Kitchen Island Project

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Blog series by Jim updated 07-17-2009 08:45 PM 9 parts 21986 reads 43 comments total

Part 1: First Steps Carcase Construction

06-08-2009 05:19 AM by Jim | 2 comments »

We’ve started a new kitchen island project. This will be interesting in many ways but for one, my wife and I are doing it together. She has recently developed an interest in learning woodworking and wants to try building the island with me. I don’t have any formal plans for this project. I searched the internet for free or paid plans but there isn’t much for kitchen islands of this size and nothing similar to what we wanted. I drafted up the basic cabinetry with all the m...

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Part 2: Latest progress - June 21 2009

06-22-2009 07:33 AM by Jim | 1 comment »

Progress on the island has been slow due to a very busy work schedule. My wife and I worked on it this weekend. We installed the oak face trim and a 2×3 sub-base frame that will give the cabinet additional support on the bottom. Into that we installed the turned legs and began to install the 2” base skirt/trim that hides the sub-base frame. You can see the front piece of trim installed in the photo. We cut all the rails and stiles for the raised panel doors, only to realize we f...

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Part 3: Doors complete

07-02-2009 07:10 AM by Jim | 6 comments »

We worked on the cabinet doors for the kitchen island today. It was my first time using a rail and stile bit set. Took some experimenting but eventually we got them figured out and it worked nice. I’m pleased with the result. I found the secret to coping the ends of the rails was to use a coping sled on the router. It looks like this. We were originally going to use a raised panel door but decided to go with a flat panel. It matches our current kitchen doors and we liked the ...

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Part 4: Need your advice - finishing

07-02-2009 07:50 AM by Jim | 6 comments »

We are more than half way to completing this project and are now thinking about the finish we want to apply. I was originally thinking of a clear or orange tint shellac to keep the wood as close to natural as possible. However looking at it now, it’s very light and might be better with a slight bit more colour. I hate finishing so I’m looking to take the easiest and most fool proof approach that will give me a nice look. I don’t want a high gloss varathane, I like it to look...

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Part 5: Doors are installed

07-05-2009 07:07 AM by Jim | 3 comments »

The cabinet doors are now installed. I’ve got to say I love those Blum (European) Hinges. In this case I have inset doors so the gap around the doors is really finicky. The slightest deviation stands out like a K-Mart blue tag special that has a flashing light saying “He screwed up look here!” With the Blum Hingest you can quite literally “dial in” the desired gap and face depth. I also like the fact that the hinges are invisible when the door is closed. The trad...

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Part 6: Why didn't I pre-finish?

07-05-2009 06:02 PM by Jim | 6 comments »

Another LJ asked: Do you have reason for doing the assembly before applying the finish? Yes, i did give that option some thought and here are my reasons for not finishing prior to assembly. 1. There are no “plans” for this project. I am designing as I go. As a result it’s not possible to pre-cut all my pieces, apply finish and then assemble. 2. Without plans I avoid measuring cuts as much as possible, I use the already assembled parts to transfer my marks for cuttin...

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Part 7: Kickback up close and personal

07-13-2009 06:01 PM by Jim | 10 comments »

I’ve been woodworking for over 20 years and have never experienced kickback on the tablesaw. I’ve heard about it, seen video clips about it … but never experienced it … this was about to change. I was completing the drawers for the kitchen island and had dry fit everything together. The drawers looked good so I went ahead and glued the joints. I was in the process of clamping when I noticed one of the drawers had a slight 1/16” gap in the joint. The panel for ...

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Part 8: Drawer Faces Complete

07-15-2009 01:44 AM by Jim | 5 comments »

Again another deviation from my original design. I was going to go with flat oak drawer faces. We decided to mimic the rail and stiles of the doors just a little slimmer with a centre oak panel. We did that, not without problems. I goofed on my first round of rail and stiles because I measured the exact length of the rails, neglecting to take into account the 1/2” tenon on both ends used by the rail and stile bits. Fortunately I had just enough wood left over to make a new set with abou...

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Part 9: The Kitchen Island is DONE!!

07-17-2009 08:45 PM by Jim | 4 comments »

We put in a full day yesterday constructing the top and routing the edging. Then we did the finish sanding and applied several coats of Danish Oil Natural finish. The top is removable which was needed to get this beastie into the kitchen. It’s about 300 lbs of oak so took 4 of us to move it. When I applied the Danish Oil, we had a few while blotches about the size of a quarter appear. It was entirely on the oak ply panels. A light sanding and reapplication of Danish Oil on those spots r...

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