Space Saving Pullout Shelves
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The best pull out sliding shelves custom made for your kitchen cabinets!

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How about a pullout sliding shelf that is actually made to fit your kitchen cabinet?
custom pull out sliding shelves that slide for your kitchen cabinets

Here are some great places to buy pullout sliding shelving online

Before we get into the list of the pullout shelf companies we should talk about pullout shelves and what they can and can not do for you. Pull out shelves are not really space saving. In fact you will usually lose space after adding pullout shelves. What you do gain is accessibility. Some pullout shelf companies will tell you that any cabinet is the perfect place for a pullout shelf but that is not true. While most base cabinets can use shelves that slide your upper cabinets are usually too shallow to get any benefit from installing pull out shelves. Some base cabinets are too small to to make pull out shelving worth installing. We think any cabinet less than 6" wide and many less than 8" wide are not worth installing sliding shelves. You may be better off installing wire dividers and using that location for cookie sheets and baking and serving trays. You can find the wire dividers here.
    That said most kitchen cabinets are a great location for pull out shelves. The first thing to decide is what type of slides do you need. There are many different brands and styles of slides but most sliding shelf companies use Euro style slides. There are many different quality levels of Euro slides for pull out shelves. One of the best names in slides is Blum, another is Grass. Because the quality of the Blum and Grass slides stands above that of other slide companies we will only recommend pull out shelf companies that use Blum or Grass slides. The slides are the heart of a pullout shelf and companies that cut corners on the slide quality are probably going to cut other corners as well. So understanding that you want quality slides let us look at the two main options that are available, full extension and three quarter extension. For most base cabinets the 3/4 extension slides will give you access to the rear of your cabinets while saving you both money and hassles on installation. The 3/4 extension slides have more mounting styles available as well as being a very simple slide to install. The full extension slides use an extra center member and can be confusing to cabinet makers and down right perplexing to the average do it yourselfer. For some locations such as pantries or pull out shelving for computer or CD / DVD storage the full extension slides are worth the money and the hassle. For normal base cabinets with pot and pan storage save your money and go with 3/4 extension. Items that are in the back of the sliding shelf will be out to the front of the cabinet when the shelf is extended. Watch out for ball bearing type slides as they have a tendency to lose their balls over the years.
    The next thing to look at is what type of wood is used in the shelves. Some rolling shelf companies make shelves from 1/2" thick Melamine which is a nice name for covered particle board. They trim the shelf with some Birch plywood but the true strength of the shelf relies on the particle board. The other problem is the weight of the particle board. I was at a local Ace hardware where one company sells a rolling shelf kit. I picked up the kit and it must have weighed forty pounds. You have to cut the shelf bottom, back and front to make it fit your cabinet. I believe the slides are rated for 75 pounds. Even if they are rated for more screwing the slides into particle board reduces the strength. If you take forty pounds (the weight of the shelf) off the seventy five pound rating and you only have thirty five pounds available for your items. A quality pullout shelf that is 30" wide need weigh no more than 7 or 8 pounds. If mounted on 100 pound slides that will leave you over 90 pounds of capacity for your goods.
    One small step up from particle board shelves are shelves that are made from solid light density woods such as poplar. Since the time of the Egyptian Pharos the world has know the strength and stability of laminating woods together. The alternating grain directions of plywood layers glued together with waterproof glue give it stability and greatly increase the strength. Solid wood may look nicer but considering that sliding shelves spend most of their time behind closed doors looks are not the number one consideration. The reality is solid wood is prone to warping and splitting where plywood is not.
    So we have it narrowed down that is you are looking for a quality pullout shelf you should be looking at a shelf which has a structure made from plywood, but what type of plywood is best? At first you might think that the thicker the plywood the stronger the pull out shelf but that would be forgetting that the strength of plywood comes from the layers, not the thickness of the layers. Hands down the best material for building sliding shelves is 1/2" thick 9 ply plywood and the best 9 ply 1/2" plywood is Baltic Birch. The average 3/4" plywood has just five layers and needs to be edge banded to cover the look of the low density that it has. There is at least one sliding shelf company out there that actually thinks their 3/4" plywood is stronger than the 1/2" 9 ply birch plywood. The concern is that the same person that does not know the difference in strength is also designing the construction of that 3/4" shelf. The other disadvantage of 3/4" material is the waste of space that the 3/4" plywood causes. The extra thickness of the 3/4" material is that much less space inside the shelf times four. Times four because of the two sides and the front and back all which are reduced by 1/4" due to the thicker yet weaker wood.
    Joinery is the last item to look at to determine shelf quality. The simplest type of joint for the corners of the pullout shelves is a butt joint. This is where the the sides of the shelf sit flat against the front and back of the shelves where it is glued and nailed. This joint is actually fairly solid for a small shelf for cabinets that are less than 24" wide. While not recommended for heavy loads such as canned foods the simple butt joint will hold up well if the quality of the material is good enough. A nicer looking joint is a mitered joint such as you find in the corners of picture frames. While more difficult to manufacture than a butt joint there is no edge grain of the wood exposed so it is a nicer looking joint. Unfortunately the miter joint does not add any strength to the corner and if fact it is not as strong as the plain butt joint. Most everyone is familiar with dovetail joints and have heard that a way to tell fine quality furniture is to look for a dovetail joint. Dovetail joints are great for solid hardwood shelves and if you ignore the fact that solid hardwood is not the best material for sliding shelves than you should look for a dovetail joint. The reason is that solid hardwoods are susceptible to splitting so you do not want to nail or screw a hardwood shelf together. The dovetail joint does not require nails or screws so the tendency for the solid wood to split is reduced. The dovetail joint is very strong from one direction but it is inherently weak in the opposite direction. This means that the sliding shelf may be strong when pulled from the front but it is possible for the sides to pop out and then all structure is lost. Another joint that is used in pullout shelf construction is a rabbet joint. With a rabbet joint half of the material is removed from the sides the depth of the front / back. This gives extra glue area and provides a shoulder for the front and back to sit in. With the nails coming through the sides into the front and back the joint provides the strength needed for repeated pull outs and yet provides good support for side to side strength. When combined with a dado joint for the bottom material the rabbet joint is the preferred method of construction for pull out shelving and is what you will find in the best pull out shelves.
    Bottom material / construction. The last thing to look at is the material used for the bottom of the shelves. We have already learned the disadvantages of 1/2" or 5/8" thick melamine bottoms. Companies that use melamine bottoms are usually relying on them for the strength of the shelves and they weigh so much that you lose much of the slide capacity just supporting the shelf. For shelves that have the bottom nailed flat on to the shelf frame the bet bet is 5 ply 1/4" plywood. The plywood is needed to help with the shelf structure as the material is just nailed to the bottom of the shelf. The better way to go is to use material that is fit into a dado that is cut into the front, back and sides of the slide out shelf. Now the key is the density of the material used as sitting in the dados provides extra structure. MDF covered with vinyl is probably the best choice for bottoms that are contained in a dodo joint. The MDF is very stable and it's high density provides the strength needed even in the larger pull out shelves. You will usually find that the best sliding shelf companies will add a plywood support strip under the MDF on wider shelves over 27" or so.

    So here it is, the list of pullout shelf companies that we feel are the best available places
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