Clearly I need to post something to take your mind off the Atwater Embezzlistas. How about sink tray installation instructions? That will lull you into submission. Step-by-step instructions at the end of this post.
When I took my kitchen cabinets apart to paint them, I discovered the sink front panel was merely stapled to the cabinet frame. Stapled! I had to remove it to make painting both it and the frame easier so I decided to convert it to a tip-out tray.
I bought a $12 conversion kit at Lowes on sale. The regular price is $15.47 and I have seen them online for $23.99 for the same exact kit. Of course, you can also buy nicer stainless steel trays, better hinges, a full tray instead of two small trays if your opening is not divided like mine, etc. As with remodeling, the options are endless.
My kit came with two plastic trays: an “accessory” tray to hold rings and soap (note the little volcano on the left on which to slide your rings):
And a plain tray:
I use both to hold sponges and scrub brushes.
The kit will come with installation instructions and templates for drilling your hardware screw holes. Some of the instructions are ass-backwards, though, because they call for you to screw things in at an angle where you cannot possibly get your screw driver unless you have a shorty or a bendy ratcheting one.
- Trace your opening. BEFORE REMOVING THE SINK FRONT PANEL, take a pencil and trace the outline of your openings on the inside of the panel. This makes aligning the trays to fit the openings easy once you have the panel off. Translation: no measuring.
- Remove and refinish the panel. Remove the sink front panel and paint or stain the inside, as necessary. You may need to do the same to the frame. Since the panel was designed to sit there and never open, these areas are often left unfinished.
Note: your pencil markings at step 1 will be for naught if you then paint over them so either create a template from your markings or retrace them after you refinish the inside of the panel. For the latter, get a helper to hold the panel in place while you trace from the inside or use clamps to keep the panel from moving around.
- Attach the tray hardware. Align the trays in the traced areas on the back of the panel and mark your screw holes. Remove the trays, pre-drill the holes, and attach the screws. Leave enough room between the screw head and the panel so you can easily attach the trays and later remove them for cleaning. Do not attach the trays yet. That will come last.
- Attach the hinges. Using the template provided with your kit, mark and drill the holes for the hinges on both the back of the panel and the cabinet frame. Here is what the hinges look like when everything is together. (Just remember the trays will not be attached yet at this step so they will not be in your way.)
Scroll down at this site to see an optional hinge you may want to buy separately if you don't like the ones that come with your kit.
Attach the hinges first to the panel, then to the sides of the frame. Do the panel first because it is an odd angle to work with if you first attach the panel to the frame. It can be done but a normal screwdriver will not fit because the sink is in the way.
Next, it is a little tricky attaching the hinges to the frame because 1) they are now attached to the panel, which limits your range of motion, and 2) they try to close on you if you bump the panel. It can be done alone but it is easier if you have a helper to hold the panel in place.
- Attach a new handle. Now that your sink front panel will open and close, you will need a handle to make that happen unless your cabinet doors are of the style that opens without handles. Drill the holes for your new hardware and attach it now.
- Attach the trays. Slide the trays on to the screws you attached at Step 3 and you are done.
See the picture at the beginning of this post for what it looks like open.
I am not crazy about the knobs I used - I would rather have a long bar-style handle - but it was what I had on hand. I have to replace them one day anyway because, erm, I measured wrong so they are not symmetrical.
A project for another day. For now, I don't even notice the asymmetry anymore. It is called HIPB - Home Improvement Project Burnout - pronounced "HIP-bee" and characterized by bouts of lying on the sofa with the TV remote mumbling things like "I just don't care anymore" and "No one will even notice" followed by the ingestion of copious amounts of crispy fried things.
Good luck, you home improvement groupies.