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flour bin question

fgnoel's picture

We have new kitchen cabinets. One of the drawers is 9 inches deep and about 28 inches wide. My wife wants me to partition this drawer so that one side of it will be a four bin. The drawer box is made of melamine. I can't make a groove down the front and back to receive a divider without taking the drawer apart. My solution is to Make a groove in a piece of 1X2; screw that to the front and back of the drawer and slip the divider (plexiglas or more melamine) into that groove. My question is two fold. First does this sound like an acceptable solution? and second is their anything about melamine that would be problematic such as it having any toxicity effect on the flour. I would like to put a small bead of silicone in the corners. So I guess I have three questions. Is silicone acceptable in this kind of application or would it have some toxicity?
thanks for any advice or suggestions.
Frank

KiddervilleAcres's picture

(post #86447, reply #1 of 14)

I would shellac the wood and leave it alone if there is any chance you might want to remove it in the future.  Also I should think you could shellac the divider along the bottom to act as a glue.


No toxicity here.


Regards,


Bob @ Kidderville Acres


 


A Woodworkers mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop!

Bob @ Kidderville Acres

A Woodworkers mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop!

Hastings's picture

(post #86447, reply #2 of 14)

Noel:

You might want to persuade her not to. Flour, like talc, will find a way through any cracks, and if you have any moisture, you will end up with a nasty mess. Flour is best kept in air-tight containers, which could easily sit in your drawer.

Hastings

WillGeorge's picture

(post #86447, reply #6 of 14)

Flour is best kept in air-tight containers,

Right on.. I'm not a baker but my wife was a wonderful cook.. EVERYTHING WAS SEALED FOR STORAGE! Period!

EDIT:

I think bins were before modern materials for keeping food fresh..


Edited 12/21/2007 12:42 am by WillGeorge

Have a great day.. Life is wonderful even if you are having a bad day!

JohnWW's picture

(post #86447, reply #3 of 14)

You would be better off to make the bin as a separate removable insert that can be easily be taken out and cleaned occasionally and with a tight fitting lid to keep bugs and varmints out.  This is how many of the Hoosier style cabinets were made.  In those the flour box was made out of sheet metal.


John W.


John W.

John White Shop Manager for FWW Magazine, 1998 to 2007

beachfarm's picture

(post #86447, reply #4 of 14)

My Spousal Equivalent (an IRS term) is a serious, and seriously talented, baker. One of her "suggestions" when we renovated the kitchen of our farmhouse was that there be an island with sufficient draw space for flours and other assorted powdered things. The drawers I built are actually racks that extend like a drawer but are fitted with stainless steel drop-in basins. Food grade cleanliness AND machine washable.

Keep in mind that a large drawer full of flour(s) is a very heavy thing. Give serious thought to the slides your using. I fit our island with full extension bearing slides rated for 100 lbs. Will she ever fit 100 lbs of flour into a drawer? Stranger things have happened...

My suggestion: Remove the existing drawer front, build a new drawer box (of some sort), install the new drawer box with appropriate slides, re-attach the existing drawer front, and pretend to blush when your wife sings your praises...

bones's picture

(post #86447, reply #5 of 14)

Wow your post brought  back many memories as a kid.  My mom had a cabinet that had a flour bin.  It was made around the turn of the century (I think), and it had one side of the cabinet that looked like it had a rail and stile cabinet door, but was in fact a door front installed over a metal bin that folded outward where flour was deposited in, and at the bottom, was a sifter built in.  My mom made bread every morning and she would sift the flower directly onto the porcelain covered metal surface and make the bread for the day.  Occasionally (between Elba  bags of local mill flour), would tilt out the bin and clean it out.  On occasion you would get those nasty little buggers called flour weavels (sorry about the spelling), and she would dump the flour and clean it and fill it back up.  Times have changed.  Go to vandykes and you could get one there, or here is a link to an example of what I'm talking about.


http://www.antiquehardware.com/product/02272785/


Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it.


Edited 12/20/2007 9:48 pm by bones

...For that old machine lovers:  http://vintagemachinery.org/home.aspx

forestgirl's picture

(post #86447, reply #7 of 14)

If I recall correctly, Melamine (or its generic equivalent) is what was poisoning pets awhile back, when all that pet food was being recalled.  So yes, it's toxic, but would it flake off and get into the flour?  I like the aforementioned idea of having a removable insert.


forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

WillGeorge's picture

(post #86447, reply #8 of 14)

I like the aforementioned idea of having a removable insert.
Right on!

Just funnin ya a bit! You use such big words! :>)

Have a great day.. Life is wonderful even if you are having a bad day!

MikeHennessy's picture

(post #86447, reply #9 of 14)

Another vote for removable, *airtight* inserts.


If you keep any sort of flour or grain around in containers that are not airtight, you WILL get an infestation of grain moths. And that is a royal PIA. Even if your containers are airtight, you'll get 'em -- they come "conveniently packaged" with the flour, etc. The airtight containers just keep the critters from finding homes in literally every other container of edible stuff in the house.


My wife bakes a lot and we keep various types of flour, etc., around. Even with airtight containers, we have to empty the cabs every year or so due to infestations. It's amazing where those bugs can get into. We've taken to keeping much of our flours and grains in the freezer to minimize the problem.


I would also think long & hard about dispensing flour from a cab drawer. You will unavoidably have flour finding its way out of the drawer and into the other parts of the cab that will end up attracting both insects (moths, roaches, etc.) and rodents. The containers used for dispensing flour should be removable so you can dispense and measure on the counter and clean up after.


Also, 9"X14"X22" is a LOT of flour -- 25-30 lbs or more, I'd guess. If you are not planning to use 25 lbs of flour in a couple of weeks, you should consider a smaller container. If you are going to use that much flour, you should get a membership to a gym, or send all those pies, cakes & cookies to us! ;-)


Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

fgnoel's picture

(post #86447, reply #10 of 14)

Thanks for all your suggestions. I am going to rethink this idea and probably design some kind of removable airtight container. Would it have to be stainless steel or would ordinary sheet metal do the job?
Frank

MikeHennessy's picture

(post #86447, reply #11 of 14)

You could use galvanized or stainless. Or even copper.


You're be better metal worker than I am, Gunga Din, if you can make an airtight sheetmetal container, tho'. ;-)


Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

smslaw's picture

(post #86447, reply #12 of 14)

A plastic box with a tight lid would be more practical. 

beachfarm's picture

(post #86447, reply #14 of 14)

We used stainless bins from a restaurant supply company - as John has suggested. They're large enough to hold up to a 10 lb bag, have deep rounded corners and came fitted with plastic snap on lids.

Inexpensive, too.

JohnWW's picture

(post #86447, reply #13 of 14)

Frank,


Go to a restaurant supply house, they will have numerous large sturdy containers available that are made for food storage.


John W.

John White Shop Manager for FWW Magazine, 1998 to 2007