Kitchen cabinet organizer boxes

The space under a kitchen cabinet corner is a challenge to organize, and mine always turns into a disaster. A carousel might help, but carousels themselves make very inefficient use of space. That, and I'd have to rebuild the cabinets to add one to this corner.

Rachel wanted a better solution for under the counter. A solution I thought of was to have the junk in two boxes, with the first box sliding out, and then the second box sliding nearer for better access to its contents.

But the problem with that scheme is that the larger box would have to be larger would fit through the cabinet door, even at an angle. I thought about assembling the box in place, but that would no doubt involve a lot of cursing!

Rachel then had the idea of making it three boxes, with the boxes somehow hooked together. When the first box is pulled out, pulling the second box to the right will pull the other box with it.

So I cut the pieces for the boxes from some oak boards that I had sawmilled out of part of one of my neighbour's oak trees.

I resawed it on my table saw, similar to how I cut the wood for my ramekin serving tray.

I had resawed the planks into two layers. Boxes are always limited by the strength of the joints, not the boards. So with very fine box joints, I'd be fine with the thinner wood. I used my screw advance box joint jig to cut joints with fingers 3/16" (4.8 mm) wide.

I made a comb with four fingers on it to speed up spreading the glue on the joints.

Gluing up the box that will be furthest in the back. This box has taller sides than the other boxes.

I cut the joints a bit deeper than I should have, so there was about 2 mm of excess to cut off the ends. The bandsaw was the most expedient tool for that.

I figured it would be very annoying if things fell off the back of the box way in the back, so I added an extra piece to make the far wall of that box a bit higher.

I hadn't cut all the pieces to their final width when I glued the other two boxes, so I cut them afterwards.

The bottom is just glued flat on. In my experience, this is the quickest and strongest way to attach a bottom. Though it's not the prettiest, because you can see the bottom from the side.

Routing a roundover on the bottom edges. I'm not using the full height of the bit. Really, I'm more using the top part of the bit to do flush trimming, with a slight curve towards the bottom.

Next I used the full height of the 1/2" roundover bit to round the corners of the boxes.

Cleaning up the routed edges on the belt sander. The router didn't cut terribly smoothly on the box joints or the plywood.

Three boxes built.

This part is hopefully the "clever bit". A hook on the rear-most box connects it to the middle box. That way, when the middle box is pulled forward, the rear box comes with it. The front-most box doesn't need to connect with the middle box because the front-most box needs to be removed before the middle box can be pulled forward.

Checking the fit of the boxes.

I screwed up a bit. I measured the depth of the cabinet, but also measured how much room I had behind the hinge. But when I built the boxes, I used the wrong measurement. Oops!

Fortunately, I was able to correct the situation by cutting a slot out of the rear-most box to let it pass around the hinge. For the other boxes, I just cut the front edge a bit lower to pass under it.

With this mistake, my boxes ended up a bit bigger, so I could pretend it was intentional.

I coated the drawers with two coats of Varathane diamond floor varnish, which is fairly slippery. I also added some pieces of UHMW tape to the bottom of the boxes to allow them to slide more easily.

Wheels on the bottom of the boxes, maybe like this drawer, would be even better but they take up a lot of space and are a lot of work to add. That, and the boxes need to slide sideways and in and out.

I organized all the various containers into the boxes.

Now the question is, how long will this stay organized? At least, if it turns into a disaster again, it will be easier to get everything out and reorganize.

See also:

More Woodwork projects on my Woodworking website