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Mobile kitchen island - what materials to use and how to join?

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Forum topic by John146 posted 04-01-2017 10:26 PM 915 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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John146

90 posts in 282 days


04-01-2017 10:26 PM

I offered to make my wife a mobile kitchen island—she just had to pick what sort of design she wanted. She settled on this: https://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Simple-Living-Martha-Rubberwood-Kitchen-Cart/12797012/product.html?refccid=ILQACKLW4KYLM2KBW5BWUU4YI4&searchidx=14

I want the end-result to look like the link I posted (well, not exactly), but I’m not sure what materials to use. I’d like to keep the cost down, but not at the expense of aesthetics or structural integrity. In this case I’ll be painting it, so using nice hardwood (or any hardwood?) is an overkill.

I was planning on making the frame from 2×3s (I’ve found 2×3s to be the most economical. 2×2s sell for $1.92, $2×3s sell for $2.07 and 2×4s sell for $2.73 – and I can convert a 2×3 to a 2×2, and I haven’t yet had a project that required the strength of a 2×4 – my bench is made from 2×3s). The sides would be made of 1/2 plywood with poplar (?) rails and stiles (can I use the 2×3 as part of the panel system? would that be structurally/aesthetically sound?)

Here’s a sketchup of what I plan to do.. I’m not sure what joinery to use. M&T would be optimal.. and screws would be quick.. (though I would doubt it stability).

I’m also undecided on casters. I can pick up a set of 4” casters for $20, but that would be bulky.. on the other hand, I’m worried smaller casters would be too flimsy.

My countertop surface is a 36”x24”x1/2” corian (or similar) that I picked up in REStore for $10.

I can upload more screenshots as needed.

-- John 14:6


11 replies so far

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10634 posts in 2218 days


#1 posted 04-02-2017 05:06 PM

Couple thoughts, poplar is really nice for painted cabinets and would be my choice. Another choice is baseboards although I’m not sure if there is any cost savings. Wood for trim tends to be better quality and more stable than construction lumber. The linked cabinet seems to be a post and panel type construction and you are talking in terms that way but your drawing looks like frame and panel. Either way is fine. You can connect the panels any way you like, biscuits, pocket screws, m&t, rabbets, etc.

Edit, I suggest getting a book on cabinet construction. Your questions are very basic and it tells me you haven’t done your homework.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

1605 posts in 2703 days


#2 posted 04-02-2017 05:09 PM

Harbor Freight has to be the best place for casters that I have ever been to, they have some really nice ones quite reasonable.

View John146's profile

John146

90 posts in 282 days


#3 posted 04-02-2017 10:28 PM

Rick M: I probably do need a book on cabinet construction, but my brain was bouncing around quite a bit. After looking at my design (after sleeping on it) I now realize I can eliminate the construction lumber and simply make it a frame and panel design.

I initially just intended to get some cheap material to put on top of a construction lumber frame.. and I was halfway into making the frame when I realized my folly.

-- John 14:6

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Rick_M

10634 posts in 2218 days


#4 posted 04-02-2017 11:27 PM

Bill Hylton has a book called Illustrated Cabinetmaking, that is basically an encyclopedia of how to build all types of furniture. It’s not a how-to book, it expects you to know the basics but if you are ever wondering how something goes together it will tell you. The Hylton book is all traditional joinery from what I remember but that doesn’t mean you can’t substitute if you want. I’ve have a copy and refer to it all the time.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Jamie Bush's profile

Jamie Bush

20 posts in 610 days


#5 posted 04-03-2017 12:46 AM

I bought some old cabinets from the restore and built my wife a kitchen island….I am not skilled enough to make real cabinets yet so this really worked out for me. Just another idea for you in case you really want to put a smile on your significant other. Here are 42 images of the build https://imgur.com/a/SAMM1

-- A practicing woodworker sounds a lot better than a practicing MD

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

1197 posts in 3379 days


#6 posted 04-03-2017 01:26 AM

Build a frame with castors on it. Build your island and then mount your island to your frame. The island is mounted to plywood mounted on top of the frame. It has locking casters with openings to lock and unlock them with a foot. This one has a toe kick on all 4 sides. The island is 24 inches wide and 48 inches long.

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

View John146's profile

John146

90 posts in 282 days


#7 posted 04-03-2017 08:05 PM

Rick M: That’s exactly the kind of book I need. I think I know how to make things once I actually see them.
Jamie: That looks really nice.. sadly most of the things in our REStore are old hotel furniture – usually some kind of laminate, so little chance of being able to touch it up. There’s always some really nice 3/4” thick doors and general panels for really cheap though.
Bruce: That’s a good looking island. Is there a bigger picture? I’d like to see how you covered the bottom.

I think I’ll end up going with the frame and panel design anyway – using tongue and groove for joinery:

I’m not sure what to do with the front… but that’s the general idea of things.

-- John 14:6

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3115 posts in 3068 days


#8 posted 04-03-2017 08:44 PM

In it’s simplest form, the island could be four face frames glue and screwed (or nailed) together. Reinforce as you see fit.

My cart is holding up well after a year in the sun. Yep, the top is heavy.
For your island, I would suggest that you invest in good casters that lock both ways, or you may hear some complaints from the chef!

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View John146's profile

John146

90 posts in 282 days


#9 posted 04-03-2017 08:48 PM

What size are your casters? yours (and most of the other ones posted here) seem to be 2-3 inches.

-- John 14:6

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3115 posts in 3068 days


#10 posted 04-03-2017 08:57 PM


What size are your casters? yours (and most of the other ones posted here) seem to be 2-3 inches.

- John146

4 inch, I think. I will check when I go back out to check the pork butts! :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3115 posts in 3068 days


#11 posted 04-03-2017 10:44 PM

The casters are 4 inch. Two fixed and two swivel.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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