Oil Clear. I sanded them smooth before sealing them. Now I am ready for a dry run and to determine where I needed to cut off the poly dividers. Also, because I couldn’t assemble the new dividers on the tray and fit them through the cabinet door, the grooves are cut to allow fitting them inside the cabinet. On the two dividers on the wedge side (for the chips) I cut the end that goes in the groove on the same 35' angle.
This is what it looks like before adding to the tray. I then took the 2 angles dividers out to install the unit inside my cabinet. I was able to fit the center brace with the 2 square dividers through my cabinet opening.
I installed the center board first adding the angled dividers last. See how the wedge side surrounds the center pole.
I just spun it around and added the other dividers. The poly cutting board pieces just slide in the grooves of the center brace. The outer rim of the Lazy Susan hold them in place nice and secure. My dividers fit tight in the grooves, but if yours wobble a little, run a bead of clear silicone on the edge before fitting them in the groove to help secure them.
And Action.....everything stays right in place. Easy to see and reach...:) I especially love that the bagged chips stand upright and it keeps the bags from getting smashed....avoiding crushed chips.
Mine holds 4 boxed cereals, 2 gallon containers (syrup and oil), 3-4 boxed - bagged crackers, a large jar of instant oatmeal, and 3-4 large bags of chips. Customized to fit what YOU store.
Materials I used for this project:
- 2 poly cutting boards
- One 1" X 12" pine board
- 1" X 2" trim/board