Maple Kitchen Island

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Project by Paden501 posted 12-28-2011 08:36 AM 1636 views 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first ‘real’ wood furniture project. I’m just getting into woodworking and up to this point I’ve only made a few small projects (shelves, closets, etc). So when my little brother told me he wanted a kitchen island for a christmas present, I was pretty excited.

The island is constructed out of hard maple and some birch plywood. I was fortunate enough to get a good deal on some rough cut maple from a local mill, and I kept it as thick as possible. All of the face frames, top, legs etc were thicknessed to 1”. The door and drawer front were thicknessed to 3/4”. I used 3/4” birch ply for the panels (sides and back) and for the stretchers across the top.

For the construction, I used biscuits (wish I had used Mortise/Tenon) and pocket screws.

The finish of the cabinet is 3 coats of Minwax water based stain (Coffee color) with 4 coats of Minwax Polycrylic water based polyurethane. I sprayed the poly with a HVLP gun from harbor freight, and sanded between coats 2 and 3 with 320 paper.

The top is also maple, milled 1” thick and edge glued and pocket screwed together. I finished it with Watco “Teak Oil” 3 coats and then sprayed another 4 coats of the water based poly on top of that a few days later (again, sanding between coats 2 and 3).

The drawers are fairly unimpressive I think. I used rabbet and dado construction and glued the drawer faces on. The drawers were made of 1/2” pine (resawed from 1” pine on the table saw using a jig that I made up), and I used some scrap wood for drawer runners.

Overall I’m pretty happy with it. For a first big project, I think it turned out pretty well.

Please forgive the sub-standard cell phone photos. The lighting in my shop stinks and makes for bad photos.

I’d love to hear comments, critiques, ideas, etc.

The design for this piece came from Popular Mechanics magazine. See here:

3 comments so far

View dubsaloon's profile


622 posts in 3398 days

#1 posted 12-28-2011 11:37 AM

Nice Job. I hope your brother is happy with this project. It looks great and would be very useful.

-- The works of evil people are not the problem. It is the "Good" people standing by and watching not speaking up. Dubsaloon

View Paden501's profile


35 posts in 2954 days

#2 posted 12-28-2011 04:05 PM

Thanks. He seems to like it so far. It JUST fit through his door.

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4160 days

#3 posted 12-28-2011 10:12 PM

Looks good

-- Don, Royersford, PA

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