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I want to take you through how I built from the ground up my kitchen island for my house. now, this is something that I put weeks of my life into in terms of designing and researching and figuring. out what we wanted in this space and what would work for it and how to build. some of these things that I had never. done before now like I said before. because there are so many steps to this project and there’s so many different.
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Things that you have to tackle in a certain order in order to make something. like this, I want to give you the article on how I did it but also I’m going. to add links in the description too. certain time codes in this article. almost chapter out the project so that.
If you’re not interested in seeing the whole bill but you’re wondering. he doesn’t know how to build cabinets. here’s how he built his cabinets you can. without further ado let’s go ahead and get started the structure for this. project is built from two sheets of 3/4. inch plywood and the first step was just. to break down the sheets into more. manageable sizes using a combination of. my table saw my circular saw with a track saw jig and then again back to the table saw the entire build is held.
Together with pocket holes a lot of them. I think I drilled around 200 for this. the project alone between the structure the. face framing the cabinets and then all. the other components once all the holes. were drilled I could begin assembly I used glue and then clamp my pieces. together and drove in screws with my impact driver the design of my island.
Was going to have room for two stools to sit at so I had to make it with this. the large recess in it and I used some. additional spacing blocks with Brad. nails to keep this piece perpendicular. while I assembled it now in terms of. cross support I used a bunch of 3-inch. wide pieces that I cut to length all at. once to make sure they were the same. size and then again used a combination. of glue and pocket hole screws to. assemble I’d say this portion of the bill was probably the easiest part of the project overall. once it was all assembled frame wise.
I moved to making the center dividers the. the design was gonna have three cabinets one. of which would be a pullout trashcan. then an additional two cabinets that. opened up and would have tons of extra storage for a kitchen to do this I needed to measure mark and rip.
Additional pieces of plywood to link on the table saw and then attach again. using pocket hole screws and glue I also. added a few stretchers across the upper. middle part that would divide the. cabinets. from the drawers later on and add a few. additional support structures at the. base to accept shells next up was adding. in interior support meaning shelving on the bottom as well as special shelves. used to separate larger cooking sheets. the latter being a special request from. the future wife now to make these I used. quarter inch plywood that I broke down. on the table saw and then use Brad nails. to hold everything in place to make the. large pan shelving unit I rip down more. quarter inch strips and then attach them. on to the floor base using more glue and. finish nails.
I used a scrap piece to serve as a. divider reference for each strip and then could start inserting each shelf. using just glue I’ve been repeated the divider process on the roof of the interior shelf to hold everything in place this method works in place of cutting rabbits if you don’t have a table saw depending on how thick your material is and then you can see how this looks in its final stage it’s about 20 inches deep so it had no issue in holding some of our biggest cooking.
Sheets the last step in this process was to make the drawers now there are a ton of ways to make drawers in my case I used leftover plywood cut my pieces to their proper width on the table saw and then, made two passes with the blade. about 3/8 of an inch high to cut rabbets. for the drawer bottoms and Here I am, realizing that I didn’t cut the base. short enough to attach the final drawer piece. once that was fixed I could insert the. piece again and attach everything using. pocket hole screws that would be hidden. later on by false drawer fronts the last step was to add drawer slides which is relatively straightforward and very unfun but I did use this little spacer block to help keep things level and even day three of this project was all about making the hardwood face framing for this now, the whole point of this step is to cover up the plywood layers which although I think are cool they don’t really have a place for this kind of project and I knew nothing about this step so I did a ton of research before.
Taking on the challenge I’m using four quarter poplar from Home Depot and surprisingly enough this ended up being just as cheap as my local hardwood. dealer so I ripped down the strips to. about one and a quarter inches on the table saw and found that the best way. for me to do it was to make the entire. front face of the cabinet first double and triple-checking everything in the process to make sure it was even then later on when I could begin attaching.
Things I could use that front face as a. reference for the other three sides and. make sure everything else fit together perfectly one big call-out I will say here is that. I don’t believe using Brad nails are the right solution for this project if you are not planning on painting your cabinets, because I was always gonna be painting this thing it was very easy for me to use wood filler after the fact to cover up all the holes and sand down. however if you don’t plan on painting it.
I’d look into using pin nails as they are a much lower profile as I said. before the next couple of steps were a lot of rinse and repeat using the front face as a reference I went side by side. attaching new face framing to each. surface covering up that plywood in the process taking my time and measuring and cutting as this was gonna really make this piece look professional and not like it was done by a guy who had never done this before.
Now like I said using Brad nails meant I needed to cover up about 80 Brad nail holes but that was easy enough to just apply the wood filler and by the time I got back around to that hole after going around the entire island I could use a scrap block in some sandpaper to smooth down the filler and after this part I. installed the drawer slide mounts again. this was probably the most unfun part of this project but necessary if you’re gonna have cabinets and drawers now on my research I found quite a few really.
Awesome looking aisle that had additional framing but it was. not as pronounced as the main hardwood. framing that I just installed so to make this. I bought more quarter-inch plywood and ripped it down into one and a. quarter inch strips on the table saw again since I was painting these the plywood layers on the sides would never be seen now much like the hardwood framing I took this one side at a time being very diligent about my measurements and cuts and making sure everything was square again this would.
Be one of the first things you look at. when you see the island so it really needed to be perfect to install I again. used glue and Brad nails which I’d cover up later with more wood filler and we liked the design that divided besides into two pieces and then had X’s in each.
Quadrant thus that’s what you see me. building here for me there was really no great way to do these cuts I’d measure. as best I could the angle needed to cut for the X and then cut it down on the miter saw to a rough length then switch to the dis sander to refine that length and more specifically the angle of the piece and there was a lot of back-and-forth between the island and the tools to make sure it was perfect.
But damn did it look good when it came together I also put in a few vertical. thin strips on the underside where the. stools would go this was really not necessary but I thought it might look good and stand out better when you saw. it from a certain angle so next up was. painting and there really wasn’t anything special to this I used a single. coat of primer to give this thing great. coverage everywhere and let it dry. overnight having a sprayer system would. have been best for this but a fine foam. roller and a high-quality paint brush work really well too it just took longer.
While it dried I could switch to making cabinet and this was by far the most intimidating part for me I think given. that obviously I had never done this. before and I don’t have traditional cabinet making tools or skills my fiancee I decided that if I could make them myself and that they looked 80% as similar to the ones that we currently had in our kitchen then that would more than suffice so with a lot of research.
And some testing off screen I did a method that worked out well in the end. based on the tools that I had the materials that I was using and the fact. that I was going to be painting this. thing the first step was to rip more.
Poplar into hardwood frames and I cut three cabinet faces and three drawer faces that were all based on the relative sizes I needed to my island. once they were all cut I could lay out the pieces and make sure that they were all accurate then assemble using glue and pocket holes again being very precise in the process to make sure it was all square I then used a rabbeting. bit with my plunge router to route out a channel on the back of each face and I intentionally drilled my pocket holes in places knowing that I needed to route. this channel so I wouldn’t hit any of them in the process. I also routed the interior front face of all six of the cabinets using a special. router bit that I bought for this project and again this wasn’t gonna match my current cabinets perfectly and it isn’t probably how you’d make these. professionally but it worked for me and I use some fine grit sandpaper to clean.
Off all the rabbeted cuts now to fill. the gaps in the cabinets I ripped quarter inch plywood down on the table saw and because the edges from the router will rounded I used the dis. sander to round them over so they’d fit. properly again not necessarily how a professional would do it and if you. weren’t painting these this is. definitely not the right move but it.
Worked for me I think a glue everything in place using these small squeeze clamps to hold everything while it dried now like I said before my cabinets have a lot of depth and style to them so to add in the midlle feature and make it. more pronounced I use a sheet of half-inch plywood that I rip down on the table saw and then used another router. bit that I had on hand that was close to the profile of the cabinet that I had.
But not exact and routed all four sides of it and I took my sweet sweet time on this step and was really happy with the result of it and you could see how it’s.
All gonna go together to fit on the cabinet now to hold it down I used blue and then something heavy to keep it in. place while it dried the final result was actually very good and I’m proud that my efforts and research paid. off to make something I otherwise. thought I lack the tools and overhaul skills to create I then turned back to painting now after priming the drawer. fronts I used some interior blue paint. that we had previously painted our other. lower kitchen cabinets with to match and make this look all pretty I again used a high quality brush ended up doing two full coats on all surfaces with the blue paint as well as a third coat of touchups now as you can tell I love making stuff and figuring out how to make those things but I do not have so much pride that I don’t know my limits.
Now I knew I could make the butcher block top for this thing for our island. we wanted a really big walnut butcher block top and I knew that with the tools. I had I can make this but being three. feet wide and five feet long and an inch and a half thick not only was the raw. walnut material are gonna cost me a small fortune but the thought of doing all that work of milling and gluing and planing and sanding only to see a final. result that I was unhappy with was just. too much to think about.
So after doing a lot of research I found. a dealer called perfect length in Northern California and ordered our butcher block I think it cost about five hundred and fifty dollars but they do deliver it to you and they allow you to inspect everything before signing off on the order the block shipped with one side sanded to 120 and the other eighty so in order to properly finish this. thing I used some 300 grit paper to really refine it I also used some 80 grit paper to break the edges a bit just. slightly so they weren’t so sharp to finish the block I cleaned it off with some compressed air and then applied a thick coat of butcher block specific finish call. the good stuff I think it’s about $30 a can but damn is it good you rub it into the wood using the circular motion and then come back a few minutes later to. wipe off the excess the dealer also.
Recommended finishing all six sides at once as to not cause uneven exposure to moisture which then again could cause it to cup and after letting it cure for 12 hours I came back with some 400 grit. paper sanded it down smooth and applied. a second coat to attach it I consulted. my father-in-law who had built one of these before and I drilled a few large. holes with a drill bit and used a large.
Washer and some pocket hole screws in each corner I also read that doing it in this way allowed for wood expansion. while holding it securely in place just make sure your screws aren’t longer than. the thickness of your top or you’ll drill right through it okay nearly there. on this one the last part was to attach the cabinets the trash can piece was relatively simple I had built this little sliding platform that could hold the trash can and then attach the cabinet to it from the backside the trickiest part here was just lining up the face to be even with the other cabinets again I just took my time and was very careful to have things perfect.
Before attaching to attach the cabinets I drilled out recesses that would accept the hinges that I had recycled from old kitchen cabinets before my parents did a remodel at their house they are the best ones and even though this worked out my advice would be to buy new ones that. allow for small micro adjustments to make sure all things are even and it’s just overall easy for the average di. wire now I don’t show it but this took. the better part of half the day just to. measure and attach and adjust in the end.
I was really happy but won’t lie and say. it didn’t take me a few times to get things right and perfect or at least. perfect enough for me last step was to add drawer poles that matched our current kitchen I measured very carefully where the middle of the cabinets were then used my punch to mark.
The location for screws then using a drill bit I could drill each hole slowly and evenly double-checking before each. hole I drilled using the hardware to attach the drawer faced I used some hot. glue press the drawer on and then drilled the pilot holes I could then from the back attach the handle with the screws they sent with the poles and holy. heck this thing was nearly done.
I called in this special inspector to. make sure she approved she did but only. after bribing her with belly scratches and treats and I don’t show it on camera. but I did end up going back and adjusting the trash cans slide one more time with higher quality drawer slides. that just made it slide in and out easier so now the build was done and the only step was to move it to its final. location with some help we had to move. this thing pretty far and it was damn. heavy and thank God we had these back. French doors otherwise I couldn’t have actually done this project at the capacity I did as I would not have been able to move it into our kitchen once it. was in its final spot we could sit it down and put the butcher block on top. then quick high-fives to celebrate using the same screws I showed before we measured out evenly where the block. should go and then just attach the. pieces in four corners and I used a few. clamps to hold it in place for this. final step and with that final screw in. the island was finished and boy oh boy. was i proud of this one this thing is. about as perfect as I could have hoped. for it to come out and we are so excited. to have it in the kitchen as a. centerpiece of our new home so thank you. so much for watching this video again I. am just I’m so happy with this thing is. it’s so cool I really didn’t think that.
I could build something like this but. breaking it down to the steps doing lots. of research and taking my time the final. result to me is the best thing that I’ve ever built and I couldn’t be more happy with it if you did enjoy read article. that way you get notified anytime I do. put out a new project it’s not always. gonna be something this bigger this advanced so for anybody who’s looking to get into wood working or just feel inspired to go out and build something. of their own that’s kind of the ethos of. interesting and I’ll see you guys next time on the cutting board.
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