How to Make a Pull-Out Shelf for Pots and Pans

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON HAZELTON:
Now, my wife Lynn and I both love to cook. And this kitchen's pretty well set up for it, except for one thing, and that is the way the pots and pans are stored down here. Now, what I don't like about this is I have to almost get down on the floor even to reach in here.

And in order to get the things in the back, half the time I've gotta move the stuff that's out front out of the way. What I want to do is design and build what I'll call a pots and pans pullout that will allow me to get these things out in the front here, where they're easy to reach.

And make maximum use of this entire cabinet space. 
Well, after giving this considerable thought, and of course discussing it with my better half, I have come up with this design which I've worked up on a piece of software called SketchUp.

What I'm going to do is build a cabinet with two slide-out trays or drawers, that's going to sit right under here.  I'll build a cabinet out in the shop.  Now I've opted for two wide drawers: one on the top and one on the bottom.

And that means that this stile, which is right in the middle?  Well, that's gonna have to go. Before removing the center stile, I decide to add a strip of 1 x 2 as a support to prevent any sagging.  And I attach it with screws from the inside.

Then I remove the cabinet doors. Cut the stile with a handsaw and pry it out.  Next, I remove the shelves on the inside by cutting them into sections with a jigsaw.  And pulling them out. Or, in some cases, knocking them free with a mallet.   I'll be using poplar and birch plywood to build the pots and pans slide-out cabinet.

Once I've gotten the material back to the shop, I begin trimming everything down to size.  

Well, I've cut out all the pieces for our project.  And I'm gonna start by assembling this outside cabinet, or case. All the parts are laid out right here: bottom, top, two ends. Won't need this one right now so I'll set this over here.  I'm gonna start by putting some glue along these edges. 

First, I apply glue to the side panels. Then, set the top and sides in place, and slip on a corner clamp to hold the pieces in position.

Next I set the bottom in place, secure all the joints with adjustable clamps, make a few final adjustments - and nail everything together.   Finally, I set the back in place and attach it.  Well here's our case. Turned out really well.

Now all I have to do is cover up these raw edges of plywood right here. Very simple. Just cut some strips of solid wood, glue and nail them on.  There, that finishes work on the case.  Now I'm gonna start on these drawers or trays that slip up inside.

Now you could call this a drawer but really it's more like a tray with sides on it. Because everything kind of sits up on top of the bottom.  More typically in a drawer, I would use probably a quarter-inch plywood for the bottom.

In this case, I'm using half-inch ply to give myself a little bit more rigidity.  So what I'm gonna do is start by attaching the two sides to the bottom section. Once again I use glue and nails. But this time I reinforce things by adding screws.

Just to make sure the pots, pans and lids don't slip off the rear of the pullout, I'm going to make the back a couple of inches higher.  Finally I get ready to attach the front.  You'll notice I've left it an inch or so wider than the pullout. This overhang will conceal the drawer glides that we'll mount to the slides later.

Now, this is the drawer or tray that's gonna hold the pots and pans.  It's gonna sit inside the cabinet just like this.  Now what's gonna make this move in and out easily are these metal glides right here.  And they're what are called full extension glides.

They allow this drawer to slide all the way out. So I've got easy access from front to back.  One half of the glide mounts on the inside of the cabinet. The other half installs on the side of the pullout shelves. With the glide hardware mounted, installing the drawer into the cabinet is as simple as setting the drawer in place and pushing it in. 

That looks nice.  Okay.  Now I'm gonna take this inside, put it inside the cabinet and make sure everything fits.  Now this is what cabinetmakers call the moment of truth.  Yes.
Next I remount the cabinet doors and set the pullouts in place for the final time.  Wow, what a difference a coat of paint makes, huh? Now we're left with just one little problem. Remember that stile that we took out here? Well, that's left a gap between these 2 doors that's sort of like a missing front tooth.

So here's what I'm gonna do about that.  I cut a piece of 1 x 3 the same length as the doors.  Clamp it to the back of one door and attach it with screws.  The result?  No more unsightly gap. A non-skid rubber mat will keep the pots and pans from sliding around as the pullout is opened and closed.

Well there's just one last step to this project, and that's to populate my new pullout.
[MUSIC]
Well you know this couldn't have turned out better.  I mean, my pots and pans are right here near the stove where I'm going to use them.  I don't have to reach down low when I want to put them away.  I've got full use of this cabinet from front to back.

In fact, this turned out so well, I just had to go out and buy myself a new set of cookware.   And while I was at it, I figured if this one works so well, why not create another one over here for the bakeware?  After all, if you've got a good thing going, why not do a little more of it?

Learn how to build a pullout for pots and pans which maximizes storage agrea and eliminates the need to get down on the floor to access whatever is in the back.

Homeowners plan to build a pullout for pots and pans beneath their kitchen cook top. The pullout will make maximum use of this storage area and eliminate the need to get down on the floor and move items at the front of the current storage to access whatever is at the back. They have designed a pullout unit with two wide slide-out trays that will fit into the available space, retaining the existing cabinet doors but removing a shelf and a supporting stile from the cabinet frame. Construction materials include poplar lumber and birch plywood.

Plan Pull-out Shelves to Address Available Space and Obstacles
Step 1

Plan Pull-out Shelves to Address Available Space and Obstacles

Design and draft a pull-out shelf plan to address available space, dimensions, materials, the supporting stile in the middle of the cabinet opening, and potential problems such as electrical wiring or gas piping beneath the cook top.

Reinforce the Cabinet Opening and Remove the Center Stile
Step 2

Reinforce the Cabinet Opening and Remove the Center Stile

Strengthen the upper edge of the cabinet opening by screwing a one-by-two on the back of the cabinet facing before cutting out the stile. Remove the existing fixed shelves that will prevent the pull-out shelves from operating.

Purchase and Cut Poplar Lumber and Birch Plywood to Size
Step 3

Purchase and Cut Poplar Lumber and Birch Plywood to Size

Buy poplar stock lumber and birch plywood. Use a table saw to cut the materials to the appropriate dimensions for the pullout pots and pans shelves according to your building plan and cut list.

Assemble the Open-fronted Frame/Case for the Pull-out Shelves
Step 4

Assemble the Open-fronted Frame/Case for the Pull-out Shelves

Glue the plywood panels--a bottom, top, back, and two sides--together initially into an open-fronted case to hold the pull-out shelves. Secure the panels permanently with a pneumatic nail gun.

Cover the Raw Edges of the Pull-out Shelves Case
Step 5

Cover the Raw Edges of the Pull-out Shelves Case

Cut and glue narrow finishing strips of solid poplar along the raw front edges of the open-fronted case for the pull-out shelves. Secure them with a pin nailer and trim any overhang from the corners with a Japanese hand saw.

Assemble the Sliding Drawers/Trays for the Pull-out Shelves
Step 6

Assemble the Sliding Drawers/Trays for the Pull-out Shelves

Secure the sides and back on top of the bottom panel of the drawer/tray. Mount the front flush to the tray’s forward edge overhanging about an inch on the sides to conceal the drawer glides. Reinforce with screws.

Install Both Halves of the Full-extension Drawer Glides
Step 7

Install Both Halves of the Full-extension Drawer Glides

Position the stationary portion of the metal drawer glides to the left and right sides of the cabinet interior and secure. Mount the moving portions on the sides of the drawers. Test the sliding action of the drawers.

Position the Pull-out Shelves beneath the Cook Top
Step 8

Position the Pull-out Shelves beneath the Cook Top

Remove the drawers temporarily and test the fit of the empty (and now lighter) case in the cavity beneath the cook top. Adjust the fit, if necessary, and reinsert the drawers that form the pull-out pots and pans shelves.

Remount the Cabinet Doors over the Pull-out Shelves
Step 9

Remount the Cabinet Doors over the Pull-out Shelves

Reinstall the hinges and screws removed at the beginning of the project and remount the cabinet doors. The pull-out shelves will remain hidden until you need your pots and pans.

Attach a Replacement Stile to the Cabinet Door
Step 10

Attach a Replacement Stile to the Cabinet Door

Cut and paint a one-by-three the same length as the cabinet doors. Mount it with countersunk screws to the back of one door. It will fill the gap left by the stile removed earlier for the pull-out shelves project.