Giant shoe rack: larder style unit pull out gear...?

21 Mar 2009
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United Kingdom
Hi everyone.

I'm planning on making a giant pull out shoe rack rather like the "larder units" you get in built in kitchens but I'm a bit stuck on what gear I can use to support it without spending a fortune. B&Q do a cheapo larder unit for £99 so I was hoping to spend no more than around £30 on a runner.

My dad has agreed to make it for me but I have to work out exactly how it's going to work and buy all the bits. Unfortunately I'm a bit of a ignoramus when it comes to this sort of thing and despite hours of research I still can't make the decision.

The shoe rack will be inside a built-in wardrobe so I'm not terribly worried about the finish I just want it to be very functionable (thereby encouraging me to use it).

I looked at various shoe storage solutions and decided that the best thing would be an approx 170cm high by 30 wide by 50cm deep pull out unit (full extension) with the access from the side. I should point out that the wardrobe doors will be on a track so a unit on casters isn't going to work.

I've come up with a few ideas but each has its own problems I was hoping the experienced people on this board might be able to advise which way to go (or come up with another creative solution).

Bottom and top mounted runners

I'd like something like this : I can't find any suppliers of that particular part, Isaac Lord sells the Peka runner but they expect you to have the tubular frame so it doesn't come with the top groove bit.
It's also more than I want to spend. I found this one for a mere £11 with the £3 top runner but again they aren't going to work without the frame.

I found this at Hafale.
Perfect! Then I found the price for the size i want = £320. Not perfect!

Could I modify the cheap ones to work with a wooden system? Where I can get the Hafale styles ones for a price I could justify for a shoe rack?!

Hmm... maybe a bottom runner is not the way to go.

Side mounted runners

A lot of the kitchen larders have two sliders on one side but I can't find any runners that are designed to support weight in this way. Plus I'm not confident that we'd get the hanging perfect so the weight would be evenly distributed between the two.

I could have two sliders on each side but again I'm not sure about the distribution and ideally I'd like to have one side open all the time for ventilation and easy access (facing the hanging clothes).

Any ideas? Is side mounted the way to go? Can you suggest the runners to purchase?

Base mounted runners with top guide

This is the option I'm leaning towards at the moment but I'm just not sure it'll work. Two heavy duty base mounted runners on either side of the bottom of the frame (I think they're called base mounted - they are fixed to the side but have a little lip underneath to support some of the weight of the drawer) and a lightweight slide on the middle of the top for stability.

Would this work? Can you recommend which runners to buy?

I think I've also seen bottom mounted runners (actually underneath and mounted horizontally). Do these provide more support? Would they be a better idea?

So that's pretty much concludes my shoe dilemma! Ridiculous isn't it. I'm afraid I can't really indicate how much it'll weigh as I've pretty much no idea. I was kind of hoping to work out what weight the gear would support and then adjusting the building materials to suit, it will be wood though (at this point probably balsa!).

Thanks for reading (sorry it's a bit long)! Any opinions would be appreciated.

Trish xx
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Thanks for the reply Jason. A sliding bookcase is actually a pretty good way of describing what i'd like.

Can I just clarify a couple of things?

You're suggesting three runners mounted on just one side?

Those runners are rated 45kilos per pair but I doubt they would support that much with three on one side. But if you've made sliding bookcases I guess they must be pretty strong. Erm, don't know where I'm going with this... just some more reassurance about the weight I guess.

My main concern with multiple runners was actually getting them lined up right so they distribute the weight evenly. Have you got any tips on the best way to go about this? Is it just a case of measuring, measuring and measuring again. I guess I'd do one, check it's ok, then the next, test and then the third. Would it be best to start at the bottom or the top?

Sorry it's a bit of a can of worms.

Trish xx

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