Pivoting Shoe Storage and MORE … mostly scrounged FREE wood •

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Project by tyvekboy posted 09-25-2013 01:38 PM 9846 views 27 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Pivoting Shoe Storage and MORE … mostly scrounged FREE wood •
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Sept 25, 2013

What started out as a request from the Queen for a place to store the shoes …

… evolved into a wall of free standing shelves and a place for the flat screen TV!

To make moving these units into place easier, they were made in 2 sections that got screwed together once in place.

It starts with the base cabinets (34 inches high, 11-3/4 inch deep and 35 inches wide for the side units and 36 inches wide for the center unit) ….

… to which the upper units (53 inches high, 11-3/4 inch deep and 35 inches wide for the side units and 36 inches wide for the center unit) is attached with screws. Note the cord access hole in the back panel which every unit has except the the lower side units where the shoe storage drawers live.

The center section of these units were made so the 32 inch flat screen TV would fit on the shelf. I also had a requirement to NOT cover the wall switches at either end of the units so the side units were made 1 inch less wide. Consequently the shoe drawers will only fit in the side units.

It would have been much easier if all the units were the same width.


The pivoting shoe drawer idea came from IKEA. Trying to make it work was another story. It starts out with what I call the pivoting side plates that have (2) 1/4 inch steel pins press fit into snug holes.

The backs of these plates have trapezoid looking sticks (shelf rests) that are attached and fit into the sawtooth shelf supports that are used through out this project.

A bunch of these shelf rests were cut for the shelf supports as well as the pivot plates.

For clearance, the bottoms of these pivot panels were placed 1/2 inch above the bottom and 1/2 inch apart. They are just press-fit into the sawtooth shelf supports.

The other part that makes this drawer PIVOT system work is the sides of the Shoe Storage Drawer. One routing jig was created to make both the left and right sides (which are mirror images).

Here are the two parts (pivot plate and drawer side) side by side. Note that the drawer side was routed while it was still square so registering it in the jig would be easier. Also you might notice that 1/4 inch wide and deep dadoes were cut in the other side for dividers in the drawers. This is also good to cut while the piece is square. The rounded part was cut after all the routing and dadoing was done.

This is how it looks on the assembled pivoting shoe drawer.

Here are the two drawers opened. NOTE: The shoe drawer assembly was just screwed together. This will make it easier to convert the tilting concept into a pull out type drawer in the future if this concept proves unworkable in the future. It was good I did screw it together as I had to disassemble one shoe drawer to re-route the tracks as they were binding.

The neat part of this design is – if the shoe drawers are no longer needed, they can be removed and replaced with shelves. It’s modular. I could even take a shoe drawer and mount it in the lower part of the upper cabinet (therotecially).


As mentioned before the shelves are supported by wooden shelf supports called SAWTOOTH SHELF SUPPORTS. This method of making adjustable shelves was done long ago but is a very time consuming task. I discovered that unless I added this 1/2 in. X 1/2 In. stick to the shelf supports, the shelves would tilt if pressure was applied to the front edge of the shelf.

Each shelf support fit into the sawtooth shelf supports that were glued to each side of each case carcass. The following picture shows the face frame being attached after the shelf adjusters were glued in place.

The ends of each shelf required cuts to go around the shelf adjusters.

Each shelf also had a front lip attached to (1) hide the plywood and (2) to add strength and visual appeal to the shelf.

This is what the shelf looks like installed

If you decide to build a project using sawtooth shelf supports, I would recommend that you cut the sawtooth shelf supports long enough so that you can gang 4 together with a screw at each end in the waste wood. This assures that all your shelves are level and all supports match. I would also recommend you use a miter sled on your table saw to make all the cuts. I used the band saw just to finish off the pointy ends.

I used 45 degree cuts but you could also use 22-1/2 degree cuts for the sawtooth cuts.

Here are the long and short shelf adjusters ready to be trimmed and installed.


Since I didn’t have enough long lengths of scrounged plywood for the sides of the upper units, I decided to make paneled sides for the upper units using some beaded cherry paneling that I had laying around. This tied in well with the plybead panels that I used for the backs of each unit. BTW, the plybead panels were one of the things that I had to purchase for this project.

To go along with this theme, I also made the shoe drawer fronts as panels with the cherry beaded paneling.


The base of the bottom units were trimmed with 5-1/4” wide base board (which was the only other thing that I had to purchase for this project).

The tops of the bottom units were made from walnut veneer plywood with solid walnut edging with a polyurethane finish. NOTE: These tops were attached with screws to make finishing the walnut with polyurethane easier. You only really see the edge of these tops and I could have used just plywood but the 3/4 inch walnut veneer plywood was there and free.

The solid walnut handles on the shoe drawers also got a polyurethane finish and were attached with screws after the finish was applied.

The tops of the upper units were trimmed with scrounged crown molding.


A white high gloss laytex paint was used for all the units except where polyurethane was used.

NOTE: Painting the shelf adjusters were a real PITA. However you only do it once. Paint adds thickness so make the shelf rests with a loose fit. Mine were a little tight after painting.

The plybead backs (3/8 inch thick) were painted a light yellow which matched the walls in the room and were screwed on after the paint dried. That made painting a lot easier.

A 2 inch hole was drilled in the plybead backs and rounded over to allow the cords for the power strips to go through. Notches were cut in the back of the shelf upon which the flat screen TV sits to allow cords and cables to pass.

To make them easy to slide away from the wall to get at outlets, MAGIC SLIDES were attached with double-sided carpet tape. I used the 1 inch X 4 inch ones that I cut in half and placed on 4 corners under the base cabinets. If you’ve never used them, they are great for moving big pieces of furniture on solid surface floors. You can get them at AMAZON.

Because the floors were not dead flat, I had to use shims to make the units sit right.


This project took about 1 month to design and a little over 2 months to complete. The total spent on this project from mostly scrounged materials was about $150. That’s a lot less than my Queen was going to spend at IKEA.

Any and all comments are welcomed and encouraged. I’d like to hear how you liked (or didn’t like) this project design.

Thanks for taking the time to look at this project.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

24 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17910 posts in 4103 days

#1 posted 09-25-2013 01:51 PM

Nice work, we do love pics….. Great Job.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Gibernak's profile


124 posts in 2760 days

#2 posted 09-25-2013 02:16 PM

I like it. It looks great and I really prefer this over Ikea. It looks nice with the wooden handles and and tops and it reminds one that it is real wood rather than Ikea cart box stuff. Very nice work, thanks for sharing.

View TheBobster's profile


8 posts in 2741 days

#3 posted 09-25-2013 02:45 PM

Alex, great design and execution. I need to come by for a personal tour.


View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25480 posts in 4019 days

#4 posted 09-25-2013 03:10 PM

WOW, that is a great cabinet,Alex. The Queen should be ecstatic. I love that adjusting system you built. That was a lot of work but I’ll bet it works so slick! Thanks for sharing. A favorite for sure!!!!!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4248 days

#5 posted 09-25-2013 03:36 PM

You did some impressive designing and building on this unit and you got a great result too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View luv2learn's profile


3083 posts in 3217 days

#6 posted 09-25-2013 03:56 PM

This is a great solution to your better half’s shoe collection. Thanks for the detailed explanation of your build.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3875 days

#7 posted 09-25-2013 04:31 PM

That is one nice piece of work! I am impressed with the design and the amount of time and thought put into the unit. Thanks for sharing!

View Sandy's profile


238 posts in 4839 days

#8 posted 09-25-2013 05:39 PM

Alex… Great job, as always, but how well does it sail to windward, and where’s the tyvek?

View kiefer's profile


5812 posts in 3581 days

#9 posted 09-25-2013 06:00 PM

Great looking wall unit .
Love the ideas you put in your design, you thought of everything and it will pay of in the future .
The modular aspect is a great way to go because things change quickly these days .

-- Kiefer

View Diggerjacks's profile


2328 posts in 4053 days

#10 posted 09-25-2013 06:02 PM

Hello tyvekboy

Woaw A great project

Thanks a lot for all the pictures and explications

I ilke the design

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View HuckD's profile


312 posts in 2628 days

#11 posted 09-25-2013 07:51 PM

Sweet! You should have made enough points to buy a new tool. lol

-- Visit my Youtube Channel:

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3206 days

#12 posted 09-25-2013 08:05 PM

Cool design, cool build, cool shelf support/adjustment system and great photographs. You’re just luck your wife doesn’t have more shoes. LOL

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View hoss12992's profile


4177 posts in 2807 days

#13 posted 09-25-2013 09:10 PM

Great job! Love the design

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Belg1960's profile


1120 posts in 3979 days

#14 posted 09-25-2013 09:52 PM

Alex, great job. Can I ask, aren’t those sawtooth shelf standard making more work for yourself? They seem very time consuming having to trim every shelf in the corners. Pat

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Roger's profile


21031 posts in 3718 days

#15 posted 09-25-2013 11:24 PM

This is an amazing build, from top to bottom. Really like the shoe drawers, and how you did them. WowZa!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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