Building A Helper Shelf

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This article is an Excerpt from book called “1001 Ideas For Kitchen Organization” by “Joseph R.Provey”. Building a helper shelf is an easy DIY project for homeowners, which involves some learning and needs your time but it is worth the effort when you see the final product.

How to Build A Helper Shelf?

A helper shelf, also known as a half shelf, can increase both the capacity and accessibility of cabinets by providing two shelves in the place of one.  Helper shelves can be made to any width but typically are used on one side of the cabinet only, keeping the other side free for taller items.  This project uses a 1/2x 12-inch (1.3×20.3×30.5cm) plywood shelf on two 1/4x 51/2×8-inch (1.9x14x20.3cm) supports, but you can vary dimensions to suit your cabinet. If you use plywood for your project, use iron-on edging to conceal the edges.

1.  To attach edging, apply heat with an iron and immediately apply pressure with a block of wood. Although not shown here, it’s a prevent scorching. Clamp in place for support.

2.  Trim excess veneer with a utility knife and finish the edge with a sanding block for an invisible joint. Once again, it’s wise to clamp your workpiece to a table or workbench.

3. With the shelf clamped to the sides, drill pilot holes for screws using a countersink bit.

4.  Attach the pieces with 1 ½-in. (40mm) flathead screws. For an extra-strong joint, apply carpenter’s glue prior to driving the screws.

Kitchen helper shelf
Kitchen Helper Shelf

Tiered shelves don’t increase the storage capacity of capacity of cabinets, but they will make it easier to see and access the canned goods you have. The shelf heights in the version shown are 1 ¼ and 4 ¼ inches (4.5and 10.8cm) tall. When cutting to length, each shelf should be 1/3 inch (0.3cm) less than the cabinet width or you may not be able to maneuver the assembly into position.

1. After measuring the width of the cabinet and determining height you want for the shelf, cut the pieces to length. The miter but answer square cuts.

2. Using a pneumatic nailer or hammer, nail the shelves to the supports. Applying glue will ensure a long-lasting joint but is not necessary because the shelves won’t be subject to lateral stress.

Base cabinets

 Base cabinets have come a long way in the past 10 years or so. The growing availability of heavy-duty full-extension drawer slides, pullout pantries, and corner-cabinet solutions means that maximize every inch of space. Another great thing about base cabinets is that all members of the family, from children to the elderly, can reach what’s inside.

Base cabinets are getting bigger, too.  There’s no rule about needing to stick with standard 24-inch-deep (60cm-deep) units. Some homeowners and designers are opting for deeper, 30-inch (75cm) base cabinets. In return for 6inches (15cm) of floor space, you get significantly bigger base-cabinet drawers and shelves. Your countertops get deeper, too—with more than enough space for canisters, countertop appliances, large carving boards, and more.

If you’re buying new cabinets, take full advantage of base-cabinet options—even if it means cutting your budget in other areas. Buy fewer upper cabinets or select a less-expensive countertop material. Fancy granite countertops won’t do you much good if you spend frustrating minutes each day trying to find things that are buried in the back of dark cabinets. If you are reorganizing an existing kitchen, there are plenty of after-market kits available to add pullouts, plenty of after-market kits available to add pullouts, lazy Susans, and other organizers to your cabinets.

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