A cubby grid for a tie drawer with a curved drawer front

Had the customer asked me about the feasibility of putting a cubby grid in a non-rectangular space, I would have advised against it. But he didn’t ask. He just designed and bought, approved the drawing, and after his order arrived, had been assembled assembled, and put in the drawer, he took the following image and sent it to me. That was the first time I knew about the curved drawer front.

No, it’s not perfect, but he says it works for him and he’s happy. Notice he filled in the gap in the front with glasses cases.

So there you have it. Now we know.

New Concept — 2 Cubby Grids in 1 Drawer

When a potential customer approached us about needing two grids — one for ties and one for belts — in the same large drawer I thought we were going to have to steer her towards a much more expensive maple insert as the solution. Remember: cubby grids can’t stand on their own. They need to have support from all four sides of the drawer, otherwise they’re a wobbly mess.

When I told Nathan what I was planning to propose, he put on the brakes. “That will be so much more expensive. Let me think about it. Seems like there should be a way…”

It didn’t take long for him to realize what I should have. As long as there is a wall to serve as a support between the two grids, there’s no reason two cubby grids couldn’t sit side by side in the same drawer.

So here’s what we did. The customer planned one grid for ties and another for belts, and we reserved enough space to insert 1 or 2 acrylic walls between them. That “dividing” wall between the ties and belts below is nothing more than 2 pieces of acrylic she slipped between the two grids to tighten things up and give extra support all around.

2 cubby grids in a single drawer

I designed an insert, but I’m not ready to purchase yet. How do I save my work?

Good question.

I’m not happy about the truthful answer, but here goes. You currently can’t save your work on our website. There. I said it. We plan to add that capability in the future, but it hasn’t yet worked its way to the top of the priority list.

Here’s what you can do…

Take a screenshot so that you can (relatively) quickly recreate your work if you’re not ready to purchase right now.

If you’re a designer working with a client, you can do the following:

  • Add you item to the cart.
  • Copy the “options” code that you see in the cart and paste that code into an email. Send the email to me at the address on the Contact page.
  • I will then generate a to-scale drawing for you to share with your client. It will be sent in PDF format. (In your email, include the client’s name if you want it to appear on the drawing.)

Hopefully that helps. Let me know if you have additional questions about this topic.

Designing Upside Down

“I don’t see quite the design I’m looking for.  The attached drawing shows the drawer layout I want.”

– knows-what-he-wants customer

“Use our Kari template and plan the insert as if it were turned 180 degrees in your drawer. I hope that makes sense and that it works for you!”

– me

Here’s the Kari template. Do you see how it’s the same layout as his drawing, just upside down?

This strategy worked. He was able to design and purchase on our website, and here’s the feedback we received after he received his order.

“We love them, as do my in-laws.”

– knows-what-he-wants customer

Can’t beat that!

A detail about slots and movable dividers

I received the following question from a customer:

We have ordered more movable dividers than we think we will use, just to have a few extra’s, so if you normally choose the location of the slots to allow even spacing, then for all movable dividers that are oriented from front-to back (the ones that are 7-5/8” and 10-1/2” in both drawers) please assume one less divider per section when determining that spacing.  This will result in three 3-1/4” spaces across those sections of the first drawer (assuming 1/8” thick dividers), and five 3.45” spaces across those sections of the second drawer.  If you don’t normally base the slot locations of the number of dividers, that’s fine.  We’re not asking for something special.  However, if the slot locations do normally take the number of dividers into account, then please make those determinations as described above.

Here is my response:

Good question. I understand about ordering extra dividers, but, no, we do not adjust the spacing of the slots based on the quantity of dividers. 

Now you know.

Knife block reality check

Not long ago, a satisfied-but-less-than-thrilled knife block customer sent me a picture of his finished project.

Though the knife block is functional, some cooks might like the levitating knife handle of the cleaver shown in this photo above. Others might love it. It would be easy to grab for a quick chop, chop, chop…

For handle-heavy knives, you might end up with a situation like the above. The handle of this butcher knife is resting on the block while the tip of the knife is exposed. Assuming the tip is towards to back of the drawer, this wouldn’t be cause for concern, but if the block was being stored in another orientation, that could be problematic.

Just understand that tall-bladed and long, handle-heavy knives might “sit” differently that expected in the knife block.

Layered/stacked kitchen drawer organizers

I recently received the following images from a happy customer who ordered two custom drawer inserts, and they sit in the same drawer, one on top of the other. The top insert fills the width but not the depth of the drawer. She can move the top layer to the front or back of the drawer to access the items underneath. Clever. And it looks great!

This is a great solution for tall drawers and for tiny kitchens where some drawers need to pull double duty.

“I want a cubby grid, but my drawer is over 31 inches wide. What can I do?”

If you have a greater than 31″-wide drawer, you won’t be able to plan a cubby grid using our design wizard, as it won’t accept drawer dimensions greater than 31.

But you can contact us, and we can design a cubby grid for your large drawer that will actually be two cubby grids with staggered walls that sit side-by-side in your drawer.

The red dots on the drawing below indicate where the “tails” of the two cubby grids would meet.

Is there an ideal cubby size for a tie drawer?

Good question. There would be if all ties were created equally, but they’re not. Remember the skinny neckties of the ’80s? Perhaps they were in backlash to the wide ties of the ’70s. Today, ties tend to be mostly somewhere in between, but you never know when a new width will become the next big trend. What to do? Here are some thoughts on how to size your tie cubbies.

Cubby Grid tie drawer organizer

If you want your cubby grid to be evenly spaced, and you want your ties to be placed broad-side up in drawer, as seen above, you need to measure the width of your widest tie and plan the cubby width accordingly. The above are 3.5″ x 3.5″

A 3 x 3″ cubby will comfortably accommodate the typical tie, if not in the broad-side up position, then in the edge-side up position so that the coil is visible, like a cinnamon roll’s swirl, as in the photo below. (Thanks to Flickr’s WernerKrause for the use of this image.)

rolled tie

Don’t forget that cubbies don’t have to be evenly spaced. You could have a couple columns for skinny and bow ties and one for wide ones, as shown in the layout below. On page four of the design wizard, just drag the wall to suit your preference.

cubby grid design

On page four of the design wizard, just drag the walls to suit your preference.

“The drawer insert is beautiful and is the right size…but I can’t get it in the drawer!”

I recently got the following from a customer:

The divider looks great. The only problem is my drawer does not come out and it just won’t fit. We are talking about half an inch…So upset. What would you recommend? Is it easy for me to remove the nails from one side and trim it a bit?

This was my response:

Don’t worry. We’ve never met a drawer that could not be removed from the cabinet. Sometimes it seems impossible, but you probably have some modern drawer slides with a safety feature to keep the drawer from toppling out on a curious toddler. There’s probably a very simple mechanism that needs to be pressed or slid to one side to allow you to completely remove the drawer. 

I recommend you do a Google image search to find out what kind of drawer slides you have, and then to a search at YouTube for how to remove a drawer with that type of slide.

Let me know how it goes!

The customer was able to figure out how to remove his drawer and successfully put his insert in. No tools required.