Kitchen Island #1: Seeking Lumberjocks advice on joinery within custom-designed kitchen island

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by GJK posted 08-15-2015 05:58 PM 1516 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Kitchen Island series Part 2: Ready to Assemble Multiple Components with Mortise & Tenon Joinery »

My custom-made western red cedar fence is done

and so is the kitchen rehab, including cherry cabinets and a matching cherry ladder system I designed and purchased from an old-line rolling ladder maker in NYC for reaching the tallest cabinets near the 10’ ceiling:

After cutting through walls to open up space above doors and changing all door trim to 8’ high trim, I had two glass workers (an experienced gent in Alabama and a lady in Telluride CO) each make two transom windows to fit the holes we cut into the walls and to add a color linking to the high-end Sapphire we selected for painting the kitchen trim and a small amount of exposed wall not covered by cabinets:


Now I am turning to a kitchen island. I saw a very pricey version that the cabinet making firm offered:

A nice kitchen island I saw online led me to enclose the shelf storage with doors on all four sides and match those doors to the kitchen cabinet fronts:

I began by resizing the kitchen island offered by the cabinet maker and siting it at a floor location in our remodeled kitchen that would provide the extra room needed when the ladder is used from time to time (I chose to avoid casters to make the island movable due to the weight I expected):

I began by changing the top to a mixed medium of granite and cherry cutting board:

then I planned for six drawers with three on each long side: a 20” wide center drawer flanked by two 14” wide drawers. The drawers will all be 5” tall and 12” deep:

I chose Blum drawer glides:

I purchased unfinished drawer fronts from Keystone Wood to match (almost) the kitchen cabinet drawer fronts:

and I’m enclosing the storage on the shelf with six doors (a pair of 24” x 24” doors on both long sides and the same style doors on both short sides:

and I’ll use the same door and drawer pulls as the cabinets:

The six doors will be joined with Salice hinges:

To create a strong frame and join the various components (top, six drawers, six doors), I will make a 3-part frame from 1 1/2” x 3” cherry wood to (a) support the top, (b) support the six drawers, and© serve as the shelf. I carefully selected 19 boards (66 lineal feet) to use for the framing:

A key to the strength and joinery was selecting legs that would offer sufficient flat space at both ends. The reed columns I chose have a 7 1/4” vertical flat space top and bottom for joinery and 3 1/2” width:

And for the shelf I considered cherry plywood but chose instead a series of the same 1 1/2” x 3” cherry wood strips for both strength and appearance:

To tie the island to the floor (quarry tile) I will add a band of 3” trim all around with leftover finished boards from the cabinet assembly and 1/4 round, also in cherry, even though it would not secure vertically to the quarry tile floor:

-- Gary, Washington, DC

1 comment so far

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1312 posts in 2315 days

#1 posted 08-15-2015 08:30 PM

Thorough and informative writeup. Thanks for the read!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics