DIY # 1:Island


This particular item is not overly sexy or innovative, but extremely solid, functional and would look alright in most kitchens.

I designed and built this kitchen island for about 10 dollars.  Granted I had a lot of scrap wood lying around, but it turned out pretty well for being constructed primarily out of old warped boards.  The placement of the screws is the most important part when working with junk wood, because if the screws are in the wrong place or angle, the wood will split or break away from the frame and then you have to cut a fresh piece and hope you didn’t drill a hole you can’t work around.

The method I attempted to employ in this project was the invisible screws approach, that is to say that at a glance no screws should be visible.  In the case of most furniture people don’t want to see lines of nails or screws as a part of the exterior, unless of course their going for the sloppy rustic look.  I will note that I was not completely successful in hiding all the hardware.  Because of the width, weight and a few minor design decisions it was necessary to add additional support to the bottom of the island to make it stable enough for repeated heavy use.  I couldn’t quite sand all the water damage off the slats, but it ended up looking okay anyway as it is in keeping with some of the curvature and obvious hand cuts used to make said slats.


2 Wheels-lots of varieties at home depot, the length of the 34″ 2X4’s below is dependent on the size of the wheels.

6 2X4’s-2 -36″, 2 -34″, 2 -25″

10 1X4’s-2 -28″, 8 -24″

24 1X2’s (I cut these manually and they ended up being more like 1X1.5’s, but you can’t generally buy those) 14 -28″, 4 -25″, 6 -24″-I had lots of water damaged 28″ 1X12’s that I cut up.

lots of 1.5″ drywall screws (don’t judge, it’s all I had)

6- 2″ wood screws

8- 4″ wood screws-excessive, but worked fine.

Sand paper-I used 80 grain, but anything above 50 would probably do.

Power drill

1/8″ drill bit

Phillips head bit

Circular saw

Get all that stuff together and look at the picture.  Island is 28″ wide and 24″ deep.  The easiest way to start is to use the 24″ 1X2’s to connect the 36″ 2X4 to the 34″ 2X4.  The top one is hard to see in the picture, but will be the first one attached and should be flush with the top of the 34″ and 36″ boards.  The positioning of the other 24″ supports determines the shelf height, which is left to the builder’s discretion.  Make sure that the shorter 2X4’s are in the right position to come together properly for the wheels to be on the same side.  Drill holes before you put in the screws.  Use your imagination for the rest.  Comment with any questions.


About christophermwilt

Design, invent, write, parent, cook, create View all posts by christophermwilt

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