Sliding Clothes Dryer Under Laundry Cabinets

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We were updating our laundry room and adding a new pull out dryer rack.

My wife wanted the wire shelving in our laundry room replaced with fancier cabinets. She found some on sale (online), and than they showed up on the door step. On Pinterest she found where someone installed an Ikea dryer rack, on drawer slides, under one of the cabinets. Just a photo, zero implementation instructions.

Before double checking the measurements, the Ikea dryer rack was on our doorstep as well. It's minimum width is larger than our middle cabinet. I would have preferred to build a custom width rack using dowels, but was out voted (our bird gets half a vote, so 1 1/2 to 1). So while putting up the cabinets I had to fasten spacers to increase the width under the middle cabinet to make it all work together.

Supplies:

Parts:

  • Three cabinets. The middle one shorter than the surrounding two.
    • We used RTA (Ready to Assemble) Cabinets
  • Ikea Grundtal - stainless steel, wall mount, drying rack (adjustable to 26 3/8" to 47 1/4")
  • (2) 2x4 about six feet in length
  • (2) 12" full extension drawer slides (this was the correct size for our 12" deep cabinets)
  • 1/2" plywood or (2) garden stakes
  • 1/4" plywood
  • (4) M6-1.0 screws - 25mm long. Not pan head. (30mm long if using garden stakes, instead of 1/2" plywood)
  • Box of cabinet screws
  • (4 or more) 1/2" wood screws
  • Paint to match the cabinet color
  • (optional) Door handles
  • (optional) Edge trim
  • (optional) Finishing nails

Tools:

  • Table saw or Circular Saw
  • Miter box, chop saw, or radial arm saw
  • Hack saw
  • Screw driver
  • Drill
  • 1/2" drill bit
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • Rotary tool, fiber glass cut off wheel, and grinding stone
  • Level
  • (optional) Nail set
  • (optional) Hammer

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Step 1: Install Your Cabinets (if Not Already Installed)

If your cabinets are not already installed, and if your middle cabinet is smaller than the minimum width of the dryer rack plus two inches: you'll need to cut some spacers.

Our middle cabinet is 24" wide. The minimum width of the dryer rack is 26 3/8". Plus the two inches we need for the drawer slide and extra mounting, it 28 3/8". That's not going to fit :(

Before installing our cabinets, we are going to cut some spacers out of 2x4.

Line the cabinets up on the floor, and double check the height difference between the middle and side cabinets. Ours is a 30" difference. So we cut two 30" lengths from a 2x4 on the chop saw. Sand the two pieces some what smooth. Paint the front and bottom to match your cabinet.

In our case, the first tall cabinet was only going to be in a single stud. So I preattached one of the 2x4 spacers. Use clamps to hold it place. Drill thru with two 2 1/2" cabinet screws. I used Sprax, we didn't require pre-drilling pilot holes. Remove the clamps. Line up the middle cabinet. Use clamps to hold in place. Drill thru another two 2 1/2" cabinet screws. This combined cabinet will now be able to go into two studs while installing. Line up the final 2x4 spacer and clamp in place. Drill thru another two 2 1/2" cabinet screws.

Cut the remaining 2x4 to the total width of the cabinets (and spacers) to be installed. This will be your ledge board for installation. Measure, mark, and attached to the wall according to the instructions for your cabinets.

You can now hang the first two-combined cabinets. Double check the installed height on the middle cabinet. Ours got installed slightly crooked. Easier to fix it now, than later.

Install the remaining cabinet(s).

Step 2: Cut and Install 1/4" Side Panels

To get the drawer slides past the cabinet face, I measured and cut 1/4" plywood panels. You want the panel to sit behind the cabinet face front, underneath the middle cabinet.

I cut (2) 1/4" plywood pieces at 11 5/16" deep by 11 15/16" tall. Sand them. And paint them to match the cabinets.

Attach the 1/4" plywood pieces using the 1/2" wood screws.

Step 3: Install the Drawer Slides

Measure and mark the 1/4" plywood for attaching the outer drawer slide members into the side cabinets (under the middle cabinet). I set ours about 2" down from the bottom of the middle cabinet. Make sure they are installed level.

Step 4: Cut the Metal Dryer Rack

This took me two tries. I'll save you some time. You need to cut the hanging part off of the dryer rack. While you're cutting, make the dryer rack about 2" shorter in the back.

First, use the Allen wrench/key to remove all the screws holding the extendable rods.

Make a mark on the arms of the dryer rack about 2" from the back. You want to shorten it, but you don't want to damage the holes for the rods.

Using a rotary tool and a fiberglass cut off wheel, cut a notch at the mark you made on the dryer rack arms.

Now use a hack saw to cut the rest of the way from the notch through the arm. This will remove the hanging portion, and shorten the arm. (I removed the hanger, and then went back later and shortened them).

Note: I had difficulty getting the cut started with just the hacksaw. And the fiber glass cut off wheel was wearing out quickly. The standard cut off disc shattered. The combination of the notch from the fiber glass wheel and the hack saw seemed to do the trick.

Use the rotary tool and grinding stone to smooth out the rough edges of the metal arms (so no one gets cut, and clothes don't accidentally get snagged)

Step 5: Install the Drawer Slides to the Dryer Rack

Use the 1/2" plywood to cut some spacers/mounts for the dryer rack.

Cut (2) pieces for the 1/2" plywood to 12" x 1 1/8".

Place the shortened metal arms on the 1/2" plywood pieces. Lined up the back of the metal arm with the back of the plywood. I used a clamp to hold them in place. Use a pencil to mark on the plywood where the second and last holes are.

I didn't have a large enough counter sink bit, so I improvised here:

Clamp the plywood onto some scrap wood, to help prevent tear outs while drilling.

Drill a 1/4" hole at each mark on the plywood.

Carefully drill/scrape a 1/2" hole on the top of each 1/4" hole. You don't want to get to far into the plywood. You only want to create a small counter sink, so the head of the screw will sit flush. You may even have some luck just twisting the 1/2" drill bit by hand, without the drill.

Sand the surfaces of the plywood.

Reinstall the extendable rods, with the exception of the 2nd and last, with the original screws.

For the last and second rods, put the 1/2" plywood in place and attach with the longer M1.0-25mm screws.

Note: You should be able to use garden stakes instead of 1/2" plywood. You'll still need to cut them down to 12", but can skip the 1 1/8" cut. But because they are thicker than 1/2", you'll probably need 30mm length screws.

Now you can line up the inner drawer members to the plywood, and attach with the (likely included) 1/4" wood screws. You may need to use a pencil to mark the holes and pre-drill pilot holes. Try to center the drawer member vertically, but line the back edge up against the end of the plywood and metal arm.

Step 6: Finishing Step

You'll need to pull or push the dryer rack to the correct width so you can slide the drawer slides into place.

Now you have a dryer rack that can be pulled out when needed, and pushed back out of the way.

Oh, and next time someone wonders how to do this under a cabinet... here are the instructions :)

Step 7: Alternative to the Ikea Rack...

My wife was insistent upon using the metal rack from Ikea.

As an alternative, you could build your own. Perhaps use 3/4" or 1" wooden dowels. Cut (2) pieces of 1/2" plywood to 12" long x 1 1/2" wide. Drill appropriate sized holes for the wooden dowels, spaced about 2" apart. Cut the length of the dowels to the width of your cabinet minus the width of two drawer slides. (You shouldn't have to factor in the width of the plywood, unless you won't be fitting the dowels flush to the other side). 12" - 1" (or whatever the 1/2" plywood thickness happens to be, 15/32” x 2, 30/32") = 11" (or 11 1/16") dowel length. Put glue inside the plywood holes. Fit the ends of the dowels into the holes. When dry, install the drawer members.

Step 8: (Optional) Install Door Handles

Optionally install door handles.

You'll need to determine the distance between the mounting holes, appropriately mark the door panels, drill holes, and install the handles. I used cardboard to make a template (but it is probably time to buy a plastic template). I used a drill block guide to help make the holes straight.

Step 9: (Optional) Install Edge Trim at Top of Cabinets

Optionally, install quarter round edge trim at the top of the cabinets.

I got fancy with one of the corners, as the cabinets were not installed from wall to wall; one of the cabinet sides is visible.

Paint to match the cabinets. We painted before we put them up, and than needed to touch them up after installing. Installation is with a hammer, finishing nails, and a "nail set".

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    3 Discussions

    0
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    Alex in NZ

    4 weeks ago

    Adapting chipboard units to do something useful is _really_ difficult, so congratulations for your work, and thank you for sharing your efforts :-)

    1 reply
    0
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    AnandM54

    4 weeks ago

    Innovative idea!!