Monday, September 12, 2016

Rustic Kitchen Island

For this blog entry I'm going to do something a little different.  Instead of me showing you photos I took to make this awesome kitchen Island...


...I'm going to give you step-by-step instructions - with measurements!


My kitchen is a good one, but it is lacking a certain amount of counter space.  This easy to make island solves my counter space issue, plus it was relatively inexpensive to build.


The total height of this island is 36 3/4" - which is pretty much the height of the counters in my kitchen.  The total length is 48", and width is 24".


The materials bought for this island consisted of:
10 - 2x4x8' studs
2 - 1x2x8' pine boards
2 - 2'x4'x.5" Birch Plywood, and
1 - 2'x4'x.75" Birch Plywood.
See the image below for the cut list for each piece.


You'll notice that one of the 2x4 studs only has one small piece cut from it.  Although not seen above, I do use the leftover stud to cut spacers when inserting the shelves.  But I'll get to that later.

In addition to the materials mentioned above, I also used various tools, screws, nails, clamps, sandpaper, wood glue, wood stain, polyurethane, polycrylic spray, brushes and rags, edge banding, an iron (for ironing clothes), a block plane, L brackets, a propane torch and self-adhesive felt pads.  The power tools used were: Table and Miter saws, power driver, nail gun, and random orbital sander.

The first step was to cut all the wood studs to the sizes shown above.  After all the pieces were cut, I thoroughly sanded them with my random orbital sander to make sure all the edges were smooth. Then I took 2 of the studs cut to 36" and screwed them together to form an "L" shape.


The screws that I used were 2.5" deck screws.  These screws have a star-head and are selt-tapping, so I didn't have to pre-drill any holes.  4 screws evenly applied are enough to hold the legs together.  Later more screws will be added to strengthen things.


I repeated this process 3 more times to create the legs for this island.  Then I put them aside.


Next I gathered 2 pieces cut to 40", 2 pieces cut to 19" and 3 pieces cut to 16".  These pieces will make up one of the shelves.


Using long bar clamps, I attached the pieces together and drove more deck screws.  First I attached the long and short sides, then I attached the middle supports.  The middle supports are laying down flat as opposed to the sides which were 'standing'.  This created a 2" space that later will be reserved for the shelves.


I assembled this on my workbench to make sure all the sides were flat.  Then I repeated the process 2 more times to make a total of 3 shelves.


Next I cut 4 pieces of leftover wood studs to be 3" tall.  These are the first set of spacers.


I placed the spacers underneath the 4 outer corners of the first shelf.


Then one-by-one I attached the legs to the shelf using more deck screws.  A total of 3 deck screws per leg does the trick.


Then I removed the 3" spacers and cut 4 new spacers - this time cut to 12 1/2".


I placed the new spacers on top of the shelf, in the corners against the legs as pictured below.


Then I placed a second shelf on top of the new spacers and attached the shelf to the legs using deck screws.


Once that was done, I removed the spacers.  For the last shelf, I flipped the shelf upside-down and attached it to the tops of the legs, making sure all the edges were flush.  The top shelf is upside-down to make it easier to attach the table top.


Now the frame is complete!  Next it was time to work on the shelves.  Using the table saw, I cut the two pieces of .5" thick plywood to be 40" x 16".  Then I sanded them smooth on all sides and edges.


Then I simply placed the plywood into the shelves.  The space that was created earlier when assembling the shelves lets the plywood sit nicely without the need to screw it on.  That space also creates a small lip which both hides the layered sides of the plywood, and will keep things from falling off your shelf later on.


Next it was time for the table top.  I used the .75" plywood for the top, and since they sell it at the store at this size, I didn't need to cut it at all.


But I did apply some edge banding - which is an iron-on piece of very thin wood which covers the layered side of plywood to make it look much nicer.  Below is an image of one of my workbenches after edge banding was attached.  Once the edging was on I trimmed it to be flush using a block plane, and then sanded the whole board.

 

To attach the top to the rest of the island, I screwed on some L brackets to both the top shelf and the table top.  


With the top on, the last thing to cut were the pieces of 1x2 pine.  4 pieces were needed at 36".


 These 4 pieces covered up the gap on the legs where the 2 wood studs met.  I attached these with glue and nails.


Lastly (after staining and polyurethane/polycrylic) I added adhesive felt pads to the bottom of each leg to prevent the wood from scratching the floor.


 And that's it for assembly! 


Below is a picture of my island right after assembly was complete.


When it came to staining this piece, I stained only the 3 pieces of plywood that consist of the top and the shelves.  I removed them from the table and applied the stain and polyurethane.


For the frame, I decided to burn the wood using a propane torch.


Below is a video of a little wood burning I did.




After cooking the wood and letting it cool off, I sprayed some polycrylic clear coat onto the frame.  This will keep the soot from coming off when handling the frame.  Once the frame and shelves/top were all dry I moved them into my kitchen and reassembled everything.


This island turned out great! 


It was simple to build and fun to make.


Plus now I have a lot more counter space for preparing food.  YAY!
My girlfriend and I are not big fans of the existing counters and shelves.  They work fine, but are not the color/style we'd prefer.  My girlfriend went so far as to say that this Island is the nicest looking thing in our kitchen!

A few days after making this I went out and bought a set of hooks.  I attached one hook to one side to hang an oven mitt...


...and repeated the process on the other side for a second mitt.


Then I hung 4 more on the longer side to hold some pans...


...and made a towel holder out of scrap wood and a dowel.  I used the blow torch on these as well, so everything matches.


You can even fit a roll of paper towels on it.


So there you have it!  Plans for a nifty Rustic Kitchen Island.


Thanks for reading!

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