Measuring Guide

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Measuring Guide

 

Shelf Widthmeasure cabinet opening A and B

Stow-Away pull out shelves are custom made in 1/16″ increments in width to the dimension that you order. We  use the clear cabinet opening dimension when referring to our shelves not the actual finished pull out shelf box. The actual size of the wood box  is 1″ less than the size of the clear cabinet opening that you provide. This is to allow for the sliding shelves slides which use 1/2″ on each side and must pass through the cabinet opening. We tell you that only so that when you receive the shelf you do not think we made an error. The sliding shelf width dimension that you must give us is the clear cabinet opening. Lower shelves usually must clear the door hinge so be mindful of where the hinge is and if it will interfere with the shelf. Measurement A usually works for lower shelves. Upper shelves do not usually need to clear the hinges so if your upper shelf will miss the hinge use measurement B. This is usually the distance between the cabinet face frames. This dimension may be smaller due to any intrusions into the cabinet opening such as door placement. It is also important to check to make sure the door opens far enough, at least 90 degrees. In some instances the door may infringe on the opening more when it is fully open. This reduced dimension is the best one to use. Always give us the clear cabinet opening when ordering and we will adjust for the sliding hardware.  The maximum width for our premium 2 3/8″ tall pull out shelves is for a 39″ cabinet opening. Remember that just because the bottom pull out shelf may need to be smaller to clear a cabinet hinge it does not mean that the upper sliding shelf has to be smaller as well. It is very common for the lower pull out shelf to be smaller than the upper one.

 Shelf depthmeasure cabinet depth

Stow Away sliding shelves come in depths from as small as 10″ ( actual size 9 3/4″ ) to as large as 36″ (35 3/4″) in 2″ increments. The actual sizes for the  premium shelves are 1/4″ less than the listed size.  A standard kitchen cabinet uses a 22″ shelf and a standard bathroom takes a 20″ shelf. To measure for do it yourself pull-out shelves simply check the depth from the inside edge of the cabinet face frame (the back side) to the back wall of the cabinet (dimension C). Watch out for any protrusions such as pipes or electric wires or outlets and adjust the size accordingly.  If you have a no shelf rear socket (see below) installation, and the cabinets are over 24″ deep you will need to special order deeper shelves on longer slides. Slides up to 31 1/2″ long are available.

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Make sure that the drawer length will not bump into any protrusions at the back of the cabinet.

Existing Shelf Type

There are three potential mounting arrangements for a sliding shelf. Existing full shelf, a half shelf, and no existing shelf.

bottom mountFull Shelf Base mount – 4 L brackets

A full shelf is pretty much as it sounds. It is a shelf either permanently mounted or on adjustable hardware or the bottom of the cabinet. It runs the full depth of the cabinet and from sidewall to sidewall. This is perhaps the easiest installation available and also the strongest. The drawer slides will have four “L” brackets attached and these “L” brackets are secured to your existing shelf or cabinet floor. We use a specially made bracket that is designed for this purpose. In framed cabinets this L brackets sits behind the face frame. If you have a frameless cabinet you may need to deduct 1/4″ per side to allow for the L bracket (for the side without a hinge or both sides for a cabinet with no doors). It is suggested that if the cabinet has adjustable shelves and if the hardware for this is plastic, the hardware should be replace with metal hardware. It is also necessary to secure the back of adjustable shelves so that they can not tip up when the sliding shelf is extended. This is accomplished simply by insert a couple of screws in the back or side walls with the heads of the screws protruding enough to hold the shelf down and prevent tipping when the slider is extended. If this is your set up specify full shelf on the order page.

half shelf mountUpper Half Shelf – 2 brackets

Many cabinets come with an upper half depth shelf. This is a shelf that is usually 9″ to 12″ deep at the back of the cabinet. You can install a full depth shelf where you currently have the half depth shelf. You will use the half shelf to secure the back part of the sliding shelf while the front of the sliding shelf hardware will attach to the cabinet’s face frames. The slides will have two “L” brackets in the rear to attach to your half shelf. If there are doors or hinges that protrude into the cabinet be sure to let us know the difference between the cabinet face frame dimension and the clear cabinet opening so we can include the proper spacers. In other words if you have a 15″ opening and the shelf needs to be 14 7/8″ because the hinge sticks out 1/8″, we can include a 1/8″ spacer for you to put between the slide and the cabinet face frame. This installation is very solid as long as the face frames are a hardwood and not a particle board. We suggest reinforcing particle board face frames with a hardwood piece placed vertically or installing a full stationary shelf to mount the slider to. Make sure the half shelf is secure so that it will not tip up when the sliding shelf is extended. See full shelf section for tip on screws in the back wall. Half shelf installation will not work with full extension slides. The front of slide can not attach to face frame and will have to be built out from the side.

No Shelf

Just as it sounds the no shelf installation is for locations where you want to install a Pull Out Shelf and there is no existing shelf. We do not recommend no shelf installations for locations where a significant amount of weight is involved such as pantries. It is a very acceptable installation for bathroom cabinets where weight is not a factor. There are two types of no shelf installations. The first is with rear mount sockets. Plastic sockets are mounted to the end of the sliding hardware and are attached to the cabinet’s back wall. The front of the slide is attached to the cabinet face frame as with the half shelf installation. The rear mount sockets will not work with full extension slides. The second method of installing with no shelf is to side mount. Spacers are used to attach the slides directly to the cabinet sidewalls. The sidewalls must be thick enough so that the screws do not pop out to the outside. If you are installing a series of shelves in one cabinet it may be better to cut a piece of wood the same thickness as the side to build it out as needed. If this wood is mounted vertically from the base of the cabinet up the installation can be very sturdy and support higher weight items such as canned food in a pantry. The same requirements for measuring apply for the no shelf install as they do to the half shelf installation. Make sure to order the spacers that you need when placing your order.

Slide Type

We offer two types of slides for our pull out shelves. The standard slides are 3/4 extension and we also offer as an upgrade full extension slides. The standard 3/4 extension slides work great for most installations. For a regular kitchen cabinet a 3/4 extension slides puts items that are in the back of the cabinet with the shelf closed, up to where the front items were after the shelf is extended. In other words 3/4 extension slides make the back of your kitchen cabinet accessible. Full extension slides do have there place. If you have a pantry and want to set can foods on a shelf and be able to access the back can the full extension slides will do that for you. The other location is if you want a media shelf with DVD or CD flip strips the full extension slides give you full access. Other than that you will really just be wasting your money to upgrade to full extension drawer slides. The full extension slides are three part and they are a little bit confusing to assemble. There is also a “bump” when the middle member is extended. It is also important to note that full extension slides will not work for the half or rear mount installations.

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