Building DIY Spice Rack Shelves With Only a Jigsaw

Last Updated:  July 1, 2021

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Organize your cabinet with this easy beginner woodworking project. I built these spice rack shelves with only a Jigsaw and a few accessories. This project can be easily completed in a weekend and can transform your cabinet organization.

Start by removing the staples from all of your wood. The ends of wood you buy at a home center is generally in pretty rough shape. It will need to be trimmed down to a clean edge.

Clamp a speed square to the end of the workpiece making sure the shoe is registered firmly. Try to save as much of the workpiece as you can while also allowing the speed square enough room to be stable. Make the cut keeping the shoe of the jigsaw up against the speed square.

With the edge clean and squared off, measure the pieces and strike a line by placing the pencil on the mark and sliding the speed square up to the pencil.

Line the blade of the jigsaw on the outside of the line and clamp the speed square down before making the cut.

Now it’s time to round the inside edges of the shelf sides. If you’re using a jigsaw blade that faces up, the bottom side of the workpiece will be the nicest cut. Choose the face and orientation of the shelves and then flip it over and cut it. I measure 1 1/4” from the corner on each side and make marks to act as guides. Use something round to trace from mark to mark.

The plan calls for 3 shelves on each side and they need the rounded edge on the inside. The pieces can be flipped over, but that will change the chosen orientation.

Cut the rounded edges with a combination of turning the jigsaw and turning the workpiece. Use 220 grit sandpaper to thoroughly sand all pieces especially the rounded edge. Apply glue to the edges of the back and shelf sides spreading it to cover the entire area.

Tighten the 18” clamp just enough to press the pieces firmly together. Do not over tighten and make sure the shelf is still flat after clamping.

Wipe the excess glue from the shelf. When clamping the stand feet, the clamp should be straight up and down or it will pull each foot one way or the other.

Apply glue and clamp the feet securely.

After letting the shelves dry for at least 1 hour sand the dried glue and soften the edges. If the shelves will be stained, sand all pencil marks and glue. Anything that is left will show up. If the shelves will be painted, it’s not as important to remove everything – just make sure that there are no globs of dried glue.

When finishing a project, ALWAYS finish top and bottom. Wood absorbs and releases moisture causing it to expand and contract. Finishing one side and not the other causes drastically uneven drying which results in cupping.

I clear out the cabinet to prepare for installation and then install the shelf pins in the desired positions and put the shelves in place. You may need to tilt them to get them in.

The finished product is a well-organized cabinet with accessible spices!


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