By Capt. Al, Kindred Spirit #55
Description of storage unit:
Close head door, open cabinet door and you see three 10 inch wide by 20 inch long wire rack shelves that are 5 inches high each. The best part is that the shelves slide out 15 inches so you can reach all items. Even better is the fact that I can slide the bottom shelf totally out (must lift over the shelf stops) and all my 6 cans of oil fit under the shelf. The shelves filled with heavy items (peanut butter, soda, etc) is not a problem.
Materials & Construction
Three Closetmaid Kitchen Cabinet Organizer pull out baskets #3991 for an 11 inch opening (unit 10 1/4w x 5 1/4 h x 20 deep). WHERE: HOME DEPOT $10.67each. Three 1 x 2 x 8 feet finish pine wood boards and 1 1/4 long sheet rock screws. Galv if you like but not necessary.
The shelves come with slides that mount under them so the sides of the shelves are free. Cut two boards (here on in boards means a 1 x2 piece of wood) 18 inches long....mount the shelf slide on the wide side of each board and close to one edge. Place the shelf in these two slides on a flat surface like a work bench. Now you have the shelf on top of the 1 x2 in its track but we need something to keep the tracks equal distance apart. Turn the whole thing upside down (in Theory) and attach two boards (about 12 1/8 inches long), one, three inches back from the front and one on the rear edge to hold the tracks apart, only put one screw in each board. Flip rightside up and slide the shelf in and out of its tracks. If it is too tight or loose, rescrew the bottom spacer till you get it right. Do this for all three shelves and you will now have three nice sliding shelves for the top of your work bench....the next step is getting them on top of each other with spaces and be able to fit it to the boat. If you hold one unit 10 inches directly above the first and another one above that, all we need is 4 boards, one on each side corner to act as legs. This would be all if we were putting this above the work bench. If you remember the shape of the nav cabinet it drops down behind the door, so the front legs must go down 6 1/4 inches below this first draw (one screw only in each board). The rear legs are only 2 1/4 inches below the shelf unit because the hull rounds up in this area. Well if you put this all together as described, you have one crooked looking shelf unit on your work bench. I put a temporary leg in the middle of the back (about 4 inches long) so I could keep it level and bring it to the living room to show my lovely wife...add a few food items for effect first! This is a good point to remove all the plastic slides and paint all the surfaces of the 1 x 2's that will be showing. I did not do this, I took all the plastic slides off after it was installed in the boat...I like working upside down and in cramped quarters.
So why have we only put one screw in each board? The next part is magic...remove all three shelves from the unit you just built....grab the middle shelf slide sides and move one hand forward and one hand back...it folds like a cloths hanging rack...if you did it right it also tilts in the up and down direction. All these moves are what will allow you to slide it into the nav locker in ONE piece. Once you have it in, bend it back to shape, move it around till the bottom shelf is above the door lip and it is equally spaced in the opening. Make sure that it is set back just enough to close the door without interference. Mark with a pencil where the front legs are with respect to the interior wall of the head and nav wall. Note the space between these legs and the walls. Place a small filler on each side (top and bottom) to take up this space. I screwed in the (I needed 3/4 inch each side so a 3 inch 1 x 2 worked) fillers after moving the shelf unit aside and then with the unit in place screwed it to the spacers on the front legs. I did not attach the rear legs. It was plenty strong. I did have to place a board between the bottom shelf cross support to the hull to hold the rear at the right height. If all fits well and you are not taking it out again, you can take out the front spacers that are holding the draw slide apart...the unit is supported by the side walls now, they are not doing anything...don't remove the rear, they are holding the spacing of the slides in the rear. I have a detailed drawing if not printed in the Mainsheet, will gladly send to anyone who needs it.