Help me re: slide out/roll out drawers

webeJuly 15, 2008

I moved into a home with a recently remodeled kitchen and I am looking for assistance re: a pantry cabinet issue.

They are custom cabinets one on top of the other - Both 36" wide and about 24 inches deep. The Bottom one is about 46 inches high and the upper is about 42 inches high. The previous owner only had adjustable 1/2 shelves put in these cabinets so they only are about 9" deep, at the back of the cabinet and the rest of the cabinet is wasted space. I checked into adding roll out trays but after reading the measuring and installation instructions on the Slide Out shelves site they don't recommend using the drawers in a wide pantry with no shelf to mount to. Any suggestions on this or another site that does recommend using thier slide out shelves in this situation? I am also unable to find a pull out pantry system (wood) that would fit these cabinets. I found one but the system is too tall and won't fit in the size cabinets I have.

I thought of having DH cut me shelves the depth of the cabinet so that I could mount the roll out shelves on them but how would I secure the shelves to the cabinets without screwing into the side of the cabinet from the outside which would show the screw.

Suggestions needed, welcome.

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I had a similar situation--my cupboard is also 24" deep, I think, but it is about 65 inches tall. It had full-depth shelves, but things were always getting lost in the back. I got an Elfa (can I say brand-names here?) drawer unit which fits right into the cabinet. I kept the upper shelves because I didn't want drawers so high I couldn't see into them, but removed a lower one to make room for the unit. Now in the place of two rather impractical shelf spaces I have four drawers. In the same cupboard I have another drawer mounted below a shelf. It works very well for aluminum foil, plastic wrap, etc.

I've been happy with my solution and it was cheaper and easier than trying to retrofit the pull-out shelves.

I could try to post a picture if it would help.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 4:24PM
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At, they don't suggest you need a fixed shelf to mount the pullouts to--you mount the pullouts to the side of the cabinet, not to a shelf!

Oh, wait, I do see this: "We do not recommend no shelf installations for locations where a significant amount of weight is involved such as pantries."

I guess if your back end of the slide is going to be attached to the wimpy outer panels that framed cabinets have, this might be a problem.

The thing is, regular drawers are attached to the back of the framed cabinets all the time. You'd use the same sort of drawer slides, but you'd use "face frame brackets" or a "face frame conversion kit." Those brackets are MUCH less bulky than the ones that the Sliding Shelves place used--look at the link below.

The key: "Secure a 3/4" x 2" vertical mounting strip to the rear
wall or cabinet back for each slide."

You might ask this over at the Kitchens forum; I know folks over there have added pullouts to their cabinets after-market, so they'd have some help for you.

You can also mount to the side of the cabinet, depending on how far out the face frame sticks; you use spacers to fill in the gap between the wood of the cabinet side itself, and the spot where the drawer slide would be (sinc eit can't go flush against the wall).

Are the sides of the cabinets visible? Are they very thick? If they're not visible, and you're willing to drive screws through them from the inside, that would work. If they are visible, or if you aren't willing to make holes in them, then maybe you could line the side of the cabinet w/a thick sheet of plywood. Or, you could build a frame to set into the side of the cabinet, w/ vertical pieces where the holes on the slides are, and then glue that wood to the cabinet itself (stain it to match, to make it look pretty!); it'll hold everything. You might want to keep it from tipping by using an L bracket to attach it to the inside of the face frame in the front, and to the back of the cabinet in the back.
Scroll about halfway down

This one will show you the spacer in the back, plus the angled bracket that attached the slide to the back of the cabinet.

I suppose if you really wanted to, you could install fixed shelves in the cabinet, but that seems silly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Instructions for an Accuride-brand face-frame conversion kit

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 7:05PM
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I'm not doing this project, but those are some interesting links, TS. Thanks for posting them.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 7:47AM
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Thank you for the links. I need to re-think this whole thing. The problem lies with it being a pantry/utility cabinet as described by American Woodmark and she didn't get full depth shelves OR install any pantry pull outs etc. The cabinets are on the end and you look right at the side of it as you walk into my kitchen door. On the other side is the refrigerator.

I know they bought the cabinets at Home Depot but they don't have the order in the system anymore since it's from 2005/6 time frame. I had them check. I am going to photograph the cabinet and bring the dimensions and work with the designer there to see what aftermarket cabinet organizers (such as pull out pantry system) would work. I know they were custom (at least that is what I was told by them) and when I measure these cabinets they are not even numbers.

The perfect solution would be a pull out pantry and the door shelves that American woodmark has in thier catalog - finding out if I can have them installed in already installed cabinets is my next question. If not, for the bottom cabinet I could do large/deep slide out baskets/bins/drawer and then going up from there figure something out with shelves. On the upper cabinet a pull out drawer/shelf on the bottom of the cabinet and then maybe a full depth shelf and then leave the shorter shelves up top for things I don't use often.

Thanks for the help so far. I'll let you know how it goes with Home Depot. I already know it's going to cost me some $$.

If money were not an object I'd to get all new cabinets but because these aren't that old I really want to work with them and get better function out of them.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 2:11PM
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If you're really nervous about having the screws for the drawer slides show bcs you've accidentally punched through the side of the cabinet, then use furniture glue and short screws to attach a plywood liner to the inside. Then you can just attach the slides to the liner itself, using the side-mount system.

You can get pullouts in there, it won't be THAT hard.
You might also call some custom cabinet guys in your neck of the woods, or some woodworkers, and ask them to look at it and see if they've got an idea for how to make it work.

You can even have pullout shelves AND back-of-the-door baskets or shelves.

This is a simple project. Honest, it is. Once you find the person to help you do it.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 4:09PM
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I need face frame spacers to off set the sliding drawer to clear the cabinet door about 1/4" thick The spacers I see on the web are almost an 1inch wide. The existing sheves in my cabinets have a narrow spacer about 1/2" wide . Where can I get them? Thanks

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 1:33PM
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I too found an Elfa-type unit. Very simple. Even if not perfect fit there are ways to use space beside or on top of it (trays, etc).
Another option is to install a few deep shelves and buy shallow plastic
Containers (think sweater box or similar) which you slide inane out like a drawer. Such rectangular boxes are available in a wide array of dimensions if you look at different brands and think outside the box! (office supply, garden--I use narrow window box containers in some cabinets.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 9:21AM
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