Many base cabinets are only half used because the back is inaccessible.The sink cabinet, for example, is usually stuffed with long-forgotten items you can’t see unless you get down on
your knees with a flashlight. Here’s a set of pull-out trays that bring
everything within easy reach.
To begin, measure the areas of open space around the plumbing. You may only be able to put a single pull-out on one side, or you may have to shorten them or build them around pipes coming up through the base.
To make the trays shown here, you’ll need a half sheet of 3/4-in. hardwood plywood, 2-ft. x 2-ft. of 1/2-in. plywood, 17 lineal ft. of 1-in. x 4-in. maple, 2 lineal ft. of 1-in. x 6-in. maple, four pairs of 20-in. full-extension ball-bearing slides, a box of 1-5/8-in. screws, wood glue and construction adhesive.
Measure the frame opening and cut the base (A) 1/4 in. narrower (Fig. A, page 67). Make the drawers 1 in. narrower than the opening between the partitions. Cut and assemble the base assembly (A, B) and drawer parts (C, D, E). Sand and apply two coats of finish to the base and drawers.
Set the drawer slides on 3/4-in. spacers flush with the front edge of the partition (B). Screw them to the partitions; then pull out the drawer members. Set the drawer members on the same 3/4-in. spacers to create the proper bottom clearance for the tray, and screw them to the sides of the trays flush to the fronts. Screw the base assembly to the bottom of the cabinet (Photo 1). Slide in the drawers.
Make the side support cleats (K) so they sit flush or slightly proud of the face frame. Check for hinges that might get in the way of the pull-out tray. Assemble the trays with glue and screws. Apply finish.
Attach the slides and mount them in the cabinet (Photos 2 and 3). Scuff the cabinet side with sandpaper and use construction adhesive and screws to hold the cleats. Cabinet sides are often finished, so screws alone may not hold well.
Fig. A: Under-Sink Storage Exploded View
Click on any image to view a larger version
Full-Extension Ball-Bearing Drawer Slides
1. Build and install a base assembly for the bottom pull-outs. Center the base assembly in the cabinet just behind the hinges. Align the front edge with the face frame and screw it to the bottom of the cabinet.
2. Install the slides on the side pull-out trays. Center a 3-1/2-in. template on the cleat and the tall side of each tray and trace the edges. Center the mounting holes of the slides on these lines.
3. Attach the support cleats to the side of the cabinet using screws and construction adhesive. Use a temporary plywood spacer to hold each cleat in position.