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Hanging Potholder

A hanging potholder is easy and cheap to make, and frees up a lot of space in your cupboards.

Have you ever noticed how pots and pans tend to breed behind the closed door of a cupboard? You’ll go in there to find a frying pan, and spend the next five minutes shuffling your nested pots around to get the one you need. That’s the beauty of a hanging potholder. Not only does it free up space in your cupboard, it also makes it very easy to grab the item you want.

Hanging potholders are very cheap and easy to make, and completely customizable. You can make them any shape and size you want, especially if you can weld. If you don’t have access to a welder, you’ll probably want to use either lumber or a different type of metal (one that is easier to bolt together). Make a design that fits your kitchen, or follow these ultra-simple instructions to have one like ours.

 

Materials & Tools
Materials

48” of 2″ x 1/8″ thick steel bar

30” of 1″ x 1/8″ thick steel bar

Chain (good for 200lbs of weight)

2x lag screw or hook, if needed (see step 2)

Galvanized steel wire (10 or 12 gauge)

Metal primer and paint

Tools

Tape measure

Marker

Metal saw

Clamps

Square

Welder (and welding tools)

Grinder (optional)

Paint brush

Bolt cutters

Pliers

 

Step 1: The Frame
  1. Cut the 2” x 1/8” thick steel bar into two lengths of 24”.
  2. Cut the 1” x 1/8” thick steel bar into two lengths of 15”.
  3. Clamp the pieces together into a rectangle. Make sure that they are at right angles to each other and all flush with each other on the top.
  4. Weld the rectangle together.
  5. Grind any welds that need smoothing out.
  6. Paint the frame with a metal primer and paint.

 

Step 2: The Chain
  1. Decide where you want to put your potholder. It wants to be convenient for cooking, but not in a place where you will bang your head on the hanging pots. Though you want it high enough to be out of your way, you also have to be able to reach everything.
  2. Cut two equal lengths of chain. Each should be long enough to go from one corner of the holder (at whatever height you want it), up to the ceiling, and then back down to the other corner of the holder. It’s not a bad idea to hold a piece of chain and the holder up in place, to make sure you have the lengths and placement correct before you cut the chain.
  3. Attach the 2 chains, 15” apart, from their center to your ceiling. We have a beam we can encircle. You may have to find a joist to screw into. Make sure you use something strong and secure (lag screw or hook).
  4. If you have a beam like we do, thread the chain other the top of it, center it so that the lengths hanging down are equal, and then tie the two hanging pieces of chain together just below the beam.

 

Step 3: The Hooks
  1. Cut a 7” length of the steel wire.
  2. With the pliers, bend the top 1” of the wire back on itself, so that it runs parallel to the rest of the wire with a very small gap in between. We’ll call this part the “thin hook”.
  3. Make a mark 4” down from this bend.
  4. Rotate the wire 90 degrees, so that the 1” piece of wire is lying flat on your work surface. Put the palm of your hand over the 1” thin hook, so that it stays flat, and bend the wire up into the air at the 4” mark.
  5. Clamp your pliers over the last ½” of the wire that’s sticking up in the air and bend it back towards the top, so that it is at right angle to the part sticking up in the air and parallel to the 4” part. We’ll call this part the “wide hook”.
  6. Make several of these hooks. You’ll need 4 to attach the holder to the chain, and then some for the pots and pans.
  7. Place a hook in each corner of the frame, on the 24” pieces of metal. The thin hook wants to be on the bottom, with the metal bar of the frame inside it.
  8. Put the wide hook part of each hook through one of the four pieces of chain that are hanging down from the ceiling. With pliers, fold it back on itself around the chain.
  9. Space the rest of the hooks along the metal bar of the frame, with the thin hooks on top, with the metal inside it. The wide hook should be hanging down.
  10. Hang your pots and pans onto the wide part of the hooks. Try and distribute the weight fairly evenly, so that you don’t have all your heaviest pots on one side.
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