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Forum topic by oceangoing posted 01-14-2013 at 03:17 AM 689 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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oceangoing

2 posts in 596 days


01-14-2013 at 03:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question mahogany

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 into building one from scratch but quite honestly, it’s 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 4×4 wood in my local DIY shop. Am I wrong in thinking that I could just screw blocks of the 4×4 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.


3 replies so far

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Dan Krager

1532 posts in 871 days


#1 posted 01-15-2013 at 07:14 PM

First, what is a hob?
From your description, it sounds about as much work to modify the table as to make the unit from scratch. Have you looked into the availability of a butcher block on legs?
A framed or frameless cabinet for the island is not difficult to do with simple hand tools. Then you can get the size you want. If you have a saw, drill, plane, and misc. stuff like screw drivers, you could be all set. Don’t short the potential of “a few tools”. I think you would enjoy the challenge and would likely do better than you envision at the start.
This site is supremely inspirational and everyone is anxious to help, so get started and ask when a problem comes up. Start a blog for it so all the info is in one place.
I’d go for scratch build rather than mess with the table. Make the butcher block yourself!
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

View oceangoing's profile

oceangoing

2 posts in 596 days


#2 posted 01-16-2013 at 12:51 AM

Thanks for the reply, Dan!

A hob is a stove, a cooker (in this case, induction), without an oven underneath. It needs a worktop of at least 1in/2.5cm thickness for installation – the butcher blocks/solid wood sheets that I can get here are not thick enough. Hence, the idea of using the table – the mahogany table has a top of around 3/4in and the sheet I can get a little less than that, so it would work out.

I always wanted a very open island – my cabinets are on a wall, and I basically just want a large table (around 4ft/120cm x 6ft/180cm) with the cooker, at the right height for a kitchen. Just something that provides another surface for prep, and a breakfast bar on the other side (I’d have bar stools there), and a stove that faces outwards – I have an open-plan kitchen/dining/living room and I like it that way for entertaining.

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

1532 posts in 871 days


#3 posted 01-16-2013 at 04:56 AM

OK. Open island with hob. (Thanks for the definition!)
First, there is a consideration of electric supply. With open island, there is little to conceal it, especially using the table. Don’t have any good ideas there.
Second, using the table, could you put a cheap “filler” sheet under the table in an area just big enough to accommodate the hob? Then all you have to do is screw it up from underneath using oblong or oversize holes for movement. Cutting the hole for the hob in the top is going to take out most of the strain that causes the splitting. If you put the beech on top, you might as well remove the original table top and add a doubled up panel underneath in the area of the hob.
Third, consider putting the blocks at the top of the legs, depending on how the legs are fastened to the apron. If they are MT, then can’t be done. If they are the more common bolted to corner brace inside the apron, then it is more workable. Either top or bottom can work, but I would use a big dowel tenon instead of screws.
Painting over mahogany? :(
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

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