In Projects, Questions And Answers, Techniques

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Sink Cabinet Shelf

It’s easy to customize this catchall shelf to fit your cabinet doors. Measure the opening of your cabinet (not the door!) and plug your numbers into the Cutting List below. The shelf unit clears the opening by 1/4-in. on all sides.

You can mount this shelf on a cabinet door made of plywood or a door with a raised panel. Solid mounting strips get screwed into the stiles of the door, not the thinner panel.

If you have small children, be sure that cabinets containing cleaning products and other toxic substances have child-proof latches attached.


– Eight 1-1/4" #8 Oval-Head Wood Screws
– Eight 3/4" #8 Oval-Head Wood Screws
– 16 Finish Washers

Cutting List

Click any image to view a larger version.

1. Cut two pairs of 3/4-in.-wide, 1/4-in.-deep dadoes in the sides; a pair for the two shelves and a pair for the mounting strips. Line up the mounting-strip dado with the shelf dado.

2. Slip the shelves into their dadoes. First drill holes for the mounting screws 3/8-in. from the end of the mounting strips. Glue the mounting strips to the shelves. Drill pilot holes in the sides and fasten the shelves with long screws.

3. Fasten the rails to the front of the shelves with short screws. Finish washers save you the trouble of perfectly countersinking each hole!

4. Clamp and screw the shelves to your door, using 3/4-in. screws and finish washers.You may need to add a third hinge and a magnetic catch if the weight of the loaded shelves prevents the door from closing easily.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker February 2001, issue #85.

February 2001, issue #85

Purchase this back issue.

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