A pull-down shelf makes wall cabinets more userfriendly by bringing all the contents down to eye level. Because of the space taken up by the mechanism and the shelf boxes, this is not a good project for a narrow cabinet.
Before you begin this project, hold each swing arm assembly against the inside face of the cabinet side and make sure both arms will clear the door hinge and the cabinet face frame. If the arms do not clear, add custom wood spacers of plywood or solid lumber that are at least as large as the swing arm mounting plates. Follow the manufacturer’s specifications for the box dimensions, which will be based on the size of your cabinet. If the boxes are bare wood, lightly sand the edges and finish all sides with a highly washable paint or a clear varnish, such as polyurethane. For melamine-coated board, cover the cut edges with melamine tape to keep water from damaging the wood core.
Tools & Materials
Work gloves; Eye protection; Tape measure; Pencil; Drill; Awl; Circular saw; Allen wrench; 1/2″ MDF; Finishing materials; Swing-up shelf kit; #8 panhead screws; Coarse-thread wallboard screws; Lumber for custom spacers.
A pull-down shelf is mounted in an upper wall cabinet, and can be drawn out of the cabinet and lowered so the user can reach the contents more easily.
Step1: Use the shelf manufacturer’s paper template to determine the general positions of the swing arms, then fasten the wood spacers to the inside faces of the cabinets with coarse-thread wallboard screws. The screws should not go completely through the cabinet side.
Step2: Use the template as a reference for marking the location of the swing arm mounting plates with a scratch awl. Drill a pilot hole at each mark.Fasten the swing arms to the custom spacers or cabinet sides with #8 panhead screws (inset). The screws should not go completely through the cabinet side.
Step3: Build two shelf boxes from 1/2″ MDF. Install the boxes between the sides of the shelf unit using the predrilled holes in the side pieces. Secure the boxes with #8 panhead screws. Because the lower box can be installed in only one position, install it first. Then find the desired position for the upper box and secure it in place. Slide the lower handle through the holes in the side pieces.
Step4: Cut the upper handle to length. With the assistance of a helper, position the box unit in front of the cabinet, rotate the lower arms downward, and secure them to the side pieces using the bolts, washers, and nuts provided. Insert the top handle. Lower the upper arms one at a time and insert the handle end into the arm. Secure the handle with the two setscrews in each arm using an Allen wrench.