CHERRY AND MAPLE ISLAND
Subassemblies are the answer to moving large projects.
SHOP OWNER: Paul DeWitt
LOCATION: Monument, CO
I was recently commissioned to build a kitchen island for a family who had just moved into a new house. They preferred a more traditional "furniture" style island rather than the built-in kind offered by the builder. For style, we decided on a traditional shaker look. The base would be all cherry, with a maple butcher block top. They didn't want any fancy profiles or moldings, which I generally avoid anyway. They did want some contrast in color, so I used walnut pegs to pin the joints, and used walnut for the towel rack.
After looking at the space they were trying to fill, we decided on an "L" shaped island with an overhang on one side for seating. The other sides of the island would contain a few doors (with shelves behind the doors), drawers, and a trash pullout made to look like a door/drawer. We left one end open with a shelf for wine or books.
The main design challenge was building the island in three pieces, which would make transporting it reasonably easy, and then putting it together on site. It also needed the ability to break down in the future for moving, if necessary. I decided to build the island as two cabinets to be joined using floating tenons, along with the top, which I attached to the base units with figure-8 fasteners.
The biggest hassle with building this project was its size, in particular that of the top. The three pieces pretty much filled my shop and it was hard to move them around as needed. I ended up using a mobile cabinet I keep my drill press on to maneuver the top. The installation went smoothly and the family seems to be enjoying their new island, so it was a good project.. . . Paul DeWitt
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