Kitchen Island

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Project by Thomas posted 08-19-2010 08:52 PM 7206 views 11 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It’s been awhile. A broken saw arbor, a hard to find bearing set, a really cold winter, then a bunch of maintenance stuff that got in the way of building – excuses, excuses. But I’m sitting on a backlog of stuff to post so here’s the first, a continuation of my kitchen project – the movable island.

This one was a challenge as I never made a table before and that is essentially what this this. In total there are 36 mortise and tenon joints, 240 dowel joints, 152 pocket holes, four biscuit joints (for alignment), and eight dovetail joints. The slated shelves (to help lighten the design) accounted for the bulk of the dowels and pockets. The Silestone top weighs close to 150 pounds and the KitchenAid mixer adds another 30, so this thing had to be over designed and rock solid.

It was built in a modular fashion, so I was able to test fit pieces (see last photo) before each section was finished and assembled for good.

Other features:
- One of the legs was hollowed out to run a power cord from a floor outlet, it ends in a power strip under the seat extension.
- The whole thing is mobile since it is the same height as the counters, so it can be wheeled over as a return or extension
- The chair extension is great for a quick lunch or for hanging out at when someone else is cooking, and provides a little extra prep space when needed.

-- Thomas, Irvine, CA

19 comments so far

View JoshJock's profile


94 posts in 3621 days

#1 posted 08-19-2010 09:20 PM

Very nice! love the black top. elegant too!

-- "Does this lathe makes my butt look big?"

View Tom Klopfenstein's profile

Tom Klopfenstein

40 posts in 3877 days

#2 posted 08-19-2010 09:25 PM

Don’t let my wife see this…...

-- Tom Klopfenstein

View CampD's profile


1817 posts in 4265 days

#3 posted 08-19-2010 09:31 PM

Very nice, sounds like a bit of a process to assemble

-- Doug...

View CharlieM1958's profile


16286 posts in 4997 days

#4 posted 08-19-2010 09:34 PM

Really great looking piece.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View JoeCool's profile


83 posts in 4210 days

#5 posted 08-19-2010 10:03 PM

Looks like Charlie M beat me to say great job; well he is a good guy to follow. Yeah I have a lot of excuses for delay also, but I am about to roll out some great pieces. Anyway, I am impressed with you table and way to go completing the 36 mortise and tenon joints; a sign of a real woodworker.

-- Joe Cool

View JoeCool's profile


83 posts in 4210 days

#6 posted 08-19-2010 10:06 PM

Yeah, I notice you posted the other kitchen post 265 days ago and you said there that the Island would be done in a few weeks. Time slips away; again way to get it done.

-- Joe Cool

View mnorusis's profile


153 posts in 3922 days

#7 posted 08-19-2010 10:32 PM

really nice work, it looks great.

How did you hollow out the one leg?


View Hallmark's profile


432 posts in 3885 days

#8 posted 08-19-2010 10:55 PM

Nice looking and well thought out island, I wish my kitchen had room for an island like that. Can you paint the wells to match the top?

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View Thomas's profile


16 posts in 3905 days

#9 posted 08-20-2010 12:16 AM

Actually it was done about a month after the last kitchen post. All the excuses got in the way of photographing and posting. I tend to lose track of time, but I’m not that bad.

-- Thomas, Irvine, CA

View Thomas's profile


16 posts in 3905 days

#10 posted 08-20-2010 12:26 AM

I didn’t want to split the leg, so I bored a hole with a power drill strapped to a table (with sand bags to support the irregular shape) and a really long extension rod. Used blocking under the rod to keep it level and pushed the leg into the pilot hole I drilled first. The rod was about 8” short of going all the way through, so I flipped it around and started on the other side. The two met only about 1/8” off, which was smoothed out with a rat tail rasp. Internally it didn’t need to be perfect as long as the cord could pass through. A notch was then made at the bottom inside face which matched up to a notch in the cross piece bringing the cord to the center to help keep it hidden.

-- Thomas, Irvine, CA

View Tomoose's profile


422 posts in 4152 days

#11 posted 08-20-2010 12:33 AM

Great job on this one – very striking look with the black top. You can show my wife – not a chance that monster would fit in our kitchen ;)


-- “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso

View GregP's profile


154 posts in 3656 days

#12 posted 08-20-2010 01:59 AM

Very cool, may I ask where you got the rollers? the only thing I’ve found that can support any weight are bright orange or red and ugly.

-- Greg P, Washington State,

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 3982 days

#13 posted 08-20-2010 02:11 AM

Very, very, nice. I like the choice of wood and contrasting counter top. Awesome. Nice, clean workmanship.

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View Thomas's profile


16 posts in 3905 days

#14 posted 08-20-2010 03:18 AM

The casters are from coolcasters, find these at:

They also make the same with wood or lucite wheels instead of aluminum. One work of warning, they ain’t cheap. But if you’re looking for something nicer than the big box store look, you kind of have to swallow it and pay the premium.

-- Thomas, Irvine, CA

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3563 posts in 4491 days

#15 posted 08-20-2010 03:26 AM


This is very nice. We love its mobility. The design is simple, but elegant. It looks great with the rest of the kitchen shown in the photo. Thanks for posting it.

Your delay in showing it isn’t bad at all. My husband is continually encouraging me (nagging me?) to get ours photographed and posted . . . and its been done for over two years!


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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