Building the Shelves
Each shelf measures 22 in. deep X 25 1/2 in. wide, and is built of 1X4 poplar with a 1/2-in. birch-plywood bottom. To build both drawers, you'll need two 8-ft.-long poplar 1X4s ($1 per linear foot) and a half sheet of 1/2-in. birch plywood ($19). Most factory-built glide-out shelves have 1/4-in.-thick plywood or hardboard bottoms. To ensure that our shelves won't sag under the weight of cast-iron pots, we beefed them up with 1/2-in. plywood bottoms set in grooves cut into the shelf sides, fronts and backs. We milled the 3/8-in.-deep grooves with a router fitted and 1/2-in.-dia. straight bit; you can also use a table saw with a dado blade. Before cutting any lumber, determine the width of the glide-out shelves. Measure the inside of the cabinet, then subtract 3 1/2 in. for the space taken up by each standard and bracket (1 1/4 in.) and each slide (1/2 in.). Cut two 1X4s to that dimension to serve as the front and back of each shelf. Then cut two other pieces 21 1/4 in. long for the shelf sides. The sides fit into 3/8-in.-deep rabbets, which will be routed later into the front and back to create a 22-in.-deep shelf.

After cutting the 1X4s to size, rout a 3/8-in.-deep X 1/2-in.-wide groove into each one. To ensure accuracy, fasten an edge-guide attachment to the router base. Adjust the guide to cut the groove 1/2 in. from the bottom edge of the board. Then start routing, moving into the board from left to right with the guide tightly pressed against the edge of the board (left).
Next, clamp the front and back pieces together and adjust the guide for a 3/4-in.-wide cut. Move the router from left to right across the ends of the boards to cut a 3/8-in.-deep X 3/4-in.-wide rabbet .

Once all the joints are milled, spread glue onto the shelf-front rabbets and attach the shelf sides with 4d (1 1/2-in.) finishing nails.

Squeeze a little glue into the groove in the shelf front, slide in the bottom and nail on the rear of the shelf. Let the glue dry for four hours, then smooth all surfaces with a finishing sander and 120-grit sandpaper. Wipe off all dust and coat the shelf with sanding sealer. After about an hour, lightly hand-sand the shelf with 180-grit sandpaper and apply a second coat of sealer. Sanding sealer protects the wood and makes cleanup easy. You could use polyurethane, but the sealer is cheaper (about $6 per quart compared with $8 to $10) and dries faster, so you can easily apply two or three coats in a half day.
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