Thursday, August 5, 2010

Spicing up your kitchen, hacker style!


Materials: Akurum 12" base cabinet, Rationell 12" drawer (24" deep), Perfekt cover panel for base, Linjar (discontinued) cabinet face/door, iron-on white laminate strip, 24' x 22" galvanized sheet metal, Set of 22" full extension drawer slide ball-bearing hardware, 2 small "U" brackets, package of machine screws with covered nuts, 22" white plastic trim, table saw, & basic carpentry tools.

Description: When I remodeled my kitchen, I ended up with about a 5.5" gap. Unfortunately, IKEA's narrowest base cabinet was 12". At the same time, the 30" door was sold out (Linjar was being discontinued), so I had to buy the 24" door to get the built-in aluminum handles. At IKEA, you've seen the pull-out tall garbage can. This is the same concept, but we have to make the drawer front from the panels.

1. With the Akurum 12", cut the top, back, and bottom pieces. Drill new connector holes that IKEA uses to put their cabinets together.

2. Installed new 5.5" base cabinet as normal.


3. 12" Rationell drawers - bottom piece was cut to about 1". Table saw the new groove to slide on the metal sides of the drawer.

4. Install Rationell hardware as normal to cabinet.

5. 24" Linjar door front - Cut 5.5" strip, and pulled off the built-in aluminum handles (both top and bottom).

6. Perfekt 30" base cabinet panel - Cut to "just a shave short" of 5.5".

7. Position the hacked Rationell drawer to the back of the Perfekt panel, lining up where the normal drawer would be attached (remember to add the length of the built-in handles). Draw and drill the needed holes to attach the two pieces. This was hard. You should have a strangely tall drawer front that glides into the cabinet.

8. Adjust the drawer front (normal IKEA adjustments in drawer fronts), draw a line where you will cut off the excess height of the drawer front, remember that you will be adding the built-in hardware. It should be just a few inches.

9. Since the Perfekt panel is slightly thinner than the normal door fronts, be careful that you don't just router a groove in the middle for the built-in handle (that you've cut out from #4). Install the aluminum handle, both top and bottom.

10. I couldn't find metallic iron-on laminate strips, so I settled with white. Remember, the Perfekt panels are slightly thinner than cabinet doors, you will need to shave off about a millimeter after you iron it on. The laminate strips are found at any place like Home Depot or Lowes. OR IF you also purchased white Perfekt Plinths (toekicks) from IKEA, these come with a few strips of white iron-on laminates. I only ironed on one side. The other side was the finished blue edge of the Linjar panel .

11. Cut to 24"H x 22"W of Galvanized sheet metal (Home Depot). Attach per instructions the LEFT side of Liberty Ball Bearing full extension (important) drawer slides (HD), using the package of machine screws and the capped nuts (don't want to scratch knuckles on ends of screws).

12. Using the 2 small "U" brackets (HD), I secured the bottom of sheet metal to the top of the Rationell draw sides. The Liberty drawer slides will be able to screw to the back of the Rationell drawer front. When you slide the draw in and out, it should be in one piece with the sheet metal.

13. Strip of plastic trim (HD) - cut to 22" and glue to top edge of sheet.

Voi-la! Custom spice rack. The bottom drawer had some room for spice packets.

PS: I never hacked the back of the Rationell metal drawer piece. The metal was too thick for my saw, and although I thought about making it out of thin wood, it wasn't worth the effort. I don't store anything that would slide off the back of the drawer. Just spice packets and magnetic spices.

~ Angela, Texas

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