I needed some more flexibility in a portable cabinet. It previously had tracks with removable brackets, but those little brackets would bounce out and then my shelf would fall. I added adjustable cabinet shelving to the portable cabinet so I’d be able to customize my storage.
The shelves themselves were going to be 3/4″ plywood, so I ripped 1/2″ plywood down to 3/4″ and cut them to 23″. My cabinet is 24″ deep.
I started at the bottom, and measured up for the first strip, 15″, and stapled it into the walls. I did not use glue as I did not want any glue to accidentally make its way into my tracks.
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I took a piece of scrap 3/4″ and applied two layer of gaffers tape to each side. This builds in just a little bit of play for sliding the shelves in and out.
To make the tracks, I placed my taped board on top of the last 1/2″ strip attached. Then I held another strip on top of the taped piece. I continued this process until I got about a foot from the top of the cabinet.
You can go higher and lower with your strips depending on your needs. For the shelves themselves, I cut pieces of 3/4″ plywood and marked the center of each. I then drilled 1 1/4″ holes and connected the holes with pencil lines to follow with my saber saw. This made a nice handle for pulling the shelves in and out of the tracks. I also used a round over router bit on all edges of the handle for comfort. This can be accomplished as well with heavy sanding and/or filing.
Making adjustable shelves in this manner means that the shelf is captured on top as well as supported underneath. This will keep the shelves from bouncing around as the cabinet rolls about. You can add as many or as few shelves as you need. For ceramic work, you may need fewer shelves while keeping a full compliment of tracks. But if you are a print maker or watercolor artist, you may want to make more shelves so you can have more drying at any one time. I like how much flexibility I get out of these shelves now.