Sunday, May 26, 2013

Beginnings of the Kitchen Cabinets

Rev-A-Shelf Slide Out
This weekend is a 3 day weekend and I only have 1.5 days of school left to teach! I am really looking forward to the summer. I have put roughly 25 hours into the planning of the kitchen area of my tiny house. In studying what everyone else has incorporated into their kitchens vs what I think I will need, I have come up with some very clever ways to improve kitchen use and storage. One of the best and most efficient storage ideas for in the kitchen I found are pull outs.

My original inspiration came from the Rev-A-Shelf catalog. Rev-A-Shelf slide outs are great. They are built to modify existing commercial cabinetry. At roughly $100 - $200 each, they are a pricey option, but easy to install and come complete. I like the quality and the idea is darn clever, but I have drawn out plans that call for 5 of these little lovelies, and there is just no extra $500 + in the budget for the commercially built slide outs.

So, what is a gal to do? Why Google it, of course. I poked around on the internet first to try to find a less expensive version and in the process came across this website that offered free plans to build what the author calls "Pull Outs." Follow this link to see the plans:

I decided to build mine a little different of course, but these plans gave me great inspiration and gave good detail on how to use a European drawer track rated to 90 lbs to make my slide out move in and out smoothly. So off to my local home improvement store I went and purchased supplies to build my own.

After careful consideration of space and practicality, I decided to build four 6.5" x 34" x 22" slide outs with adjustable shelves and one 3"x 34"x 20" shelf. MDF seemed like the best wood option for me and I also chose some wonderful carved trim to add for detail. Once these are painted, they will blend with the overall theme of my kitchen and should hold up for years to come.

I was also given a chance to whip out my table saw and learn how to use it. I was impressed by this practical tool and how well it made both straight cuts and angle cuts.

I cut all the pieces, drilled pilot holes and counter-sink holes, used wood glue and 2" screws in the construction. I am confident they will stand up to the abuse I will be giving them as well as the stresses involved in moving the tiny house to the land in Oregon.

Shelf Track
The final steps were to add adjustable shelf track and set some shelves in place. I decided to use some decorative cast-iron hooks to function as drawer pulls and give me a place to hang kitchen towels. The finished product looks great, seems very solid, and now is just awaiting paint. Total cost for all 5 pull outs is just under $200. A worthwhile project to be sure!

These slide outs allow for a huge amount of storage in a smaller space and more practical way. Think about how much space is wasted in a typical cabinet. Foods get pushed way to the back and forgotten, the need to get on hand and knees to find things, etc. are all eliminated by this ingenious slider. Now foods, both in jars and boxes, are easily accessible and easy to see. Storage is practical and convenient! With 5 of these sliders, a full size pantry is replaced in space that is often otherwise forgotten.

Stick around for more posts on my kitchen and you will see how I will use two of these sliders to add to my  counter space as well.

Hook Handle

Two Finished Pull Outs