Saturday, 6 December 2014

Can Rotator Door/Can Storage Door

 Sometimes when I make something I'm more than a little happy with it. 
This is one of those things. 
I decided that although we have little space to store food I was going to invent a way to store canned food so we could keep a bigger and better organised stock of food over the winter. A month or so ago I posted a picture of my can rotator prototype, well this is what it was a prototype for - My can rotator door.
 The doors to our understairs cupboard were pretty useless. They opened inwards, so you lost the best bit of storage, and they got in the way. I'd even taken one of them off so I could fit through the gap. 
Jam packed cupboard and useless doors
 We hadn't really been using the space under the stairs very efefficiently, I decided to give it a good clean out and realised that most of the stuff could go. This left me with a nice sized space to start to use for food storage. But I knew I needed a new door so I decide to combine the two. That way it would take up very little space and use an area of the cupboard that wouldn't usually be used.
Once cleaned out the cupboard had quite a bit of space
 I worked out that I could have six rows of cans across the width of the door. I decided that we use more than six types so I split it into two again, so I'd have six rows of ten and six rows of seven. This type of system also means that you always use the oldest cans first - no finding a can at the back of the cupboard dated pre war any more!
Once I had a few sketches drawn up I decided to start to make it in a few spare evenings.

Working out the spacings for the cans

Cutting the strips for the sides

Routing the groves to receive the ply

All the groves routed

The groves weren't too deep so as not to weaken the plywood

Starting to assemble it. All glue and pins

Setting the bottom ramps for the cans

Cutting the ramps ready to fix on

The front of the door is faced with MDF grooved to look like match board

Once painted this should blend in nicely

I painted blackboard strips so you could easily identify what cans were in what slot. A bit of masking tape made sure my lines were straight!

The door opens on a castor so the weight is spread a little bit better - not just on the hinges

When full the door it will hold 102 cans. The top section has 10 of each type.

The bottom section holds cans we don't use quite so frequently so only holds 7 of each type



I decided on a ply body and MDF front to keep the costs down and to save having lots of different materials involved and to buy. I used two sheets of 1/2" ply and one sheet of 3/8" MDF plus hinges and handle so the costs came in at around £70 but I wouldn't like to price the labour involved as it was surprising how long it took (although it always does when you make the first of something).

The door opens really nicely (there is a castor on the one side) and although you can feel it's carrying a lot of weight it's still easy to open and shut. The number of cans it holds feels about right for us and having the vision slots on the front means it's easy to see how many you need to buy to stock up. I'm really pleased with the two little blackboard painted strips as well as it makes it much easier to see what tin you are grabbing and it kind of makes it feel a little more complete.

I'm feeling a little more organised now with food storage, although I have a long way to go yet. 
Anyone else have something like this in their house? 


50 comments:

  1. Neat. We don't really have a place to put a rotation rack the way we have things arranged but I have plans for one if we ever get started on our new house. Yours looks really efficient. Good Job!!


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    1. I'll be interested to see how you lay out a new place as I doubt it will be run of the mill!

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  2. Brilliant job Kev, our cupboard under the stairs is usless the door is set back so you only have the last 3 ft of the stair space and you have to be a dwarf to get in the door, we are going to change it all and make it a bigger usable space.

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    1. I like to make the best use of any available space if I can. This is only going to be like this until I turn this area into the downstairs loo. I've got quite a few changes I want to make to the rest of the house to make better use of space -trouble is it all.makes so much mess.

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  3. Well done - looks great and a really useful idea.

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  4. It's absolutely brilliant Kev! And I think you're brilliant, will you marry me? ...apologies Mrs Alviti, only joking but you do have an absolute gem of a husband there with all the things he does for you. I think you'll have to go on Dragon's Den with your can rotator Kev, I'm sure they'd be impressed. I want one of these anyway!

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    1. Yes, A thousand times yes! Although I don't think I'm very easy to live with and you might regret your decision!
      If I start making them to order I'll let you know!

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  5. Brilliant idea, looks the part as well.
    I wonder how many severely out-of-date cans are lurking in the backs of cupboards, I think we're all guilty of this.

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    1. i know we were. I'm fairly sure when we moved house we even moved some cans that were out of date as well! this should stop all of that!

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  6. Brilliant! Have you gone for a patent ?
    Gill

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    1. Nope. I'd rather everyone just kept a little more food in store and then weren't quite so controlled by the media!

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  7. It looks great. Would you decorate the front of it with can label designs?

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    1. Good idea but no, just painted white and it might have our advent calenders on, up out of reach from little hands!

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  8. Wow, that is so ingenious, wonder if DB could do something similar but narrower for our doors (currently bi-fold but could be made into two.

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    1. Go for it and let me know how you get on!

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  9. great job Kev! and a good use of previously-wasted space!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Cheers Kymber, I'm pretty pleased with it!

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  10. Great Job Kev. It does seem a bit labor intensive and be hard to justify the cost to a client. We haven't seen the shop space before. Almost looks like a mobile unit of some sort.

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    1. If you send me your email I'll tell you about it!

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  11. Love it, makes me think I should start hinting that our can storage needs an upgrade!

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    1. glad you like it Kirsty! I like to make the most of all the space we've got.

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  12. OMG I LOVE IT!!!!! I really love it. Now if you started making those to attach to say the back or a normal sized door, I would be the first in line to order one.

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    1. Thanks Sol, That's one idea I've been toying with in the back of my mind. A friend is on about me making one for the back of his door so I'll see how it goes on that one first.
      Just added you to my blog list as well, didn't realise you weren't on there!

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    2. or even you could make an ikea type kit? sent out flat pack except for the spout at the bottom for the cans? hmm and maybe so it slots together that would be amazing.

      thanks for adding me, I wish I knew how to do that in a side bar. I think that is beyond me

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    3. A friend and I keep toying with the idea of CNC and then that would make it possible. Do you think there would be enough market for it though?

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  13. That's brilliant, Kevin! Well done - great use of space and it will help you manage your pantry very well.

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    1. Thank you, it helps to be more organised with food and reduce waste.

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  14. Oh well done you. I don't think my husband's wood making skills are up to such an excellently thought out plan such as this one, but he did seem to show interest in making me a plate rack so perhaps.......

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    1. I only made it all with ply to keep the costs down. If you made one with off the shelf wood it might be easier to construct.

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  15. What a great job you have done. We have great storage under our stairs (basemen).. I have shelves on both sides and the tall end. Lots of room for all the crap that we seem to have. That narrow skinny bit is great for suitcases.

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    1. It's good for everything to have it's place. We do have a habit of just chucking stuff in and forgetting about it. I'm trying hard to be better!

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  16. Wow, that is just perfect! What a great use of the space and a great solution to the can storage. You are very talented!

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  17. Well done Kev! And you will never run out of toilet rolls if you keep the door for the loo.

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    1. I think it would need modifying for that but it's not a bad idea!

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  18. That is absolutely brilliant!

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    1. Cheers Leigh! Everyone seems to think it's a good idea so I'm quite pleased.

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  19. oh and I forgot to say, do you have a farm foods where you are? my sister said they do 1 kilo bags of sugar for 50p. or it could be 2 for £1. I have just bought 15 x 1 kilo bags for £6.99, from bookers cash and carry. 46p each for my food storage rotation. I dont know if you are friendly with any caterers? I was given 12 food grade round buckets by a cafe. very pleased with myself as they stack well. think about the picture on Harry's blog recently

    have also seen mylar bags and oxygen absorbers on the mormon church website that seem cheaper . have you looked into those?

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    1. No Farm Foods, although we have a Lidl which works out quite cheap. I think the sugar is a little more expensive than that though. We still have a bookers card from when mum had a shop so maybe it will be worth going and having a look and picking up extras for Christmas etc. My wife does limit the amount of sugar I'm aloud in the house though! She does think I'm mental!
      I'm not sure if I've said this to you before but I've been told you can make your own oxygen absorbers from iron filings wrapped in a bag. Need to look into that as it sounds like it could be a good project if it works.

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  20. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tracker-Storage-Organizer-Rotater-Dispenser/dp/B00IYO8L6E

    this is the closest I can find. if it was £70 for parts with labour would it be worth it to sell? maybe you could do a poll on your blog and see what people would pay for it

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    1. It might be but it would depend on the design and materials. i like the idea of flat packing it to save on postage. I think cutting it on a CNC would be the way to go though, maybe one for the long term plans. It would be a nice thing to sell from home though. I quite often think of starting to sell "preparedness" items from home.

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  21. Ruddy marvellous idea. I'm sure it would sell.

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  22. Absolutely fantastic, what a brilliant idea for that space. Wish I had room somewhere for such an organised system.

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  23. Absolutely brilliant. This would work as well with a free standing larder unit, say the size of a double kitchen base unit but half as tall again. The doors would hold all the cans and the rest of the cupboard space could be for dried stuff etc.

    Sometimes your genius really shows through, other times you keep it so well hidden .... only joking ;-)

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  24. Wow you have done an awesome job with this one! You should be so proud, well done!!

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  25. Very nice. I am on my own so do not need a large one....but a smaller one would be nice. I plan to turn my area under the stairs into s cold room. After Christmas I will start working on that.

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