One home improvement project that's sure to make your life easier is installing slide-out shelves. Not only will slide-out shelves keep objects within reach, your back and knees will thank you as you're able to reach for objects with less bending, crouching and kneeling. Brackets are the main feature of sliding shelves, and once you've installed them on the side of the cabinet and drawers, you're ready to roll.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Circular saw
- Safety glasses
- 3/4-inch birch plywood
- Sliding brackets (one pair for each shelf)
- 1 1/4-inch wood screws
- Drill bits (one Phillips head; one slightly smaller than the diameter of your wood screws)
- Wood screws (usually provided with the brackets)
- Utility knife
Cut spacers from the birch plywood with your circular saw (always wear safety glasses when cutting wood). To make sure the spacers are the right length, extend the inner rail of a sliding bracket and place the fully extended rail close to, but not touching, the door hinge. Measure the space between the side of the cabinet and the back of the drawer slide. You'll use this measurement for the width of the spacer. Roll the inner rail back into the bracket so it's not fully extended, and then measure the length of the bracket. You'll use this measurement for the length of the spacers. Cut two spacers for each shelf; you'll be mounting the sliding brackets to the spacers.
Mount the spacers. Place the spacers on the bottom and along the sides of the cabinet. Put shims under the spacer so it's not touching the bottom of the cabinet, and then screw the spacer in with 1 1/4-inch wood screws. If you're mounting more than one slide-out shelf, measure up from the bottom spacer to the space you'd like to place your next shelf and mark it with a pencil. Measure and mark both sides; repeat for all the shelves you're installing. Attach each spacer to the side of the cabinet with 1 1/4-inch wood screws.
Remove the sliding rail from the sliding bracket hardware and put aside. Place the sliding bracket hardware against the bottom spacers, and attach the drawer slide to the spacer using the screws provided with the slide. Make sure the right slide goes on the right side, and the left slide is installed on the left side. The slides are usually marked, L and R. Install the upper drawer slides to each spacer for all the shelves you are installing.
Attach the sliding rail to the bottom side of the shelf. Follow the directions that came with the sliding bracket, and be sure the end of the rail is flush with the shelf front and 1/4 inch from the bottom of the shelf. Fasten the rail to the shelf using the provided screws. Repeat for the other side. Repeat this step for all shelves.
Cut away the part of the shim that protrudes into the bottom of the shelf with a utility knife and vacuum out the dust from the cabinet. Close the sliding brackets, and then align the sliding rail on the sides of the shelf with the bracket on the side of the cabinet. Push the shelf into the pantry, then pull and push a couple of times to make sure it works. Repeat for all shelves.
Tips and warnings
- Use ball-bearing sliding brackets; they are a bit more expensive, but because they extend fully you'll be able to access everything on the shelf.
- Always wear safety glasses when making cuts or drilling in wood.
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