Build It: Movable Kitchen Island

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on August 13, 2016

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Tom Silva shows how to fabricate a kitchen island out of stock cabinets. (See the shopping list, tools, and steps below.)

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Shopping List for Build It: Movable Kitchen Island:
– Two 30-inch-wide upper wall cabinets
– 24-by-48-inch piece of 3/4-inch plywood, to make base of island
– Four 4-inch swiveling casters (two with brakes)
– 14/-inch x 1 1/2-inch carriage bolts with washers and nuts, to attach casters
– 1 1/4-inch drywall screws, for attaching the plywood base to the cabinets
– Wood shims, used as spacers between the cabinets
– Carpenter's glue
– Wood butcher block, to make the island top
– 100-grit sandpaper, to hand-sand the edges of the butcher-block top
– 120-grit abrasive disk, for use with random-orbit sander
– 2-inch drywall screws, for attaching the butcher-block top
– Towel bar
– Mineral oil and cotton cloth, to finish the butcher-block top

Tools List for Build It: Movable Kitchen Island:
– Circular saw
– Cordless drill
– 5/16-inch-diameter drill bit, to bore bolt-clearance holes
– 5/32-inch-diameter drill bit, for boring screw-shank clearance holes
– Ratcheting box-end wrench, to tighten nuts on carriage bolts
– Utility knife, to trim wood shims
– Random-orbit sander, for smoothing the butcher-block top
– Straightedge guide and clamps

Steps for Build It: Movable Kitchen Island:
1. Stock kitchen cabinets come in a wide variety of finishes, colors, sizes, and configurations.
2. Kitchen base cabinets are too tall for use in a mobile island, unless you cut them down to size.
3. Upper wall cabinets at 12 inches deep by 30 inches tall are ideal for building a mobile island.
4. Use a circular saw to cut away the raised lip from the bottom of the cabinets.
5. Place the cabinets upside down and back-to-back, then saw a piece of 3/4-inch plywood to fit across the bottom of both cabinets.
6. Attach a 4-inch caster to each corner of the plywood panel; secure each caster with four 1 1/2-inch-long carriage bolts, washers, and nuts.
7. Drill four 5/32-inch-diameter screw-shank clearance holes through the bottom of each cabinet.
8. Set the plywood panel with casters on top of the cabinets, then attach the panel with 1 1/4-inch drywall screws.
9. Bore four screw-shank clearance holes through the upper back of one cabinet.
10. Insert wood shims between the two cabinets, then fasten them together with two 1 1/4-inch drywall screws.
11. Turn the cabinets upright and trim the shims flush using a utility knife.
12. Cut four 3/4-inch-thick plywood filler strips to fit across the tops of the cabinets.
13. Secure the filler strips with glue and 1 1/4-inch screws.
14. Use a circular saw with a straightedge guide to cut a 36-inch-long wood butcher-block top for the island.
15. Set the butcher block on the island, allowing it to overhang one end by 4 inches and the other by 2 inches.
16. Secure the wood top to the island with 2-inch screws.
17. Smooth the butcher-block top using a random-orbit sander fitted with a 120-grit abrasive disk.
18. Use a clean cotton cloth to apply a coat of mineral oil to the butcher-block top.

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