Single-Cup Container Rack

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This article is from Issue 63 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Holey storage–this clever keeper stands ready to serve.

Overall Dimensions: 17"w × 43⁄4"d × 121⁄4"h

Single-serving plastic containers, often called K-cups, include the ingredients for making coffee, tea, hot chocolate, iced tea, and fruit drinks. Keep your favorites close at hand with this countertop organizer.

Start with the ends

1 From 1⁄2"-thick stock (I used cherry), cut two side blanks to 5" wide by 131⁄4" long. Cut a couple of pieces of 1⁄2"-thick scrap stock the same size as the blank’s center section (2 × 131⁄4") for use as test pieces when verifying the angled dadoes cut in Step 5.

2 Mark reference lines across one face of each side blank. This lets you to realign the grain later when edge-joining the side pieces back together in Step 7.

3 Rip 13⁄8" from the front and back edge of each side blank, referring to Figure 2.

4 Clamp the two middle side sections face-to-face with the edges and ends flush. Using the dimensions in Figure 2, mark the bottom ends of the dado locations on the front edges (Photo A). Mark an X on the side of these reference lines where the dado will be cut. Also, mark angled reference lines on the outside faces as a reminder where to cut the angled dadoes later. The side pieces need to be mirror images of each other so the outside (marked) faces will be up when cutting the angled dadoes.

5 Fit your tablesaw with a 3⁄8" dado blade and zero-clearance insert. Use a straightedge and pencil to mark reference lines, noting the location of the edges of the dado blade on the insert (Photo B). Temporarily attach a long auxiliary miter-gauge extension (mine measured 30" long) to your miter gauge. Angle the miter gauge 45° to the right of the dado blade. Position a side piece (outside face with the angled reference marks up) against the extension and two 4"-long spacers and a stop. Align the bottom edge of the top angled dado reference line with the right-hand edge of the dado blade location lines. Make the first angled dado cut. Remove a spacer and make the second cut. Remove the second spacer and make the third angled dado.

6 Rotate the miter gauge to 45° in the opposite direction. Repeat the process in Step 5 to cut the three angled dadoes in the opposite side center section.

7 With the surfaces and ends flush and the grain realigned, glue and clamp the three pieces that make each of the two sides.

8 Cut three alignment blocks to 3⁄8 × 1⁄2 × 2" and sandwich them between the two side pieces within the angled dadoes. Use double-faced tape to hold the two side pieces together inside-face to inside-face. (This ensures the angled dadoes in the sides will align with each other at final assembly.) Mark the front edge on the sandwiched pieces to ensure that you cut the profile along the front edge in Step 9.

9 Enlarge and copy the side pattern in Figure 2, and apply it to one side. Crosscut the bottom ends flush, bandsaw both sides to shape, and sand the edges smooth to remove the bandsaw marks. Separate the pieces, and remove the double-faced tape and alignment blocks.  Rout or sand a 1⁄8" round-over on all but the bottom edges of each side.

Use a square to mark the bottom edges of the dado locations on the front edge of each side center section.
Use a stopblock and two 4"-long spacers when cutting the angled dadoes in the side center section. (The left-hand side is shown.)

Add the shelves

1 Cut the three cherry shelves to 3⁄8 × 3 × 161⁄2", bevel-cutting the edges at 45° to fit snugly within the stopped dadoes in the sides.

2 Mark six container-hole centerpoints on each shelf, where shown in Figure 1. Outfit your drill press with a 15⁄8" Forstner bit. Position your drill-press fence for perfectly aligned holes, and bore a hole at each marked centerpoint until just the tip of the bit breaks through the bottom surface of the shelf. Do this for all six holes. Flip the piece over and with the same edge against the fence, center the bit over each break-through hole and finish drilling through the shelf to complete the holes.(This two-step drilling process eliminates tear-out on both faces of the shelf.) Repeat the process for the remaining two shelves.

Complete the assembly and add the finish

1 Finish-sand the sides and shelves through 220 grit. Glue and clamp the shelves between the sides. Check that the bottoms of the sides are flush with each other and that the shelves are square to the sides. (To help catch any excess glue, I placed a piece of painter’s tape above and below each angled dado.)

2 Lightly sand the beveled edges of the shelves to soften them.

3 Apply finish to the assembly (I used Watco’s Wipe-On Poly, Gloss, Woodcraft #140848, $19.99 for one quart), and you’re ready to brew your favorite refreshment. 


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