Cheap Kitchen Island Gets a Classy Upgrade

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Project by wunderaa posted 12-16-2012 10:27 PM 2464 views 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So the story here is that my brother has this kitchen island that I’m pretty sure was purchased from Walmart about a year or two ago. The last time I was at his house, I noted that the top had started to split because it was made so poorly. When he wasn’t around, I took measurements of the top and the flip up side extension and went about making a much much nicer replacement. My brother was quite surprised by the delivery and subsequent installation!

The main top is made from laminated strips of maple, African mahogany, pecan, and Honduran mahogany.

The flip up cutting board was made from bloodwood, African mahogany, maple, and purple heart. For the cutting board, I started with random lengths and widths of boards and cut blocks that were about 1.5” in thickness. I laid them out in the pattern shown in the picture so that the board was striped with end-grain up. A quick sanding on a reference-flat surface ensured that each piece would sit flush with its neighbors. After a glue-up, I ripped that long-ways and flipped the pieces to get the final pattern. I cut a hole in the unit so that a trash can under the board can catch the scraps.

Both are finished in beeswax and mineral oil.

Main top: 1.5×20x28”
Cutting board: 1.5×20x13”

15 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117232 posts in 3719 days

#1 posted 12-16-2012 10:38 PM

That is totally the coolest fantastic build.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2550 days

#2 posted 12-16-2012 11:57 PM

That is a beautiful re-build and what a great brother he has in you. Very nice job and the cutting board is beautiful!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Roger Gaborski's profile

Roger Gaborski

265 posts in 3890 days

#3 posted 12-17-2012 12:45 AM

Very nicely done.

-- Roger Gaborski,

View BenR's profile


340 posts in 2770 days

#4 posted 12-17-2012 12:51 AM


-- Ben in Va

View prattman's profile


445 posts in 2260 days

#5 posted 12-17-2012 01:17 AM

I like it a lot

-- Everyone calls me Ed or Eddie , mom still calls me Edward if she is mad at me.

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3830 days

#6 posted 12-17-2012 03:44 AM

The flip up board is so cool !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Hamlinwoodshop's profile


47 posts in 2154 days

#7 posted 12-17-2012 05:25 AM

Wow. Nice job….

-- Terry, Hamlin, NY,

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2756 days

#8 posted 12-17-2012 08:37 AM

that is just too cool ,a great design love the swing up ,just get me to thinking of a friend that needs one ,thank you for sharing

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3379 days

#9 posted 12-17-2012 12:36 PM

That’s a beautiful kitchen island top. I’m impressed!

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Tokolosi's profile


678 posts in 2497 days

#10 posted 12-17-2012 03:28 PM

That is absolutely stunning!

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2315 days

#11 posted 12-17-2012 05:06 PM

That is totally elegant ..

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Mip's profile


453 posts in 2220 days

#12 posted 12-17-2012 09:44 PM

One nice job. I hope you kept the top from the old cabinet, the picture looks like some decent wood, but shows the lousy workmanship of the old top. The new top is unbelievably better.

View DavidIN's profile


81 posts in 2130 days

#13 posted 12-18-2012 04:34 PM

Too cool with the access hole to go right in the garbage. Great work!

View wunderaa's profile


248 posts in 2344 days

#14 posted 12-18-2012 06:27 PM

Thanks for all of the nice comments, everyone! This was a fun build and even more fun to give it away to a loved one who will use and appreciate it!

View majuvla's profile


13009 posts in 3009 days

#15 posted 12-19-2012 06:26 PM

It’s realy classy.Amaizing top.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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