Movable Kitchen Island | Build It | Ask This Old House

Movable Kitchen Island | Build It | Ask This Old House

Tommy I've been thinking about kitchen Islands it seems that everyone who has one loves it and anyone who doesn't have one wants one exactly well I build a lot of them and you know what who wouldn't want an island think about it they're great for prep area the great for sitting around have a conversation it's just a great part of the kitchen and a renovation is a perfect time to put it in but if you're not doing a renovation there are some options and here's one of them this one can be rolled in and out of the space and we just bought this right off the shelf and assembled it but it's got some drawbacks all of your storage is exposed so you see the clutter and to me this just isn't big enough yeah it is a little smaller but you know what I want to build something that will function just like this but I don't want to see any of the clutter underneath hmm I want to make it a little bit bigger and I want to buy all the pieces off a shelf I want board for that all right let's go there's a lot of different choices when it comes to stock cabinets to choose from we've got different finishes different colors different sizes and different configurations now here's a base cabinet right here it's got drawers in it really be nice idea but the problem is is although this is the right height now once we add casters to it it'll be too tall okay now we can modify that simply by cutting off the bottom and that will allow for a caster height yeah that's a little bit of work right right and the other issue is we'll have to finish the back because it's an unfinished back so I'm getting the sense that you don't want to use this base right here no I think it would be a lot easier if we took a couple of upper cabinets yeah there are already 30 inches tall alright and so this one's actually gonna come up when we add those wheels so the perfect height exactly now if we took some of these and we put them back-to-back we now have finished ends I'm finished sighs very clever okay so uppers and what size do you think well we got all different sizes we got 18 24 30 36 how about a couple of 30 okay then we need a piece of 3/4 inch plywood set up I had a whole sheet we can buy a free cut panel now let's get some 4 inch casters I want to of the break and to the swivel it's only two cabinets back the back alright alright now what I want to do is I want to screw the two cabins together but first I want to remove this piece of wood right here to make the bottom flush all the way across then we're going to insert a piece of 3/4 inch plywood to tie them together all right okay let's see how it fits it in push it together nice yeah we'll take it out we're using carriage bolts to hold the casters to the plywood you got a do we're driving the carriage bolts into the holes and then we're cinching him down with nuts and washers bringing the heads down flush with the plywood now we're ready to fasten the dolly to the underside of the cabinet I'll drill four holes in the cabinet and screw it from underneath okay alright now I'll hold it together if you want to screw that first side okay good now if you want to squeeze the two cabinets together make them even and I'll screw up the other cabinet okay now we'll put some screws to the top now let me put a shim between the two cabinets so the backs don't pull apart okay that's good now we just cut them off alright we've got four strips of plywood to use as fillers right here so we can screw through the underside of the cabinet in through the filler into the top tack them in place with some glue okay so what's going in free time now the nice thing about this design we can use any kind of countertop we want we can use stone we could use laminate in this case we're going to use butcher block alright and what do you think about the length well I'm thinking about 36 inches that will give us a good sized overhang on each side now just clean up the edge okay now the idea of it is I want to Center the top from front to back and I want a longer overhang on that end probably about four inches and put a two inch overhang on this end any idea is that we're going to install a towel bar over here so we want to make sure that there's some clearance exactly all right let's fasten the top down you can put just about any kind of finish on here that you want you can stain it or you can put a urethane on it you can put a varnish on it but because we're going to use it as a cutting surface we want to use mineral oil and because we're using mineral oil you'll have to reapply it a few times a year ok Tommy we got ourselves a towel rack and handle on this side we've got all of our pots and pans nicely stored but they are tucked away behind closed-doors stores on the front and the back and a nice big cutting surface right and because it's on wheels we could use it as a serving table or we could tuck it away in a corner we're not used

32 thoughts on “Movable Kitchen Island | Build It | Ask This Old House

  • You guys make this project look easy, and economical. The mineral oil tip for the butcher block is nice, but I wonder if there would be an oily residue, if so is there another food safe option? Thanks for sharing!

  • On the opposite end of where the towel rack is I would of put a fold away extension of the same butcher block where it could be hinged so when the extension is folded down it will bide along the end but it could be moved into place so it would give you more room to work with if needed. The other thing that I would of done is installed some electrical outlets and a cord to plug the temporary island in so you can put some of those things like blenders etc underneath and when you need you just have to move the island into position and plug the one cord into the wall near where your working and use your appliances as needed and you get not just that one counter space but an extension. Now I know your going to say "the extension going to weigh extra when it's out"? I can solve that. On the same end that you have the handle/towel rack and it would have (2) Two heavy duty braces that would go up and on top of those two braces that would extend up from the corners of the cart/island you would have ether a closed cabinet or you would have tow open shelves where between the top of the butcher block and bottom of the small cabinets with a space of 18 Inches. The upper cabinet would be the same width of the island counter top. You could have doors on both sides of the upper cabinet so you can open the doors from over the island and the other set would open over the towel rack. This cupboard could be any height you want it but having it only about 18 to 26 inches would be the best if it is not a open shelve system. This will allow you to use your entire counter space but you get even more storage and under the shelve/cupboard area there could be some lights so the counter space can be illuminated to bring more light to your work space if needed. I would of hand a drawer that could of opened from both sides and below that I would of put cabinet doors so you could accessed both sides of the big lower cabinet.

    Other than that I like the island you built.

  • Ha, I built this exact island myself for my daughter without any help from Tommy. He ainโ€™t got nothing on me. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  • 36 inches for a nice overhang…….marks out 35 wut.

  • I followed these instructions to the letter and it turned out fantastic. I was able to buy the same cupboards that are in my kitchen so it matches. My only option for a top was bamboo. Looks great! The only downside is how much the final project cost – I thought I'd save lots of money doing it myself. In the end, I only saved about 10-15% off commercial rolling islands. However, there was nothing out there that matched or would really work in my kitchen. So in the end, even though it was expensive (just over CDN $700), it's worth it as it looks great and holds a tremendous amount of stuff. Thanks to TOH for this video, the instructions are clear, simple to follow, and deliver a product just as nice (maybe nicer) than what is in the video.

  • Termite concern here in HI. What are materials options? My ply shelves are coming out with all termite houses.
    Why did you use shims?..

  • Where's the drawers? Islands should have them….. I built an island using two "salvaged" maple kitchen drawer base units, it was more work but turned out great.

  • 5:05 what is the purpose of putting all of those smaller pieces in the bottom why not just one big one that fits on each side

  • What happened to, my buddy, Bob Villa?? He would have figured out that you could use the base cabinets and recess the wheels inside of the toe kick, hiding the wheels, giving you drawers or deep cabinet space. You could even modify the back toe kick to match the cabinet overhang in the front ๐Ÿ™‚ . If you're going to use Festool, use a screw depth limiting bit that assures a flush head with the cabinet interior screws, then screw covers to make a sanitary condition and the bottom. Just sayin. I agree with the other comment, unless you're getting a boatload of money from Home Depot and disclose it, i would never recommend the made in China poor quality cabinets.

  • Question, is there a way to use stock drawer cabinet with this amazing project ?
    Could you make a video tutorial on this.

  • This is perfect for anyone with some free time who has more money than sense.
    Otherwise its just a really half-assed cobbled-together "island".

    I appreciate that you're appealing to people with limited carpentry skills but this is simply sub-par and not worth the money.

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