Flatware Caddy

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As the sun returns and spring blooms, my thoughts turn to heading outdoors and sharing meals with friends and family. But carrying all the accouterments of a backyard feast can require a lot of trips in and out of the house and result in a pile of cluttered cutlery. This flatware caddy provides a solution for organizing, transporting, and displaying your dining supplies in a simple design inspired by the curve and overlap of garden leaves.

The basic construction draws inspiration from historic coopered vessels, but I elongated the traditionally circular footprint to create an ellipse. The caddy achieves this elliptic shape by carefully adjusting the coopering angle between each stave. Luckily, that’s not as fussy as it sounds. There are 20 staves but only five bevel angles that repeat around the ellipse. The trick is to bevel long strips of stave stock first, then crosscut them to length, ensuring all your angles match. The compound curve on the top edge of the caddy is made easy by bandsawing the shape onto the staves while they are laid flat and then fairing out the curve after gluing up.

The container’s interior is organized with removable, half-lapped dividers, making clean-up easier in the event of messy condiment spills. And the steam-bent handle, attached with brass barrel screws, swivels out of the way for easy utensil access.

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