As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.
PLEASE NOTE: There is a follow-up project page HERE.
In this project I am adding some storage to my bathroom vanity by installing a tip-out tray kit. It's a quick and simple project, which I filmed and documented so I could share my experiences.
This is the front of my bathroom vanity. It's an ordinary bathroom cabinet. There are probably thousands like it in Canada and the US. On the bottom there are cabinet doors. On the top there are two drawers at each side. And...
There is a panel in the middle -- in front of the sink -- that is fixed in place. There's no room for a drawer here, because of the sink. however there is some room, that I want to reclaim.
I bought a set of specialty hinges, and a plastic tray from Lee Valley, to turn the front panel into a tip-out tray. These are also available from Amazon or your local big-box hardware store. (Links below)
Remember to read the included instructions.
First thing to do is to clear out the space in the cabinet under the sink as you will need to get in there several times during this chore.
Here I am laying on my back, with my head in the cabinet and removing the screws which hold the centre front panel of my vanity in place. I obtained a small flashlight which helped illuminate that dark space to help me see what I am doing.
My panel was held in place with a simple metal bracket, which I removed and discarded. The situation with your bathroom vanity/cabinet is hopefully not too different from this.
With the front panel removed you can see there there is actually quite a lot of unused space in front of and around the sink. In fact, you could get creative and add a shelf on either side of the sink, or make a custom horshoe-shaped drawer that wraps around the sink. I briefly considered that, but I had already bought the tip-out tray parts, so I stuck with that plan.
This photo is somewhat distorted by the extreme wide angle lens on my action camera.
(NEXT TWO PHOTOS) I fastened the tip-out hinges into the side of the cabinet, one on each side. They are elevated a small amount (1mm or 3/32") above the crossbar.
With the hingest installed in the cabinet, I put the cabinet front back in place and held it there with some spring clamps. I then reached in and traced out the mounting holes for where the hinges attach to the front panel.
My finger indicates the pencil marks. This worked great, and eliminated at least one session of leaning back and sticking my head into the cabinet.
I then drilled pilot holes in the back of the panel and fastened it to the hinges with screws. The front panel now nicely tips forward.
I did have to crawl into the cabinet one more time. I positioned the plastic tray on the back of the front panel and marked the screw locations, and then had to drill pilot holes in the back of the panel.
In hindsight, I should have done this before fastening the panel into place. However, you do kind of want to have the panel in place when positioning the tray and marking for it's mounting holes.
Here I am using a short "stubby" screwdriver to attach the plastic tray. These sort of screwdrivers sit unused in your shop for most of the year but when you need them, they're lifesavers!
And using my drill/driver to drive the tray mounting screws the rest of the way. Couldn't quite make it the whole way with the stubby screwdriver.
And that is the end. The tray is installed and we now have a little bit more storage tucked away into our bathroom cabinet. This is a quick and easy project. This took only about an hour to install, even with all the extra work of filming.
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