How to Build an Ultimate Container Storage Cabinet

FH18DJF_583_00_027 ultimate container storage cabinet tupper wear kitchen organization
It’s always a challenge to find matching containers and lids. This rollout solves the problem by keeping them all neatly organized and easily accessible. The full-extension drawer slides are the key. To simplify tricky drawer slide installation, we’ve designed an ingenious carrier system that allows you to mount the slides and make sure everything is working smoothly before the unit is mounted in the cabinet.

 

Tools and materials

Our 24-in. base cabinet required a 4 x 4-ft. sheet of 1/2-in.-thick plywood for the rollout, plus a 2 x 3-ft. scrap of 3/4-in. plywood for the carrier. Your container storage cabinet may require more or less. We found high-quality birch plywood at a home center for this project. If you have trouble finding nice plywood, consider ordering Baltic birch or ApplePly plywood from a home center or local lumberyard. The carrier fits under the rollout and isn’t very conspicuous, so almost any flat piece of 3/4-in. plywood will work for that.

In addition to the lumber, you’ll need a pair of 22-in. full-extension ball-bearing slides (about $22 at home centers or woodworking supply stores) and a 1/4-in. aluminum rod.

We used a table saw to cut the plywood parts, but if you’re careful to make accurate cuts, a circular saw will work. You’ll need a jigsaw with a plywood-cutting blade to cut the curves on the sides and dividers. We used a finish nail gun and 1-1/4-in.- long brad nails to connect the parts, but you could substitute trim-head screws if you don’t mind the larger holes they leave. Read on to learn how to build this container storage cabinet.

Project Directions:

FH18DJF_583_55_019 container storage cabinet measure

1. Measure the opening of the base cabinet

Most base cabinets are about 23 in. deep and will accommodate this container storage cabinet rollout, but measure yours to be sure. If the measurement from the back of the face frame to the back of the cabinet is less than 22 in., you’ll have to build a shallower rollout and use shorter drawer slides.

The other critical measurement is the width. Measure the clear opening width; that is, the width from any protruding hinge or door parts to the opposite side of the cabinet opening (Photo above). Subtract 3 in. from this measurement to determine the width of parts B, C, D and E (as seen below in Project PDF’s — Figure A).

FH18DJF_583_55_002 ultimate container storage cabinet side

2. Cut the side panels

After adjusting the size of parts B, C, D and E for the container storage cabinet width, you can cut out all the parts except the carrier bottom. If you’re using a table saw, make partial cuts to form the L-shaped sides. But remember, you can’t see how far the blade is cutting on the underside, so be sure to stop short of your inside corner marks by at least an inch. The photo above shows how to complete the cut with a jigsaw.

FH18DJF_583_55_004 cut the curves container storage cabinet

3. Cut the curves

Trace along the edge of a 1-gallon paint can to draw the radius for the curve on the side panels. Trace along a quartsize can to draw the radius on the dividers. Cut the curves on the sides and dividers with a jigsaw (Photo above). Smooth the curved cuts with 100-grit sandpaper.

FH18DJF_583_55_008 rollout container storage cabinet

4. Assemble the rollout

Mark the location of the 1/4-in. rod on the side panels using Figure A (in Project PDFs below) as a guide. Wrap tape around a 1/4-in. drill bit 1/4 in. from the end to use as a depth guide while drilling. Drill 1/4-in.- deep holes at the marks. Use a hacksaw to cut an aluminum rod 1/2 in. longer than the width of the bottom.

Apply wood glue to all edges that meet, and arrange the sides, bottom, front and back on a workbench and clamp them together. Work the aluminum rod into the holes. Tap the parts with a hammer to align the edges perfectly before connecting them with brad nails (Photo above). Take your time aiming the nail gun to avoid nail blowouts.

FH18DJF_583_55_010 dividers container storage cabinet

5. Nail the dividers to the shelf

Finish the rollout by adding the dividers. First, decide how many dividers you want and calculate the width of the space between the dividers. Cut a spacer block to that dimension and use it as a guide to install the dividers. Attach the dividers to the shelf (Photo above).

FH18DJF_583_55_011 container storage cabinet

6. Nail the dividers to the rollout and cut carrier

Then measure down 7-1/2 in. from the top and make marks to indicate the top edge of the divider shelf. Line up the divider assembly with these marks and nail it in. Draw divider center lines on the  back of the rollout as a nailing guide. Then attach the dividers (Photo above).

Drawer slides require 1/2-in. clearance on each side, so making the carrier exactly 1 in. wider than the rollout will result in a perfect fit. Measure the width of the completed rollout and add exactly 1 in. to determine the width of the carrier bottom. Cut the carrier bottom from 3/4-in. plywood. Then screw the carrier sides to the carrier bottom to prepare the carrier for mounting the drawer slides.

FH18DJF_583_55_013 drawer slide rail

7. Screw the drawer slide to the rollout

Follow the instructions included with your drawer slides to separate the slides into two parts: a channel and a rail. Usually, pressing down on a plastic lever releases the parts and allows you to separate them. Screw the rails to the drawer (Photo above).

FH18DJF_583_55_017 carrier drawer slide channel

8. Screw the drawer slide channel to the carrier

Rest the drawer slide channel on the carrier and align the front flush to the front of the carrier side. When you’re done installing the slides, check the fit by carefully aligning the rails with the channels and sliding them together. The rollout should glide easily on the ball-bearing slides. If the slides seem too tight, you can adjust the fit by removing one of the carrier sides and slipping a thin cardboard shim between the carrier side and carrier bottom before reassembling them.

FH18DJF_583_55_023 install carrier to cabinet

9. Install the carrier

The photo above shows fitting the carrier assembly into the cabinet. There will be a little side-to-side play, so you can adjust the position to clear the hinge and door. This will probably require you to offset the carrier slightly away from the hinge side.

FH18DJF_583_55_026 install the container storage cabinet rollout

10. Install the rollout

Screw the carrier to the bottom of the cabinet and you’re ready to install the rollout (Photo above). Since you’ve already checked the fit, it should operate perfectly. Now load it up with containers and lids and enjoy your neatly organized container rollout.

 

Project PDFs

Click the links below to download the materials and cutting lists for this project. As well as the projects construction drawings.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

 

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