Need help with kitchen island

Submitted by oceangoing on Sat, 01/12/2013 - 12:22

I hope I can get some help with this; I'm a newbie DIYer with few tools and even less experience...

I need to make a kitchen island. I looked at the fabulous plans on this site but quite honestly, they're a little beyond what I can do at this stage. Also, I can't seem to get butcher block in the requisite thickness. So I had the idea of re-using an old table and turning that into an island. It's a big solid mahogany table with chunky legs. The table top is split lengthwise, there's a slight gap and the previous owner told me that this always appears in winter and shrinks closed in summer (I live in the Mediterranean and it's humid here, all wood is constantly 'moving'). Otherwise the table is in perfect shape.

I have two questions:

1) I would like to make the legs longer to raise the table to kitchen top height, around 10cm/3in. The legs are chunky and square and I found 4x4 wood in my local DIY shop. Am I wrong in thinking that I could just screw blocks of the 4x4 at the bottom of each leg?

2) I'd like to put a hob in the island so I need around 25mm/1in thickness minimum. In order to make the table top thicker I'd like to put a sheet of hardwood on top - I can get beech in 16mm. Questions: how should I do this - glue it on? Screw it on from the bottom? Both? Also: what about that split in the mahogany top - if it really does shrink, it might break my beech top? Any ideas?

I'm planning on painting the whole table structure underneath the beech top white so the alterations shouldn't show too much. The beech top I was thinking of just oiling a few times and leaving it.

Is the whole thing a stupid idea, or could it work?

Thanks so much for any help/insights you can give me.

re-store design

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 09:43

You can easily extend the length of the legs. I will try and explain the process I would use as best I can. You can do the project with very basic tools.

You will need a drill, drill bit, wood dowel (long circular wooden piece), glue, hammer, and sandpaper, tape measure, tape, pencil, and ruler.

Turn the table upside down and remove any floor protectors or coasters, so it is just bare wood. If the bottom is beat up and not smooth sand the surface so that it is free of major imperfections.

Next you are going to want to take a ruler and pencil and find the center of the leg. Simply draw a line from one corner to the opposite corner. Repeat with the other side, so that you have an X that meets in the middle of the leg.

Now you will need the drill and a drill bit that is the same size as the wood dowel. Take your tape measure and measure 2 inches (5cm) and wrap tape around the drill bit. This will be a guide for how deep to drill into the table leg.

Now...drill holes in the bottom of each leg up to the tape on the drill bit. Now you will want to repeat the sames steps on the pieces you are using to extend the legs. You will now have the legs with a hole and the extender with a hole that will be joined by a circular wood dowel.

It is time to cut the dowel to 4 inches (10cm).

Put wood glue in the holes, so that you can attach the extender to the table legs. Now take a hammer and attach the two pieces. You will probably have some wood glue coming out from the gap, so make sure you have a wet towel handy to clean the glue. While the glue is drying place something heavy on each leg to ensure a tight bond.

Use wood putty or filler the color of the table to fill in the space around where the legs meet. Let dry, then stain the attached extensions to match the table.

If you need more help please send me an email with questions!

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