Sunday, June 2, 2013

Flatware fiasco

Do you need a good-quality cutlery drawer tray large enough to hold your sixteen-piece high-end flatware set?  If you know of a product that fits the bill, please email me the source, because I sure haven't been successful in finding one.
When these bamboo trays first came on the market, I was really pleased because their oversized compartments really could hold a sixteen piece set, unlike every other product I'd seen on the market.

But notice all that gunky stuff around the edges of this central compartment.  That's the superglue we applied shortly after purchasing this.  Its construction was not sufficiently robust to contain a heavy gauge flatware set that weighs about twelve pounds. 
It was embarrassing.  When we'd have friends over for dinner, sometimes they'd spy this gunk in our cutlery tray and they'd try to clean it out for us, thinking it was spilled crusty food.  I'd have to say, "No, really - we're not that dirty.  That's just superglue."

But even with that glue reinforcement, this thing just completely fell apart.
From bad to worse.  Perhaps I should have glued every single joint pre-emptively, but there's only so much superglue in the universe. 
Wholesale failure of the back as well as the front. 
Thinking about buying one of those large neat-looking adjustable bamboo cutlery trays??? Good luck to you - here is what mine looks like after a few short years of use. 
As I indicated above, I could find no other product that would hold a full sixteen piece flatware set.  Don't ask me why - despite the fact that there's often over a hundred thousand consumer products in any given big-box store, it apparently hasn't dawned on anyone in China that few American people buy eight-piece flatware sets anymore.  The motto "go big or go home" comes to mind.  In this case, I'm both big and home. 

I acquired an interim solution today from Bed Bath and Beyond, the operative word being "interim".  It doesn't meet our needs, but I jury-rigged it to be halfways functional until I get a better plan figured out.
COPCO expandable drawer organizer.  Ever notice how this stuff from China is increasingly in English and French rather than English and Spanish?  I think I know the reason, but I won't get off on that tangent. 

This is about $21 if you use one of those ubiquitous "20% off one item" coupons from BBB. 
Here's my jury-rigging sequence:
"Expandable" as written on the box means "subject to sliding around unless you secure it", especially with 12 pounds of flatware in it.  I used steel wire to lash the various components into a fixed configuration that fit our kitchen drawer.  This wire-on-metal should work better than superglue-on-bamboo. 
The adjustable side sections did not come with enough feet...
...these small felt chair pads don't match the plastic feet it came with, but you don't see the underside of the cutlery tray anyway...

...whatever, as long as it semi-works...
As well as lashing each end of the satellite pieces to the main tray, I lashed the middle.  If you do this kind of thing with wire, you have to put a felt pad over the wire knot, or it will scratch the bottom of your drawer. 
See, this is what would happen if you didn't also lash it in the center.  In my experience, any cutlery tray has to be completely secure or else it will be a nuisance.  Never underestimate the potential for a cutlery tray to scoot around and spill its flatware guts inside a kitchen drawer.  They do it as if by magic. 
Other side in progress...
...and this is the final lashed in-drawer fit, but immediately you can see the problem before I even load it:  the individual sections are the wrong size ratios for a large flatware set. 
See what I mean??  I have too much room in some slots, not enough room in others.  This product was conceived with an eight-piece flatware set in mind, with the larger spaces intended for larger kitchen utensils such as spatulas, tongs, scrapers, whisks, etc. 
There's a guy who runs a custom welding shop on Highway 3 between League City Parkway and SH 646.  I just might design a proper unit, bring him a template, and ask him if he can weld it for me.  An optimized design is definitely something I could live comfortably without, but I use flatware three times a day every day of my life, so it's an important item to keep organized without a lot of hassle.  I'll work with this interim solution for now, and see how it goes. 

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