I have a 6 level wooden shelf system. I need to make one of the shelves
slidable through addition of shelf on top of an existing shelf as shown
This should be a smooth action back and forth. It will need to be able
to hold up to 40 lbs, but this load will be at the far end (shelving
side) and will never extend past the existing shelves once the shelf is
What's the best/ cheapest way to do what I want here?
Not clear on how you'll move the shelf. If you don't slide it out
more than half way, it won't topple. But leverage is at work if
somebody gets clumsy, even with 40 lbs on the other end.
The top shelf will be cut narrower than the shelf it sits on, so it
can get past the side rails.
You can use pegs on the upper shelf to stop it when the pegs hit the
rails so you never extend past a bit less than halfway Nails/screws
would do. Depends on how much you care about looks.
For "smooth action" all you need is wax on the friction surfaces.
If you don't want it getting cocked as you slide it - more smooth
action - you can attach cleats to lower shelf to contain the upper
and guide it. Keep the cleats low so you use the pegs.
For more support when the upper shelf is extended, here's 2 options.
1. A stick to the floor to support the outer end. You want to notch
the end of the shelf on the bottom to secure a stick cut to length.
2. A dovetail spline (or 2) glued into a rabbet cut on the bottom of
the upper shelf, and a dovetail cut into the lower shelf.
That would eliminate the cleats mentioned above. Takes some router
work and bits.
That would be strong, but no better than a stiff stick.
And you'd have an open dovetail exposed on the lower shelf to catch
dirt unless you covered it with something when the shelf was extended.
There's some ideas. Drawer slide hardware is probably a no-starter
with that kind of shelving unit.
Personally I'd go with cleats, stops, and a stick, but I'd never want
to do what you're doing anyway.
Why must the sliding shelf be on top of another shelf? Good quality
drawer slides would handle 40 lbs. Cheap track guides might work on top of a
stationary shelf but 40 lbs may create a lot of friction. I think guides
would fail quickly. I favor slides with good ball-bearings.
Yep. I, too, would vote for the sliding shelf to hang from the stationary
The stationary shelf must, of course, be sufficiently anchored to the
uprights, then who cares how much weight you put on the slider.
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