My New Hidden Canning Cupboard
It’s a problem to have, even if it is a good one. Not enough space to store all of my canned goods! I try to be neat and stay organized about what I have and how much, but the sheer bulk of what I can and preserve has gotten a little out of control lately.
So, with a little bribe of allowing City Spouse to purchase his new toy (this compound miter saw) I got to measuring and sketching to get exactly what I wanted for the little 6-inch gap that we had between the refrigerator and the wall in the kitchen.
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Any project that I work on with CS is a daunting one. It’s not that we don’t see the same thing, we just don’t communicate it well to the other. He is a very analytical guy, tending to see things “by the numbers”. I, on the other hand, have an art background, so in order for me to “get” what he’s saying, I need to visualize or sketch it out. I know we drive one another absolutely insane sometimes.
We bought a new refrigerator about a year ago at a “scratch & dent” sale at work. It’s a huge French-door fridge that did not fit into the space that we originally had in the kitchen for the old fridge (a standard side-by-side). We had to keep the new one in the same spot for access to water for the ice-maker and water dispenser, so I had to rip out some cabinets and replace them with new, narrower ones to accommodate the wider fridge.
In doing so, I left a small 6 3/4 inch gap on the other side of the new fridge. I don’t know why it bothered me so much, but I just knew that there was a way to utilize that space better.
Getting to Work
Honestly, I wish I had a better tutorial for you, but City Spouse didn’t want to document it, and a lot of the work was done either while I was at work or asleep (he’s a night owl & I am a morning person) so I couldn’t get many good pictures of him working. So I’m doing my best based on the pictures he did take and me asking him questions about his process.
I did all the measurements, accounting for the height of the casters, making sure that the top of the cabinet would be flush with the top of the refrigerator. I got all of the measurements and supplies and set City Spouse to cutting.
I purchased standard 1x6x8’s from Menard’s (because they were having the 11% rebate on all items that week). I knew that I would be painting them to match the cupboards so I went for sturdy, not pretty. I bought this handle pull to match the existing hardware, and these casters (I wanted it to only roll forward and backward, no side to side movement).
A note on 2 x 6 lumber (and all other sizes):
The name is misleading. Actual 2 x 6’s are truly about 1 1/2″ x 5″ when you measure them. Keep this into account when you are measuring your space and drilling any holes, especially with the Kreg jig. The actual size matters, not the lumberyard’s naming of the board. So in true keeping with the old saying, “Measure twice & cut once.”
Overall height is 6′, width (by view above) is 34″, and depth is 5 1/2″. The outer box is all created with Kreg jig holes for added stability to the joints. (If you don’t have a Kreg jig and want to start making wood projects, I highly recommend purchasing one.)
I divided up the interior measurements to accommodate quart size Ball canning jars, knowing that pints would also fit into that space. Each shelf has a distance of 7.5″ from bottom to top (interior measurement) with the leftover, the odd-sized shelf being at the top, but it still measures 6.5″ so pint jars fit their well also.
The backing is just thin paneling, cut to size and attached with paneling nails.
City Spouse also created a kind of jig to drill the pilot holes 2 inches up from each shelf 1/2 inch deep to glue and insert the dowel rods to keep the jars from falling out of the front when the cabinet is rolled.
We got it all finished up, testing it a few times to make sure that it was staying within the dimensions that were going to work for the space. I got it painted, hardware attached, and now I’m working on filling it up. We were concerned about the cabinet pulling too far forward and were considering making a kind of stop for the last caster, however we realized that it was unnecessary as the tile is unevenly laid in this section (there is a raised tile beside the fridge, not much mind you, but enough that the caster catches on it) and will not pull out too far without exerting way more effort that just sliding it out.
What do you all think??