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HOME LIFE: OUR GUY GARY; Gaining additional storage need not be a tough task.

EVEN in the biggest kitchen, it can often be difficult to find enough workspace.

But that doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune on a complete kitchen re-fit.

Often all that's needed to clear clutter off the counter tops is a couple of shelves.

In Mary's kitchen, this simple storage solution turned a wasted space at the end of her kitchen units into an ideal home for all her cookery books, and also gave the family back their breakfast bar when the microwave was shoved off the table on to its own shelf.

Shelving is one of the easiest DIY projects to tackle. But, remember, they'll probably have to bear up under a fair bit of weight, so they need to be fixed securely.

On masonry walls, use screws at least 1.5 ins long and drive these firmly into wallplugs inserted into the drilled holes.

Also, don't just rely on side brackets to hold your shelving in place, or the wood will bow in the middle.

For Mary's book shelves, I fitted fillets at either end and conti blocks in the centre to take the strain, but metal track shelving, available from any good DIY store, is a sturdy, ready-made substitute.

To fit this system, first measure and mark where you want to position your shelving, then place the first end track against the wall and use a bradawl to mark where the top screw is to go.

Drill and fix the first screw through the top hole of the track, then after using a spirit level to check the track is vertical, mark, drill and fix the screws in the remaining holes.

To make sure the other end track is level with the first, attach brackets to the same slots on both tracks, lay a length of wood along these, check again with the spirit level, then mark, drill and fix the screws as before.

For long shelves, repeat this process again and fix a third track in the middle.

Once all the tracking is screwed to the wall, slip the brackets into their slots, then measure and cut the shelving - I usually use 3/4 ins MDF.

Sand down any rough edges and paint the shelves before attaching firmly, screwing up from under the brackets. For 3/4 ins MDF, allowing for the thickness of the bracket, I'd recommend 3/4 ins No 8 screws.

And that's it. Some great additional storage for just pounds 20 and about 20 minutes DIY time.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 25, 1999
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