Jan 22 , 2019
Getting the right stuff
Have you finally had it with that dark and dingy, I’m-not-sure-what’s-there storage space under the kitchen sink? Well, these two types of roll-out trays, which ride on smooth-action ball-bearing drawer glides, will get everything out in the open and let you find exactly what you need at a glance.
This under sink storage project isn’t difficult. In fact, there aren’t even any miter joints. All the parts are glued together and then nailed or screwed. You can make all the trays in an afternoon using building products from your local home center or hardware store for as little as $75. You can build everything with simple carpentry tools and some careful measuring. You don’t need a table saw for this project, but it will help you zero in on more exact measurements, especially for the lower tray bases where accuracy is important for the ball-bearing drawer glides. The nail gun shown in the photos is also optional, but it makes assembly a lot faster and less tedious. It shoots thin 18-gauge nails.
The best under sink storage solution
In this article, we’ll show you how to measure your sink base and custom-size and assemble the wood trays. We’ll also give you some tips for installing the drawer glides without a lot of head scratching. You’ll probably have to adapt the project dimensions to fit your space. For example, you may have a bulky garbage disposer that won’t allow you to install both upper slide-out trays. In that case, just make one tray instead. If you have plumbing that comes up through the floor of your sink cabinet, you may need to shorten the lower trays to fit in front of the plumbing. In any case, add as many part of this project as you can to organize this black hole once and for all.
Before you get the materials, scan this article and see if you can build all the trays or only a few of them. At a home center or lumberyard, look for hardwood plywood. You can often buy 2 x 4-ft. pieces instead of a whole sheet. The hardwood plywood has two good sides and is smoother and flatter than exterior-grade softwood plywood. It costs more too.
In the hardware department, look for ball-bearing side-mount drawer glides. The pairs of the brand we purchased are exactly the same—there’s no specific right or left, which makes things easier if you misplace a part. We used 20-in.-long side-mount glides to fit our 20-in.-long trays. This gave us some wiggle room in the back and a bit of extra space to get the pieces into place. If you have plumbing coming up through the bottom of the cabinet, you may need to shorten the trays and buy shorter drawer glides.
Then follow the photos for the step-by-step measuring and assembly instructions. Here are a few specifics to consider:
- If the opening between the open doors is narrower than the opening between the sides of the frame, use the shorter dimension to make the base.
- If you have a center stile or partition between the doors, you may need to make two separate bases for each side and a tray for each.
- Make sure the base and the tray parts are cut square and accurately so the trays slide smoothly.
Measure the cabinet opening to construct the base for the lower pull-out trays
Before you start building this under sink pull out storage system, first measure the width of your kitchen base cabinet inside the frame. Cut the base (A) 1/4 in. narrower than the opening.