In every kitchen, finding a way to store pots, pans, lids, and so on is a problem. Well, maybe just piling them all up in a lower cabinet isn’t the problem. That is, until you need the big, heavy one on the bottom!
To further complicate things in our kitchen, the big cabinet under the range has a gas line & electrical outlet. We need to be able to reach both when needed but preferably heavy pans aren’t banging into them (especially not the gas line!).
My solution was to sub-divide the cabinet into two halves. One in which the dividers are vertical and there is space for handles. This would be used for frying pans and the like. The second half would be in front of the electric and gas and just use shelf pins for a few “traditional” cabinet shelves. This side would have a false back with a hand opening so the gas shut-off could be reached in case of an emergency, too. There’s no angle in the final assembly that really shows this very clearly, but here’s the Sketchup model for reference:
The center divider is the full depth of the cabinet and was from 3/4″ birch plywood. This was mainly just to give more space to rest the top shelf on. The shelf side of this has shelf pin holes drilled to match the existing holes in the cabinet side. Also worth noting that this Sketchup is not entirely the “as built”. The top shelf was a very odd shape so it would cover the exposed plywood edge of the center divider. And there is no bottom to the right side; it’s just the cabinet bottom of course.
I used a dado stack to cut out the divider slots out of 1/2″ maple plywood. The dividers themselves were just some 1/4″ hardboard material. I also cut rabbets along the edges of the sub-box top and bottom to give it some structure.
I ironed on edge banding to all the exposed plywood fronts. I prefer to cut a large curve in the dividers so retrieving pans is easier, so the hard board edge was just left as-is. The spacing of these was entirely based on the pans we own now; thus the extra-wide slot at the end (bordered by the center divider) for the sauté pan. Here’s the dry fit of all the parts.
It’s not just the angle of the photo: I managed to mess up the spacing of the shelf pins on the center divider. I was able to just use some different style of shelf supports which helps to level it out. We’ve re-arranged things a couple of times to better use the space, but this is a massive improvement over the system before. This was very much engineered on the fly to make a lot of storage with the minimal amount of parts. But we’ve been very pleased with the improvement to the kitchen.