Thank you for all the excellent ideas. I think we're going to roll
with the full size pullout cabinet on rails idea. I actually suggested
this as an option to my dear wife a few months ago, but somehow
Kevin/John phrased it in such a way as to get her excited about the
prospect. :) I'll have to remove the doorknob on the inside of the
closet (not very useful there anyhow) and find a distributor of large
undermount sliding rails ($$?). I was planning on building a custom
cabinet but with just 19" of available width between the door and
molding I'll be better off finding a solid, somewhat standard 18" deep
x 4' wide x 6'ish high cabinet to modify. I'll add 12" of shelving on
the side facing the opening so the closet is immediately functional
upon opening the door. Once pulled out, the layout of the room
prohibits access to just one side so I won't have to remove the
backing. I will also use a pair of casters to support the weight of
the cabinet as it slides out onto the bedroom carpet away from the
rails. A simple extendable ceiling mounted track will provide
To answer a few questions: Expanding the bathroom wouldn't yield us any
great returns so that's out of the question. We don't have anything
really big and valuable so the walk-in safe, while very creative, won't
fly either. The Ferris Wheel Bin idea gets major creativity points,
but I'll reiterate a very important detail from my original post: I'm a
newbie. :) The closet will be used to store standard issue foldable
clothing, from tshirts to sweaters, as well as any other odd items
we'll undoubtably cram in there.
It's unfortunate I'll still be wasting some space - a combined total of
8" down the depth of the closet as well as a foot and a half above the
door molding. Reconstructing the door dimensions is out of the
question for about a dozen reasons, but thank you to the pros that I
know were about to suggest that option.
If anyone knows of a supplier that might carry large (4' ?) ball
bearing undermounted full extension rails that would be great.
Thanks again for all the replies. I'll hopefully post an update after
this interesting project is complete!
John Krystek wrote:
Well, I'm not sure you want undermount so here's some drawer mount type
As it's quite unlikely that you will find the guides that you are now
looking for you might want to consider a method that I once used.
I made a very large roll-out that used 4" non-swiveling casters on all 4
corners plus 2 in the middle. I built a pair of tracks for them to roll into
with flared ends to catch any mis-allignment on their return trip. As heavy
as I expect your cabinet will be, if you mount the casters as straight as
you can I doubt that you will have any problems getting them to re-engage
the flared end of the track. I used oak strips that were attached to an oak
hardwood floor with screws. These strips were spaced about 1/4" wider than
the wheels. The end flare of the rails was about 1" on each strip (or 1/2 of
the width of the hardwood rail) and about 6 inches long. It allowed for a
mis-allignment of up to 1 inch either way as the cart returned into the
track, but I never saw my cart get more than about 1/4 inch out of
allignment. The back end casters never went more than about a foot past the
end of the track so they returned to the track quite well and the rest
followed. I never had any top rail guides, just the casters and tracks at
the bottom. That cabinet was built about 40 years ago, and as far as I know,
it's still in use.
If the rollout unit can come out far enough to enter the closet behind
it then you could put shallow shelves into that space which could then
be accesssed when the unit is out. Suitable perhaps for seldom-used
books, camping gear, or boxed items.
It took a little phone calling to friends but here's precisely what I
had in mind:
This is apparently one of several companies that sells such products to
the type of industrial and government customers I was referring to.
Whether they'll sell to the retail customer is something you'll have to
ask to find out. But at least if you can get to see how their stuff is
made you might be able to adapt something for your home.
I'd love to hear what results you ultimately come up with.
John Krystek wrote:
John -- don't forget you can use the back of the door! The Container Store
has some high quality shoe racks that fit on the inside of a closet door and
you should be able to combine those with a pull-out unit, provided the door
opens enough (more than 90 degrees) so that the door unit doesn't interfere
with the pull-out unit when the pull-out is in use.
You could also mount belt and tie racks to the inside of the door --
Afterthought -- with the bathroom next to it, consider the possibility of
mildew or mold problems inside the closet, especially if you've got clothes
doubly sealed inside a cabinet inside a closet. You may want to dehumidify,
use Damp-Rid, or vent the closet --
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