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In the works. The New Century plate rack in curly sassafras, nearly ready for glue-up.

Plate racks are practical pieces of kitchen furniture that also happen to be delightfully decorative. Some people question their usefulness on the grounds that they hold a limited number of dishes; also, being open, they offer no protection from dust. Traditionally, these racks were used over a sink, where their open structure allowed freshly washed dishes to drain and dry; obviously doing so will cause water damage to the wood–another drawback cited by critics.

Where these racks really come into their own is in storing dishes that are used every day. Plates, soup dishes, and other types of tableware are readily visible and easy to grab from the rack, whereas plates and bowls stored in cupboards must be pulled from a stack stored behind closed doors.

While the sky’s the limit in terms of aesthetic possibilities for plate rack design, there are just a few basic arrangements for supporting the contents.


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