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10 Easy Ways to Add Roll-Outs

by Brad Holden

Roll-out shelving is one of the most popular features  of new kitchen cabinets. Mounted on standard drawer slides, these shelves give you easier access to boxes, jars and kitchenware. You can easily add roll-outs to existing cabinets as well. If you do, take three things into account: First, determine whether you must build out the inside of the cabinet so the roll-out and slide clear the door or face frame, including the hinges. Second, choose which kind of drawer slide to use: partial- or full-extension. And third, decide what shape and size to make the roll-out drawer box. These 10 tips cover most of the options—whether you’re retrofitting or building new cabinets.

Use Zero-Protrusion Hinges

Zero-protrusion hinges swing the door completely clear of the opening, allowing a roll-out to be pulled out without hitting the door’s edge. These hinges let you mount the drawer slides directly to the cabinet sides. Zero-protrusion hinges may be awkward to install in an old cabinet, because they might require new holes.


Click any image to view a larger version.

Attach Slides to a Panel

Mount drawer slides to a new panel so the roll-outs clear the existing hinges or face frame. Then screw the panel to the inside of your cabinet. Make the panel full height to create a finished look on the inside of the cabinet. 

Mount Slides on Plastic Spacers

These spacers provide an easy way to move out your slides so they clear face frames, hinges or doors. They’re available in 1/8-in., 3/8-in., 1/2-in. and 3/4-in. heights (see Source, page 32). After screwing the spacers to the cabinet sides, attach the slides to the spacers with No. 7 wood screws or Pozi-system screws.

Use Mounting Brackets on Face-Frame Cabinets

Mount one bracket on the face frame and the other on the cabinet back. The slides simply snap into place. This cabinet has a 1/8-in. plywood back, which is not thick enough to hold screws. An easy solution is to install 3/4-in. mounting strips on the back using construction adhesive.  

Make Adjustable Supports

Make supports from 3-in.-wide boards that are thick enough so the roll-outs clear the face frame and door. Space dadoes  at 1-in. intervals. Mount the cabinet part of the slide to a 3/4-in. square strip of wood that is the same length as the cabinet’s inside depth. Slip the strips into a set of dadoes and add the roll-out. 

Use a Ready-To-Install System

This system is a simple, quick way to add adjustable roll-outs. It uses small blocks called hook dowels that attach to the slide. They fit into square holes spaced at 1-in. intervals in the standards. The mounting strips stand off either 1 or 1-1/4 in. from the cabinet side to clear hinges, face frames or doors. 

Build Out for Metal Standards

Here’s a simple way to install roll-outs in cabinets that have metal shelf standards: Mount your slides to plastic spacer blocks that have shelf clips on their backs. The system is quick and adjustable but is only rated for 35 pounds per roll-out . 

Prevent Door Damage with Bumpers

Install drawer bumpers to prevent slides from scratching a door. These bumpers extend beyond most bottom-mounted epoxy-style slides, but you may need to add a spacer, such as a washer or cardboard shim, behind the bumper to keep a full-extension ball-bearing slide from scratching the door.

Corral Stuff with Tall Backs and Sides

Build your roll-outs with tall backs and sides if they will carry tall or stacked items. Make the front low to keep items easily accessible. Full-extension slides provide easy access to the contents at the roll-out’s back. They cost about twice the price of three-quarter-extension, bottom-mounted, epoxy-style slides, though.

Hide the Slides

For a refined look, extend roll-out fronts to cover the ends of the slides. Use dadoes to attach an extended front on shallow roll-outs. For taller roll-outs, use biscuits. 


(Note: Product availability and costs are subject to change since original publication date.)

Woodworkers Hardware,, 800-383-0130, Zero-protrusion hinge, #B071T7500; 3/4-in. (19-mm) plastic spacers, #B060.275; Face-frame slide-mounting brackets, #KV8404; Rear slide-mounting bracket, #KV8401; Adjustable support sets, #TNB520; Shelf-standard mounting system, #KV1303; Full-extension slides, #KV8400 B22; Drawer bumpers, #BX1926 WH; Pozi-system screws for 5-mm holes, various sizes.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker May 2006, issue #121.

May 2006, issue #121

Purchase this back issue.


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