How to Build Kitchen Improvements
How to Build a Roll-Out Storage Shelf
For more convenient access to pans or small appliances, build this handy roll-out shelf unit into a base cabinet.
- Measuring rule
- Carpenters' square
- Handsaw or power saw
- Nail set
- 3/4-inch grade A-B interior plywood
- 1 x 2 and 1 x 3 pine stock
- Carpenters' glue
- 4-penny finishing nails
- Two standard 22-inch-long drawer slide assemblies with installation screws
- Wood filler
- Primer and semigloss interior latex paint, or finish desired
Time: About 4 to 6 hours, plus finishing time
Making the Shelf
To fit a standard 18 x 24-inch base cabinet, measure and cut a 131/4 x 211/4-inch piece of 3/4-inch grade A-B interior plywood for the roll-out shelf. Cut a 131/4-inch piece of 1 x 2 pine stock. Apply a bead of carpenters' glue to one 131/4-inch edge of the shelf, and set the 2-inch face of the 1 x 2 strip against the edge, flush at the bottom and at each end. Secure the strip with four 4-penny finishing nails.
Cut two 22-inch pieces of 1 x 2. Apply glue to the side edges of the shelf. Set the two strips against the edges, flush at the bottom and at each end, and secure each strip with six 4-penny finishing nails.
Cut a 143/4-inch piece of 1 x 3 pine stock. Turn the shelf assembly upside down, and apply glue to the remaining 131/4-inch edge of the shelf. Set the 1 x 3 strip against the edge so that the ends are flush, the top edges are flush, and the bottom edge protrudes 1 inch below the bottom surface of the shelf.
Attaching the Slide Assembly to the New Shelf
With the shelf still upside down, draw two lines across the bottom surface from front to back, each 11/4 inches in from the side. Center the upper half of a standard 22-inch-long drawer slide assembly on each guideline, and attach the slides with the screws provided. Installation instructions for drawer slides vary from brand to brand; follow the manufacturer's specific installation instructions.
Attaching the Slide Assembly to the Cabinet
Determine and mark the front-to-back centerline of the cabinet's existing shelf, by measuring the exact distance between the sides of the door opening and marking the midway point. Measure 61/8 inches to both right and left of the centerline mark, along the front edge of the shelf. With a carpenters' square and a pencil, draw front-to-back lines at right angles to the shelf edge at each of these points. Center the bottom half of one drawer slide assembly on each of these guidelines, and attach the slides with the screws provided.
Finishing the Shelf
Mesh the slides and roll the new shelf into place in the cabinet, checking for ease of operation; there should be 1/8 inch clearance between the side of the door opening and the shelf side, at each side. The cabinet door must be able to open far enough so that it leaves the cabinet opening completely clear and does not obstruct the passage of the new shelf. Make any slide adjustments necessary for smooth operation.
Remove the roll-out shelf and remove the slide halves. With a nail set and hammer, sink the nailheads slightly below the surface of the wood. Fill the nail holes and any surface or joint imperfections with wood filler, and sand the shelf smooth.
To finish the shelf, apply a coat of primer and then two coats of semigloss interior latex paint, or whatever finish you like. Let the finish dry completely between coats. Apply at least one coat of finish to the bottom of the shelf to seal the wood.
When the finish is completely dry, replace the slide halves and install the shelf in the cabinet.
On our final page, we will tackle a familiar kitchen problem -- spice racks.
For more information on making improvements to your kitchen, try the following links:
- If you're interested in planning a new kitchen, see our article on How to Design a Kitchen.
- For ideas on what types of materials can enhance your kitchen, see A Guide to Kitchen Remodeling Materials.
- If you want to save money on repairing your appliances, check out the instructions in How to Repair Kitchen Equipment.
- Make sure no one gets hurt when you're working on your kitchen using our Home-Repair Safety Tips.