Thursday, May 6, 2010

Custom Trash/Recycling Bins

As part of the Kitchen Renovation we lost the space where we had our trash can: See that shinny thing over there...

Yeah, that. It didn't have a home in the new plan of the kitchen since we were putting in almost 8 linear feet of cabinets on a wall that was just over 8 feet didn't leave any room for a trash can. And in reality there wasn't really any other place to put one. We could have limited the amount of cabinets we were putting in, but I really didn't want to do that.

Then, the perfect solution presented it self when we found the cabinets... one of the base cabinets came without drawers and doors:

I remembered seeing a Trash/Recycling piece over at Knock-off-wood. I figured I could modify those plans to suit our needs.

So, without further rambling here is what I started with:

  • Base cabinet
  • 2 trash cans the fit (harder to find than I thought, but not impossible)
  • Left over 1x10" pine from another project
  • Left over 1/2" plywood
  • 1/2" "L" molding. I don't know if that is what it is really called, that is what I'm calling it
  • Piano hinges
  • Wood glue
  • Nails
  • Clamps
  • Jig saw or hand saw
  • Compound miter saw or miter box
  • Palm sander or sand paper
  • Wood filler
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Cup hooks 
  • Chain
To start, I needed to cut the cross piece off the base cabinet that would have separated the drawer from the door with a jig saw:

This allowed for the trash cans to be able to fit and tilt out:

To construct the tilting door, I took a piece of the plywood that I had cut to the width I wanted for the door and attached it to a piece of 1x10" for the base using wood glue and then nails. You'll see the door and base are different widths. This allowed the door to extend past the width of the opening while the base fit inside... it also allowed me to use reclaimed wood that we already had on hand, rather than spending money on new.

Additional support was needed for the structure so I miter cut a 3" wide section of the plywood:

The supports were attached to the outside of the base and the back of the door using by applying wood glue, securing with clamps and following up with nails.

The problem with using left over materials... they often look like left over materials. The plywood edges were raw and that is putting it mild.

That is where the "L" molding came in, I miter cut the "L" molding to fit around the edges of the doors. Those were secured with wood glue while things were clamped I nailed them in.

See the difference - the trimmed door on the right, the untrimmed door on the left.

This was as far as I could take the building of the unit until the base cabinet was installed. Which meant it was time for painting. Prior to painting the seams around the molding were filled with wood filler on the door and everything was sanded and sanded and sanded.

With the base cabinet installed in the kitchen, but BEFORE (very important) the counter top was on, I attached the piano hinge to the bottom of the door and then while very carefully standing IN the base cabinet the other half of the hinge was attached to the opening of the base cabinet.

And then the counter top went on.

Then it was time for the support hinge, something that Ana at knock off wood used. Well, I tried to find the exact same support hinge at a variety of stores here, and I couldn't. The guys at Ace suggested "Friction Lid Support" hinges:

We tried them. They didn't work - the return of the hinge kept the door from completely closing.

So I went back, returned the support hinges and went pretty basic, safety cup hooks and chain:

I cut the chain into a length that would allow the door to open, but keep it from falling all the way open. Cup hooks were attached to the inside of the base cabinet and the back of the door and the chain attached to each:

Still with me??? We're almost done!

Last: Hardware!

And now, we've got the perfect Trash/Recycling bins.

In some ways I wish I'd gone with new materials, but it feels good to have saved money and saved items from landfills. And we've gotten exactly what we needed and wanted.


  1. I found you via this week's linky parties. i loved what you had linked and read heaps of your remodelling posts. now you have a new follower. :)
    I Love what you have done with your bin storage; so prictical and hidden away. we had something very similar in one house. i so want to do this, but alas i rent.

  2. This is a great idea! I have a very similar problem with the trash can but don't know if I have a cabinet available to devote to this. You definitely have me thinking!! I also found via Thursday Transformations.

  3. I am SOOOOOOOOOOO impressed. WOW, very cool!
    Hugs from Texas, Tara

  4. Oh, those are pure perfection!! I have seen lots of the slide out kind--but I like your tilt-out kind much, much better!! Love them!

  5. I found your post on Favorite Things Friday and I absolutely love your idea! I've been searching EVERYWHERE for a dog proof garbage can that isn't tacky! This is perfect!

    I am your newest follower, I'm new to the blogging world and enjoy new friends and project ideas :)

  6. Amazing Maggie, such a terrific job!

  7. btw: are you changing the light fixture over the table? If so, I might know someone willing to buy it from you:)

  8. Wow! Great job! I have to say how envious I am because I would LOVE to have one of these! We don't even have enough cabinets for all our food and cooking supplies so there's no room for one. When we do reno our kitchen, I will definitely want something like this to keep the trash hidden and have the recycling in such a handy spot.

  9. WOW!! VERY impressive!!

    I've given you the Trendy Blog Award...come on over and check it out!

  10. That is awesome!! Great JoB!! I need one of those! I featured it on my blog here:

    Thanks for sharing!! :)

  11. Great job. I would love something like this in our garage!

  12. Hi Maggie! I love this creative solution and included it in my DIY post today and linked back. Hope that's okay. Please let me know if it's not. Have a great day!


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