In order to achieve the goal of pristine countertops set forth in Space Hacker: DIY Slide-Out Shelves, I needed to relocate most of the crap that had been inhabiting my lower cabinets. For much of the stuff, I followed by my preferred method of dealing with unused and unwanted crap:
- Find a large cardboard box in the big pile of large cardboard boxes taking up considerable real estate in the basement
- Toss unwanted crap in the large cardboard box
- Close the large cardboard box (at this point, if done properly, memory of the box’s contents should start to fade)
- Carry the large cardboard box to the basement
- Search for space, preferably out of the way and hidden (what was in that box, again?)
- Deposit the large cardboard box, turn around and walk away forever (what box? What are you talking about? I don’t remember any box!)
- Tell no one what I’ve done
But sometimes those cabinets held things that I needed, like food that Handan had grown and I had canned. I couldn’t just toss that sauce into the pit of forgotten gadgets (but you better believe the rest of that crap got The Box!).
I needed that cabinet to hold my food processor and slow cooker/pressure cooker/yogurt maker/rice maker (which is one of the greatest gadgets of all time – someday I’ll write about it), but there was no place in my crowded kitchen to put those jars. I certainly couldn’t add them to the pantry – that would be suicide. In fact, I needed to brave the wilds of my pantry to rescue some jars of homemade goodies that had been marooned in there since September: ghost pepper jelly, habanero jelly, sweet-and-spicy cherry peppers, peach habanero salsa and barbecue sauce. There was a whole ecosystem of sweet, tangy, spicy excellence in those jars that had been neglected for too long. But where to put those colorful jars of butt-puckering perfection?
I scanned the kitchen. Nada. No shelf space left, no cabinet space that wasn’t spoken for, and the counters were off-limits. But wait! What was that there?
Just look at all that wasted real estate! Go on! Look! (Yikes, just don’t look too hard at all those stains on the red chest of drawers.)
Okay, I could work with that space. People live in smaller spaces in New York City and San Francisco and pay good money for the privilege! I whipped out a measuring tape and took some hasty measurements (okay, I’ll spare you the wait – I was a little too hasty, and I screwed up a measurement. When did I discover my error? When the piece was finished-but-not-painted. More on that later.) I jotted my measurements on a small piece of paper and made a quick sketch. I would build rolling shelves to hold my jars of precious spicy stuff. The shelves would fit exactly into the space shown above: the top of the enclosure would fit underneath the granite overhang and the bottom 4 inches or so would be recessed by 3/4 inch to account for the baseboard on the one side and at the back.
I descended into the basement to start construction. I can hear you thinking, “Oh, down in the basement with all your boxes of crap?” To which I reply, “What boxes?”
I decided to make the rolling shelf enclosure out of 1/2 inch plywood. I cut all the pieces according to my sketch and dimensions. I know other bloggers out there take the time to plan their work with computer-aided design and cut sheets and computer-generated plans. They are right to do so. I make my calculations in my head and scribble them on a tiny yellow pad of paper. I make mistakes – usually a lot of them. Don’t be like me. Plan your work properly. Anyway, here are
all most of the pieces (I realized later that I forgot a piece. Also, I sorta changed the design a little bit halfway through building. Again, don’t be like me when you build.)
I used my Kreg Jig to drill all the pocket holes. There are also two pieces of 3/4 inch plywood that I cut for the base. Since I needed the bottom 4 inches to be recessed and my casters were 2 1/2 inches tall, I needed another 1 1/2 inches in addition to the casters. I glued two identical pieces of 3/4 inch plywood together to make the base.
I used brad nails to secure the two pieces together while the glue dried.
The 3/4 inch pieces of plywood were 1 1/2 inches shorter in both length and width than the bottom shelf of the cabinet. When glued together, I centered the base in the middle of the bottom shelf. This left 3/4 inch all around – the exact width of the baseboard. I traced the outline with pencil, then rolled the base with glue.
Next, I placed the base on the bottom shelf and secured it with brad nails.
Once the base platform was built, I started by securing the back of the shelf to the base. I put a bead of glue along the joint, then screwed it in place.
Next up were the sides.
And the top (okay, okay, I hadn’t actually put the other side on yet. In my original design, I only had one side. I planned to slide the jars to the end and pluck them from there. I changed this plan shortly after taking these pictures).
Once the frame was built, I decided to reinforce it with some brad nails.
Click on ‘Page 2 of 2’ below to continue.