Make Your Own Food Can Rotator
The following section describes how to build a food can rotating system out of some basic materials. I was looking for a way to maximize the use of a large cabinent I had in the kitchen and also a way to help us rotate through canned food in an organized manner. This can organizer was designed to fit the specific space I had so you'd probably have to tweak it to fit whatever space you had. Hopefully this provides some helpful ideas if nothing else. Each bin holds about 14 standard size cans like corn or chili which gives a total capacity of 252 cans (14 x 3 rows x 6 columns).
The first step you'll want to do is figure out your total outside dimensions and see how many cans you can reasonably fit. I used 1/2" plywood to build the entire organizer so I spaced cans across the empty storage space and determined I could get 6 columns of cans with about 1" spacing between each can. Once the organizer was built this provided 1/2" for the vertical plywood spacers and then 1/4" spaces on each side of the cans.
Next I cut one of the vertical pieces of plywood and created the layout for the shelves. It helps to get some actual food cans that you plan to use and make sure there is enough height to clear the cans at the back end of the shelf. Also, the more slope you put on the shelves the better the cans will roll when you drop them in but putting too much slope also reduces the number of bins you can fit in a given vertical space. Once you have a layout that you are happy with, mark the top and bottom of each shelf and mark the end points for the back of the shelf where the cans will need space to drop.
This is what the layout looked like on my first vertical piece of plywod.
Stack up 4 or 5 vertical plywood pieces on top of each other so they can be cut at the same time on a table saw. Once stacked, drill 1/2" holes at the end of each shelf slot you've marked.
The pictures below show me cutting the shelf slots out of each stack of plywood pieces. After cutting the first stack you can trace the slots with a pencil onto the next stack of 4 or 5 pieces of plywood and then cut those the same way.
Follow the link below to see the final assembly of the can rotation system.