Sliding Storage Shelves

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Project by EarlS posted 10-25-2020 12:58 PM 1387 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been re-configuring, re-organizing, and de-cluttering the shop. One of my goals was to make some room to get the blade box, dado box, and Leigh jig parts box into the climate controlled shop area rather than the main garage. I managed to consolidate things enough to get the tall Craftsman metal cabinet out of the garage and into the shop. That was where things evolved into a wood project.

Craftsman only provides 3 metal shelves in these cabinets (16×32x72) and there are only a few preset spots they can be bolted in place. After getting the shelves set where I wanted them, there was still a large area in the bottom of the cabinet. Initially, I was going to make a wood frame that would hold wood shelves but I wasn’t totally thrilled about having to lift the large, heavy Leigh part box off of the bottom of the cabinet. I pulled open a drawer to get the tape measure and had an epiphany. Why not install shelves that pull out instead?

Some 6/4 maple that had been a shelf became spacer ribs. A couple of pieces of scrap plywood were attached to the ribs to mount the drawer slides onto. HD had full extension drawer slides that mounted on the side of a drawer as well as the more basic 3/4 pull out slides rated for 50 lbs that attached to the bottom edge of a drawer. I didn’t want to give up another 1” or so from the shelf length and width to install side and back pieces so I went with the bottom mount version.

The bottom shelf was installed first, just above the lip of the cabinet face so I could make sure the second shelf was high enough that I could get a 9” tall box on the lower shelf. After the second shelf was installed, I drilled some holes through the cabinet sheet metal sides and screwed the side supports into the cabinet to keep them in place. As you can see from the first picture, the upper shelf had enough clearance for the tall box as well.

Mission accomplished with some extra room for the 4×24 belt sander. My back will certainly appreciate the pull out shelves. I just might have to make a for the shelf that has all of the finishes and glue and such so I won’t have to move everything to get to the can in the back.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

11 comments so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


10889 posts in 3869 days

#1 posted 10-25-2020 01:48 PM

Nice solution and great modification.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


3225 posts in 1007 days

#2 posted 10-25-2020 02:39 PM

As I always say, Earl, order = good; chaos = not good.

I dont see any duct tape in there? What up wiff dat!

-- WWBBJ: the first to compare a woman´s cheek to a rose was a poet. The second, an idiot. Dali

View splintergroup's profile


6952 posts in 2683 days

#3 posted 10-25-2020 02:50 PM

I have pull out shelves in the kitchen for the first time, it makes quite a difference!

Just don’t pull them all out at the same time when loaded up 8^), nice retrofit Earl!

View doubleDD's profile


11292 posts in 3503 days

#4 posted 10-25-2020 03:03 PM

This is a great idea and makes things a lot easier. I made a couple for the shop and can not thank myself enough.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View EarlS's profile


5524 posts in 3808 days

#5 posted 10-25-2020 03:42 PM

This is one of those improvements that seems so obvious now that I did it that I wonder why it took so long to realize the solution.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10290 posts in 2042 days

#6 posted 10-25-2020 05:45 PM

Nice work, Earl! With a new shop, it feels like a lot of time gets spent improving the organization rather than actually building stuff, but it pays off in the long run, right? That’s what I tell myself, anyhow.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


9454 posts in 2281 days

#7 posted 10-26-2020 01:35 AM

Smart move EarlS... A great way to get to the stuff at the back that keeps getting duplicated due to isolation (small stuff shelf/drawer).

Only suggestion I would recommend… and as always this mouth comes with $$$ words… stainless (Blum type) sliders to get the shelf/drawer fully out…
Not having used those whiteys for many years, I cant speak for how much pull the modern ones sacrifice.

Having said that, I have found those type of slides are easier to “un-slide”... if you detach the shelf/drawer often… especially when you’re like me and too lazy to empty the contents.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View therealSteveN's profile


9997 posts in 2034 days

#8 posted 10-26-2020 03:03 AM

Earl, this is swell use of a configured by someone else box,which you bent, and beat into submission for your own use. Great job.

I’m doing much the same. I never knew I owned so many tools….. And all along I thought I was retired.

-- Think safe, be safe

View HokieKen's profile


21725 posts in 2599 days

#9 posted 10-26-2020 04:27 PM

Nicely done Earl. I like it :-)

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Keebler1's profile


2352 posts in 1168 days

#10 posted 10-27-2020 05:49 PM

Great Earl now youve given me something else to do…...nice job I will have to do this with my mitre saw station instead of a bunch of doors and fully enclosed drawers

View sansoo22's profile


1983 posts in 1115 days

#11 posted 10-27-2020 07:03 PM

That’s an awesome solution. Im going to keep this in mind when I redo the small closet in my shop. Maybe it wont be a crap catching black hole if it has pullout trays to keep things.

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