DIY Slide Out Pantry

In our kitchen, we have a small pantry next to the fridge that's 5 feet tall, 2 feet wide, and 2 feet deep. It holds a surprising amount of stuff, but it results in so many things getting lost. Being 2 feet deep, you really only see the front 3 or 4 inches, and things get slowly pushed towards the back as new things go to the front. Every 6 months we throw away almost half of what's in the pantry, and the cycle repeats.
So a few weeks ago I finally convinced my wife to let me convert it into a side-by-side pullout. The project itself was simple and really only took a weekend. I used 2 sheets of 3/4" Birch Plywood ($75/sheet), and two sets of heavy duty pantry slides from Rockler The carcasses are simple boxes with dado'ed slides for the shelves, glued and screwed together.
The end result has greatly improved the usability of our pantry, but it's not perfect. Problems so far:
  • Items slide around a bit, causing things to shift and occasionally fall of. We've mitigated this by placed small bins and shelf-liners in.
  • They don't slide very well. I thought this was the weight, but particularly the right door doesn't slide smoothly. I can't imagine we have over 130lbs of stuff on a side, but it consistently locks up at the halfway extended point. We haven't found a good solution for this yet.
All said, we're happy. I'm probably going to make some more minor changes, but I'm calling this one a success in our book.


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