Small nooks and crannies can always be utilised. Many fridges do not fill the opening designed for them, giving you the option to install a skinny cabinet that slides out for shelves of kitchen necessities. This unit will fit in a space as narrow as 200mm, yet still allows plenty of ventilation for the fridge. It’s easy to make and is supported by drawer runners and a large wheel.
You only need 200mm beside your fridge to fit this handy storage unit. When not in use, it glides away flush with adjacent cabinets.
Gather your supplies
A. Sides (2) 138 x 18 x 1950mm pine
B. Shelves (7) 138 x 18 x 559mm pine
C. Back 1512 x 445 x 16mm melamine particleboard
D. Short shelf tops (5) 67 x 18 x 150mm pine
E. Long back shelf stop 67 x 18 x 595mm pine
F. Front shelf stops (5) 67 x 18 x 559mm pine
G. Top panel 595 x 448 x 16mm melamine particleboard
H. Face panel 185 x 18 x 1950mm pine
You’ll also need
2 pairs of 550mm drawer runners; fixed castor with 100mm wheel and 128mm total height; acrylic enamel in white; power saw; straightedge
Cut sides (A) and shelves (B) to length. From top of sides, measure down 430, 690, 950, 1250 and 1570mm for tops of shelves (or you can alter spacings to suit). Square across panels at these marks, then pencil in hole centres 30mm in from front and back, and 9mm below marks. Predrill using a 5mm bit, then countersink all holes.
Glue and screw a side to shelves on 1 side, making sure shelves are square. Stand assembly on edge so shelf ends face up, then apply glue and add other side.
Using power saw, cut back (C) to a height of 1512mm along straightedge to make sure you get a clean, straight cut. Since the back is not the full width of the shelf, this will allow you to place items you use most at the front of each shelf, and lets you reach them from each side. Screw panel to bottom back corner so it’s flush at the bottom and covers just over half the back edge of top shelf.
Cut short shelf stops (D) to fit beside back panel. As these are 18mm thick, they will need to be planed down to 16mm thick to match thickness of melamine board. Pre-paint, then glue and nail in place. Add long back shelf stop (E) on top of back panel.
Turn assembly over and install front shelf stops (F) between sides, making sure you leave a gap underneath (here, 18mm) so you can wipe out any spillages.
Screw on top panel (G). It should be flush all around. It is screwed to side facing fridge, as cabinet projects above fridge and presents a neat white panel when shut.
Support skinny cabinet by adjacent kitchen cabinet using heavy- duty full-extension drawer runners. These are supplied as left- and right-hand pairs, but you can use both by just turning 1 upside down. Install drawer runners to top, bottom and 2 central shelf positions. Separate drawer components from cabinet components of runners and screw drawer part to back of shelf, about 2mm from front edge, using a square to make sure all
is square. When all runner bases are in place, refit other components to them.
For extra support, add a large fixed castor to underside. This helps
to take weight off runners and prevents them pulling out from adjacent cabinet. This castor must be non-swivelling, otherwise it will want to move the cabinet off the wall as it pivots.
Move fridge out of the way so you can work. Stand shelf unit in place, using block under back to balance it securely. Check that floor is level. If it runs uphill from wall, chock up back of shelf so castor wheel not will jam when unit is opened. When everything is right, mark top, bottom and front position of cabinet components of runners on wall. Set back 20mm from face of existing cabinet to allow for thickness of face panel.
Remove unit again and draw horizontal lines from marked points back towards wall.
Remove cabinet part of runners from unit and, using your marks, screw to side of cabinet. As there is a fair bit of pulling force on runners, use 6 screws into cabinet rather than 3 or 4. Bring cabinet back in and feed 2 halves of all 4 runners into each other. This may be a little tricky on your own, so get some help if you can. Push unit home and pull it in and out a few times to run freely.
Fit face panel (H) of choice. Here, original kitchen cabinet doors are an obsolete laminate colour, so to match kitchen to some extent, match another element (here, the timber handles). Stain and clear finish pine, or paint as required. Screw on from inside of cabinet, making sure there is a 5mm gap to the cabinet and it is flush at top. Add handle, which also matches existing handles.