Build basic timber boxes and mount them on drawer slides to get organised and maximise cabinet space.
The area under the kitchen sink is often under-utilised because the waste pipe projects down awkwardly into it, limiting the available height for storage.
Designed to make use of the irregular spaces around the sink bowl and plumbing, these slide-out trays fit into a standard 900 x 720 x 560mm flat-packed base cabinet.
Cut from plywood and pine, the trays are built using butt joints and are easily adapted to suit other sizes.
The two base trays fit beneath sink plumbing that exits through the back of the cabinet, with plenty of room for cleaning products and similar items.
If the plumbing in your kitchen exits through the base of the cabinet, change the dimensions of the trays so they’re shorter or narrower as needed, or make two tiers of upper trays.
Cut the components
The unit base, tray bases and cleats are cut from 17mm CD plywood using a circular saw and straightedge guide.
Cut the partitions and tray sides from 90 x 19mm dressed all round (DAR) pine, and the upper tray sides from 140 x 19mm pine using a circular saw and speed square.
To finish, the trays are sanded with 180 grit abrasive paper and sealed with two coats of clear polyurethane to protect them from product spills and water damage.
For the smoothest operation, we used full-extension drawer slides that contain ball bearings. To reduce the cost of the project by up to $140, use single-extension drawer slides.
Prestige single-extension drawer slides are base-mounted and can handle up to 25kg.
King Slide drawer slides are side-mounted and have a 45kg weight capacity.
Open the cabinet door fully and use a measuring tape to find the interior dimensions. Check for plumbing and electrical fittings or any other obstructions to determine the tray layout.
Cut the plywood unit base to measure 20mm narrower than the inside width and 30mm shallower than the depth of the cabinet. Use a builder’s square to mark a line across the centre of the unit base.
Mark lines 8.5mm either side of the centreline to indicate the centre partition. Clamp the partitions to the base then drill 2mm countersunk pilot holes and secure the partitions with PVA adhesive and screws.
Measure the exact distance between the partitions. Subtract 25.4mm from these measurements to allow sufficient space for the drawer slides then cut the tray front and back to match the measurements.
Position the tray base between the tray sides, securing with PVA adhesive and screws. Position the tray front and back, securing to the base edges and the ends of the sides using adhesive and screws.
Position the drawer slides on the base unit on 17mm plywood spacers, flush with the front of each partition. Open the slides slightly to expose the mounting holes and drill 1.5mm pilot holes, securing with screws.
Push the release lever to separate the drawer and the cabinet sections of the slides. Position the drawer sections on 17mm spacers then secure to the tray sides. Reassemble the slides and check for smooth operation.
Position the unit base flush with the back of the cabinet face frame and drill pilot holes, securing with screws. Position the trays and slide them in. TIP If you have frameless cabinets, set the base 3mm back from the front.
Assemble the upper trays using adhesive and screws then secure the side cleats to the cabinet sides with screws. Mount each upper tray on a pair of slides positioned 30mm from the top and base of the cleats.