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RogerM

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My daughter has spent the last 12 months demolishing a grotty hovel set in a glorious ⅔ acre garden and replacing it with a self build 6 bedroom mock Georgian detached house. She and her husband have been project managing the build, and in a moment of weakness I agreed to build them an island for their enormous new kitchen.

My brief was to build an island around 1850mm long and 1000mm wide, containing pan drawers, an internal spice drawer, a bank of 4 shallow drawers, a kneehole, a wine rack at the end which should be modular so that it can be removed in part at a later date and replaced with an integrated floor standing wine cooler, and with bookshelves either side of the kneehole, and a mixer lift behind doors. It also needed to be symmetrical down each side and across both ends, and the whole thing must be moveable as a single piece - so has to be built on a rigid platform so that the whole thing can be moved on castors!!!! Anything open, like the winerack, kneehole and bookshelves need to be in oak, and all doors, drawer fronts and blanking panels will be painted. It took a lot of thought but I came up with a design which met the brief and was signed off by her ladyship! An added complication was that I would have to build it at home and then move it 185 miles from Devon to Surrey.

All the enclosed carcases were to be built from 18mm Egger W980 ST2 platinum MFC. Any natural wood panels (kneehole, wine rack internals, bookcase internals) had to be in European Oak faced MDF with a European oak frame or lipping.

As is the case in all these builds, we end up with a pile of materials, with the finished project hiding somewhere within!

photo 1.jpg


Essentially, this will be a number of kitchen base units, bolted side by side and back to back, so I won’t do a blow by blow WIP. The MFC and veneered MDF was cut up using a track saw. I put a piece of masking tape along each cut line to minimise breakout.

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Making the wine racks was downright tedious. The curves were rough cut on the bandsaw, and finished to a smooth line on a bobbin sander.

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First rack ready and being load tested!

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300mm cupboard and a single bookcase. This will go to the left of the kneehole.

Photo 5a.jpg


A double bookcase will go to the right of the kneehole. All face-frames are in European Oak.

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On the other side there is a double pan drawer unit, with a spice drawer within the top drawer.

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The doors for the main kitchen are being bought in for reasons of economy, and have to have 90mm stiles and rails. That will look too heavy on the island, so I am reducing the stiles to 80mm whilst retaining the rails at 90mm, and these are made from steamed beech with 9mm MRMDF panels, painted to a colour of “her ladyship’s” choice.

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Just checking that all the units fit together as intended.

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Assembly had to take place in the only space large enough for the purpose - our own kitchen! Oh Joy! You can see our own island, on which this one is based, in the background.

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There seems to be a limit of 10 photos to upload for one post, so to be continued ......
 

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RogerM

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....... continued! Almost ready for painting and finishing.

photo 11.jpg


The middle wine rack in the end has a false back to it with a space behind so that it can be removed to fit a 300mm wine cooler later.

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Loaded into the car and trailer to ferry to Surrey. We needed a reliably dry day with no risk of rain!

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Assembling the island at one end of the new kitchen diner.

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And the finished island in place. Lifting that quartz top into place was epic. It weighs around 200kgs! One side of the island has a mixer behind double doors, double pan drawers with an internal spice drawer, and a basic 300mm cupboard. One end has a double wine rack, and the remaining side has a kneehole in the middle, with a bookcase either side, plus a bank of 4 drawers. I still need to put the covers over the adjustment points on the sides of the drawers. Customer seems happy which is the main thing!

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sammy.se

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Looks great Roger!
What finish did you use on the oak? and did you have to level the island, or was the floor already good?
 

RogerM

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sammy.se":5l8ms8hk said:
Looks great Roger!
What finish did you use on the oak? and did you have to level the island, or was the floor already good?
Thanks Sammy. The floor was new so nice and level, so no problem. I have a castor at each corner, rated to 170kgs each, and 4 levelling screws in between to provide support. The finish on the oak is 2 coats of standard Osmo Polyx satin-matt clear.

doctor Bob":5l8ms8hk said:
Nicely done :D
Thanks Bob. Having seen your own kitchen work, that is praise indeed! :D
 

MusicMan

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The customer should be well pleased, and will be reminded of you every time she uses it! Very nice work.
 

Rorschach

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Beautiful work but it does make me sad that the island looks to be bigger than my whole kitchen :?
 

RogerM

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Rorschach":33s7203j said:
Beautiful work but it does make me sad that the island looks to be bigger than my whole kitchen :?
Thanks Rorschach. I must admit it was bit like building a whole small kitchen! My daughter's new kitchen is the same size as our entire 1970's 3 bed semi from 35 years ago!
 

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RogerM":3bvtjol2 said:
Rorschach":3bvtjol2 said:
Beautiful work but it does make me sad that the island looks to be bigger than my whole kitchen :?
Thanks Rorschach. I must admit it was bit like building a whole small kitchen! My daughter's new kitchen is the same size as our entire 1970's 3 bed semi from 35 years ago!
I often dream of a nice big house and a large kitchen, then I remember that all that space needs cleaning and the little kitchen doesn't seem quite so bad :lol:
 

gmgmgm

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Wonderful work! I've been asked to build something similar, essentially around a pair of 600mm cabinets for the structure. Struggling to find the right material locally so may well buy in the cabinets and drawers.

How long did it take you to make (ignoring the wine rack)?

I'm also looking at the castors. I was thinking about the ones which have a lever (like workshop ones) to lift them off the floor, for stability. How solid does the island feel on wheels?
 

RogerM

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Thanks. No reason why you can't butcher some commercial carcases to fit. However, you might want to add some thicker backs to the flimsy stuff usually supplied as they won't be screwed to a wall so may be susceptible to "racking", particularly if adding a quartz or granite worktop. The worktop on this particular island is around 1040mm x 1900mm and weighs in at around 200kgs. It's difficult to say how long it took to make. It was almost like building a mini kitchen, but a simpler design would have taken a lot less time, as would having lay-on doors rather than doors inset into faceframes. This one took about 3 months of work, on and off, and without being a slave to it.

I used 4 castors rated at 170kgs each, and each fitted with a brake. Then I fitted 4 levelling feet like these in between to spread the load and to add rigidity before the worktop was fitted. It is not intended that it be wheeled around like a dessert trolley. The castors were really just to enable the island to be moved from where it was being assembled in to its final position, where it has been wired in for power, and to enable it to be moved to another permanent position if the need ever arises. My best guess is that the complete assembly weighs around 400kgs, so it'll never be lifted! Feels rock solid in position.
 

gmgmgm

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Thanks Roger. I was definitely going to add stronger backs and additional side material to toughen it all up - I've calculated our granite top to weigh around 120kg.

Using castors plus levelling feet is a great idea. I don't intend to "wheel it around like a dessert trolley" :) but I do want to move it around a few times a year to make space for parties.

I also want to have a small gap underneath for a robot vacuum to park neatly!
 

RogerM

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Thanks. The mixer lift is the Hafele Mixer Lift 504.22.421 I got mine here as that was the best price around at the time. It comes without the springs fitted. They are powerful and a right PITA to lever onto the steel frame!
 
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