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pull-out shelfCarl Weese

No more getting on your knees and rummaging at the back of base cabinets. Slide-out shelves make it easy to see and reach stored items.

Pull-out shelves -- sometimes called slide-out shelves (or trays) -- glide along tracks to make it easy for you to see and reach whatever you have stored, especially larger items. In my own kitchen, we use pull-out shelves to store two Dutch ovens and their lids, a lobster pot, and various skillets. I installed the pull-outs myself, and I'm planning to add more in my closets to store sweaters. It's a fun and relatively easy weekend project.

Pull-out shelves are available at home improvement stores in solid wood, plywood, wire, or a combination of materials; kits usually come with all the mounting hardware you'll need, plus assembly instructions. Avoid products made of particleboard (although an MDF vinyl-coated base is perfectly fine).

Unlike fixed shelves, pull-outs don't require fancy cabinet fronts, drawer fronts or pulls. The four sides are normally short (2 to 3 inches high), but they're available with taller sides, too, for corralling bulky items.

The shelves should be exactly 1 inch narrower and an inch less in depth than the cabinet opening. Of course, if you're installing more than one pull-out, the vertical space between the shelves can be adjusted to suit your needs. (Note that If you build your own custom shelves, you'll need several additional hours as well as a table saw.)


-- Corded or cordless drill with assorted bits
-- Measuring tape
-- Torpedo level
-- Pencil

-- Readymade shelving kit (hardware should be included)
-- Stain to match cabinets (optional),feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=898026&pid=898025&uts=1276627894

Install a Slide-Out Shelf

Rest the rear bracket of the track (or slide) on the existing cabinet shelf. Level it using a torpedo level and mark the front end height. For a pullout tray at the bottom of the cabinet, rest the rear bracket on the cabinet floor.

Repeat this process for the other side of the shelf.

Then remove the existing fixed shelf. It's most likely nailed in place, and you can use a hammer to knock it out. You may also want to temporarily remove the shelf above the base cabinet to allow more light into the cabinet while you work.

Install a Slide-Out Shelf

Drill pilot holes and mount the front of the track with screws. If necessary, tack a shim to the inside edge of the cabinet stile so the pullout will clear the cabinet door.

*Note that some cabinet doors may interfere with tray movement because they project slightly into the opening. If you have this situation, order a tray that will clear the doors, and use shims (pictured) to position slides as necessary.

Install a Slide-Out Shelf

Double-check that the track is level before securing the bracket. Adjust the position of the rear bracket so the track is the same distance from the cabinet side at the back as it is at the front. Then fix it to the cabinet back with screws.

Repeat on the other side.

Install a Slide-Out Shelf

Attach the mating halves of the slides (the portion that fits into the tracks) to the bottom edges of the pullout. The front (non-roller end) of the slide should be flush with the front of the shelf.

Install a Slide-Out Shelf

Installing two pullout trays in a kitchen base cabinet, as shown here, is a project that even a beginner can finish in an hour or two.

Install a Slide-Out Shelf

  • Joe

    Very good article, I found a more extensive instructions here

  • 1 Comments / 1 Pages

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