Monday, January 31, 2011

Kitchen Island-episode 001

For our first project, I built a kitchen island in my apartment. I had about 2 feet of counter space and needed more. To go and buy one would have cost $400 easy, so I built this one for $90. Follow the link to watch the video of how to build it step by step.
Please remember that this is my 1st episode, so they will only get better. I will be putting out a shorter, more comprehensive version of this episode soon. If I have left any thing out (which I know I have) that would help you better understand the project so that you too can do, don't hesitate to write and ask me. The following pictures show the progression of the island being built.

After getting our materials at the Home Depot, where they cut everything to size, I laid out all of my piece in preparation for assembly. Each piece has a corresponding letter to make it easier to follow along which the diagrams shown below. Just a note. I got a pre-made table top from Ikea for $60 bucks that was the size I needed. Your table top can be any flat surface you want to use like wood or stainless steel or Formica (yeah). You can also get pre-made surfaces at places like Lowe's and Home Depot. Make sure to check in with your local hardware store. They might have something or could steer you in the right direction.

This is our "cut list" for the hardware store. A "cut list" is a chart that you create listing the amount of pieces that you need and their measurements. You start by creating columns. In the far left, you write your individual pieces (A,B,C,D,E,F). Across the top, you put length (L), width (w), and thickness (t). From there you fill out the "in between" with the correct measurements you want. (see above). Once you have every measurement written out, and you find out the selection of lumber that you will be working with, you can see how many of your pieces you can get from a single piece of stock lumber. This is a great organizing and communication tool so that by the time you get ready to cut your materials, everything has been thought out and understood.

This is the layout for the sides and bottom of the island.

Here, Mike and I (my pal and production assistant) are assembling the sides of the island (A,B,C, & D).

Propping up the 1st side, getting ready to screw in the top & bottom runners (E).

Screwing in one of the bottom runners (E).

Screwing in the top runners (E).

Now we are screwing in the 2nd bottom runner. This one didn't go to the edge like the others. I will be using this island as a dinner table as well, so I need to include 9 inches of foot space on one side to accommodate the stools that I will eventually build for seating.

On those bottom rails, I laid two 7.5"wide x 55" long planks across to use as storage for food or appliances.

Viola! Here is the finished product. I added a pot rack rail on the bottom of the table top to hang my pots and pans, thus allowing for more storage. The island turned out great. It's a good height (which is important for food prep) and it's nice and sturdy. Before my kitchen was whack, but now I'm in paradise with my kitchen island.

As I said before, in a store this would have easily been $400. For us to build it, all materials including lumber and hardware cost us $90. By building it ourselves, we saved $310. For me, that's well worth the 45 minutes it took to build this.


  1. wow... this is what i have been dreaming of for a while... will do it for sure .... thanks

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  3. Thank you so much for the easy instructions,I was so surprised at how well it turned out. You have made me a hero with the wife. :)