Sunday, May 31, 2009

No More Outdated Cans...


Several years ago, my garage looked like the above picture and so I built shelves customizing the measurements so my Plymouth Grand Voyager also fit in the space. On the north wall the shelves were 24" deep which I thought was a nice advantage. I later found out that it was mostly a waste of space because things sort of got lost in the depth of the shelves. Making do I stacked cans of green beans, corn and potatoes only two high since a third layer invariably toppled over noting every time I restocked what a pain in the rear it was to maintain the rotation.

Drooling over the Shelf Reliance set up in Costco - I couldn't justify the expense even if it was rotation perfection. However, even the Shelf Reliance product didn't make efficient use of my twenty four inch shelf depth. I was googling myself sick searching for a better...less expensive version when I came upon an idea made out of cardboard. I liked the idea but I wasn't sure it would last. I also found a company in Utah that makes custom can rotators but they were spendy and only did local pickup.

I decided to visit Lowe's thinking that smelling lumber may give me inspiration on how to economically satisfy my need to improve my current can system. I picked up a couple one by two by eights and some peg board to come up with a design. Since I am not the engineer type but more the trial and error type, I made several prototype designs before I got one I liked. I had the entire weekend while the rest of the family was in Seattle to try and fail my idea until I got it right.

After several decent designs which required only minor tweaking I began the assembly line process of filling up all four shelves with can rotators. Each one hold between 15 and 18 cans and 10 fit across each shelf for a total can capacity on all four shelves of between 600-720 cans.

My goal was not to duplicate the other products out there -- only to do it less expensively. I added labels which I cut from left over peg board and printed out on my computer the labels on off white card stock and of course I couldn't resist inking the edges before I nailed them to the units themselves.

The best design I found was to make two units together because they were stronger that way. Since I did these custom to my shelves I don't really have any plans or measurements except what I used. The cost savings ended up being significant since each unit cost approximately $3.50 in materials. I was satisfied with the outcome and my blister is healed up.

The tools I used to make this project were: a table saw, a compound mitre saw, a 16 guage brad nailer (for the 1 1/2" and 2" brads) and an 18 guage brad nailer (for the 5/8" brads),a compressor, a measuring tape, a square, wood glue, gloves (not when I was sawing) and a dust mask for cutting the peg board.

The shelves are different heights so I had to make some adjustments on the height of the can rollers. There was not enough room to make an additional row on the shelves at the top so I just left the unused space.


6 comments:

Marilee said...

I'm trying to think of some witty little comment, but that picture has left me totally speechless. I cannot believe what you can do! That is incredible. I can see the face you're making right now as you read this. You're scrunching up your nose and tilting your head to one side and saying, "Ahh, it was nothing. It's not pretty and it's certainly not professional." Well it looks pretty professional to me! You're amazing.

Shannon said...

I love it! Great job Brenda!

Keolani said...

Are you freakin kidding me? I wouldn't know where to start. That is sooooo cool. Mind if my husband comes over and takes a look?

The Mom said...

Yep that would be the brain of my BFF. Well done my friend, well done.

CarrieAnne said...

Incredible! I love what you did. I wish I could do that but I lack a few main things...canned foods that actually taste good, a Lowes store and a garage. Bummer deal dude! Way to be creative!

Lisa said...

ooooooh, This is way cool! So glad for you. I just cleaned and rebuilt the shelves in my pantry. There isn't a rotation factor involved like in yours. I'm glad there are women like you who can do such clever things! Thanks for sharing :)