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Basement Island: Sassafras, Walnut, Cherry

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Project by Keith Kelly posted 02-25-2015 04:26 PM 1061 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

With the help of LumberJocks, I successfully completed this island project. There are 3 separate 20a circuits in the island to virtually eliminate circuit blowing from countertop appliances. Sketchup was immensely valuable, as was setting up each of my tools ahead of time to be completely square, flat, parallel, etc. It’s amazing how stress-free the door glue-ups were since the cuts were square. This was a great project to work on with my 2-year-old son. He was really, really helpful.

The Base:
  • Sassafras finished with Varathane Waterborne Polyurethane.
  • Walnut plywood for the end panels is finished with EnduroVar.
The Countertop
Walnut and Cherry, but I found that some of my walnut was actually Claro Walnut (from an amish mill over a year ago), and some was Black Walnut. Due to sizes needed, the 3 longer boards are Claro Walnut, and the 3 shorter boards are Black Walnut. It’s not noticeable in person to the untrained eye, but is neat to observe the subtle differences.
  • Finished with BLO + DW Shellac + Arm-R-Seal
  • I haven’t rubbed it down yet, but over time the finish has flattened out nicely (become less plastic like). It’s crazy how polyurethane can change subtly as it cures. (it looks a lot better now than it did 3 days after finishing it)

The most interesting challenge was thinking through wood movement for a countertop that large. From underneath, I attached the top firmly to the middle of the cabinets. That way, the wood will expand relatively equally on both sides. Under the countertop is 1/2” material with grooves routed in it. The rest of the top is mounted with drawer-face screws going up through the grooves so that expansion/contraction can take place.

Anyway, thanks for the advice over the past few months, it was very helpful.

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com





9 comments so far

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

1077 posts in 3009 days


#1 posted 02-25-2015 11:15 PM

Unique looking island. Functional and excellent craftsmanship.

Looks like the boss is there with you making sure you’re getting everything done correctly.

-- Bruce Free Plans http://plans.sawmillvalley.org

View Keith Kelly's profile

Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1130 days


#2 posted 02-25-2015 11:27 PM

yeah, I looked online for ideas, but couldn’t seem to find any ideas that had 1) seating areas, 2) a large counter space, and 3) support a standard range (that has the controls in the back). So, this design allows a standard range, 2 bar-height seats, and 2 counter-height seats.

More than anything, this was a huge learning process, as I’ve never even built a cabinet door before this.

Re: the boss – actually, she’s upstairs but has sent her intern to keep me in line. I’m completely kidding. Actually, my wife handled all of the taping, mudding, texturing, and painting of the walls and ceilings down there. :)

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

741 posts in 1033 days


#3 posted 02-25-2015 11:42 PM

Very Nice I love working with Sassafras congrats on a good job well done.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Keith Kelly's profile

Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1130 days


#4 posted 02-26-2015 12:49 AM

Well thanks..

What about Sassafras made you like working with it? The batch I had was quite bad reaction wood, so my experience was pretty rough. Most of the pieces would close back on the TS blade (splitter fortunately) and I’d have to re-joint & re-rip them. I ended up ripping most boards about 1/4” wider to account for this additional process. Aside from the reaction wood factor, Sassafras machined very well. Back on the negative side, the spicy smell and the respirator masks got old real quick.

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

View EWJSMITH's profile

EWJSMITH

153 posts in 3293 days


#5 posted 02-26-2015 01:21 AM

Beautiful job. Love that counter top.

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

3139 posts in 3179 days


#6 posted 02-26-2015 04:18 AM

Keith,

It looks like you did a fabulous job on that island. Isn’t it great to have so many knowledgeable woodworkers to call on for answers?

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View gleasoncraftworks's profile

gleasoncraftworks

12 posts in 701 days


#7 posted 02-26-2015 02:52 PM

Keith, I have that same powder fastener which I used for some basement remodeling. That thing was a blast to use! (Oh that was lame wasn’t it?). Just curious, did you ever have issues with the fasteners not sinking properly? I think more often than not they stuck out half an inch or so.

The island looks really nice by the way! Good job!
Jared

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23200 posts in 2333 days


#8 posted 02-26-2015 03:39 PM

You did a fine job on this. It looks great and is very practical.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Keith Kelly's profile

Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1130 days


#9 posted 02-26-2015 03:55 PM



Keith, I have that same powder fastener which I used for some basement remodeling. That thing was a blast to use! (Oh that was lame wasn t it?). Just curious, did you ever have issues with the fasteners not sinking properly? I think more often than not they stuck out half an inch or so.
- gleasoncraftworks

Yes I have experienced this on a previous project with the same nailer. However, this project I didn’t have any problems, so here’s some debug info:

Last project: I used someone else’s nails & rounds. The nails were a bit shorter than recommended, and perhaps the nails weren’t as smooth as when I bought them new.

This project: I bought a fresh box of rounds & nails, making sure that I lined up the colors on the charts at the hardware store to get the right combo for my usage. I was also much more confident with it, and made sure to keep the nailer barrel flush to the surface as I whacked it with a hammer. Also I was far more aware to keep pressure downward real hard so that the blast didn’t cause the nailer to kick back as much.

Fun? Yes. When friends would come over, they’d ask to sink some nails. More fun even, was when their wives would follow them downstairs, chit-chatting. In an echoey basement with concrete floors, do you really think I’d warn their wives that it was going to be loud? :)

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

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