Tuesday, May 8, 2007

More trash to treasure: the $2 kitchen island

As promised, here's the story of the $2 kitchen island (technically, Ken reminds me it's now $6 because we spend $4 on felt for the feet!)

We saw a picture in a magazine of a great arts & crafts style trestle table that we thought would be a fantastic island/bar in our kitchen - it was small so it would fit our plan & space. We've been trying living with an island for several months (using the old, too low, too big table temporarily) to see if we were island people. We thought it might be a pain to constantly walk around it, but instead it was so convenient & comfortable we decided to go with the island plan.

We started by trying to get a really cool, old cast iron barrel stand we found at a construction site in town - they were re-doing an old factory. The guy got greedy and wanted a lot of money for a mostly broken, rusty piece, so we gave up on that. Then we decided to use a sewing machine stand (also cast, period style) as the base. Not only did ours show up here broken after we found one we wanted, but it ended up being too small for the piece of wood we found for the top.

OK, backing up to the wood: we wanted a big slab, not strips of wood. Ken's friend who does carpentry happened to have a 20" wide, 2" thick, ~40" long slab of pine that had been sitting around for years, and let us have it for free. We took it to the local cabinetmaker for planing along with some other project wood (we don't have a plane, let alone one wider than 20"!) and it came out great.

So now we had a table top and were unhappy with the base option (look for it at this year's yard sale!). We went back to the magazine picture and realized that we could just build the base from other pieces of pine, now that we knew the slab was pine too. So, off to the garage to find some wood. We used joists left in the garage by (perhaps) the orginal builders for the legs, and cut some capitals and feet from good old 2x4s, hand planed to sharpen the edges. We remembered that we saves all kinds of large screws from the piano deconstruction, and we had free hardware. Amazingly, there was just about a perfect amount of hardware.

We used $2 of cull wood from the big box store, which happened to have a pile of 5/4 lumber months ago that we stockpiled, to create the stretcher bars (with through tenons, since we learned how to cut them as part of the pergola project) and shelf, and then just sanding, filling, sanding, staining, and voila! New kitchen island.

We got a couple of stools from the local liquidator for half price,

and made a little table runner with the design from our future backsplash tiles and a scrap of linen, using fabric paint (neat stuff, never used it before).

Then the big expense: sticking on felt feet. The table is done, and ready for us to bring the rest of the kitchen up to speed!


Anonymous said...

kitchen cabinets and kitchen island requires lot of space, you have to make sure that building one does not cramp your kitchen area. Planning a kitchen cabinet island requires you to make sure that building one still leaves you with enough space to move and to cook freely around in the kitchen. You need to make sure that the kitchen cabinet island is large enough to suit your purpose –whether storage or as a work station – and small enough not to hinder other activities. What you are aiming for is organization, not more complications. Decide purpose of the kitchen cabinet island - Although organization is the main purpose of building a kitchen cabinet island, you should really think about how specifically you wish to accomplish this. Do you want the kitchen cabinet or kitchen island to serve as extra workspace or do you just want additional storage areas? This will ultimately help in deciding the design of the kitchen cabinet island. There are also certain kitchen cabinet islands which serve more as markers where the kitchen starts and another house area ends. The kitchen cabinet island, in this case, serves much better than a wall since people are able to observe exactly what happens in the kitchen

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