The other day my wife stated that she wanted to add a shelf under our breakfast bar as we have a kitchen with very limited storage options. So after numerous discussions and some research we decided to build a rolling island for our kitchen out of some reclaimed kitchen cabinets and a piece of butcher block. Here are the steps that I took to build this:
Step 1: Gathering the Supplies
We went to the ReStore in town and picked up two base cabinets that were in good shape. Together they were priced at $30 but since it was half off day we only paid $15 for these. Be sure to check that all the hardware is there and that the drawers are the same size (we had one that was 2" longer than the others and I had to modify the slides to get it to fit). We also went to the local Lowe's and bought a 72"X24"X1" slab of butcher block for the top for $35. You can use whatever you wish to for the top but we both like the look of butcher block and it won't dull my knives if I decide to do a quick cut on it. We also picked up some 1" and 1 1/2" wood screws, a couple of drop shelf brackets, 4 "L" brackets, 6 casters (4 of them locking, it is important that all of them swivel for this particular application), some wood putty, black paint (flat), and some mineral oil. You may need to pick up some other hardware depending on how complete your cabinets are and what you run into.
2 base cabinets (we used a standard base cabinet and a 4 drawer unit
1 section of butcher block 72x24x1
6 casters (4 of them locking, all of them swivel)
4 ":L" brackets
1" Wood screws
1 1/2" Wood screws
2' piece of 4x4
Step 2: Sand and Paint
The first step was to sand and paint the cabinets. Remove all of the hardware and keep track of what goes where before you start to sand. I used an orbital sander that I borrowed from my son-in-law (thanks Tim). You need to be certain to "rough up" all of the surfaces or remove any lamination to let the paint adhere to the cabinets. There is no reason or need to do the inside of the cabinets unless you wish to. I had to remove the bottom 5 inches of the main cabinet so that I did not have to have 6" 4X4 extensions on the larger cabinet and so it would fit under our bar for storage. I left a one inch lip to the base so I would have enough to screw the 2" 4X4 extensions on that the casters are screwed into. I also sanded all of the 4x4 pieces and screwed the castors onto the extensions. Once everything was sanded and screwed and I had all of my extensions (total of 6) made it was time to assemble.
Step 3: Assembly
Now for the assembly. First you will need to connect the two cabinets (or if you have more then however many you have) together. Usually cabinets have some edging to them so if you do not wish to cut off the edges just use some shims to even them out.Next I took the six 4x4 extensions with the casters on them and attached them to the base of the cabinet assembly (you could probably get by with only 4 casters but I liked the idea of using 6). I then dry-fitted the counter top to the cabinets and decided how long to make my drop leaf. Once that was done I cut the drop leaf portion off and attached the drop shelf brackets (not pictured). Next comes the placement of the "L" brackets. The best method to do this is to place the counter top onto the unit and merely mark where the cabinet meets the top from underneath (no measuring necessary this way). Once that is done you just need to attach the drop leaf (again I apologize for not having a picture of this but it is not difficult to do). Next attach the countertop. Because the drawer unit was shorter than the base cabinet I had to take a 4x4 and rip it down to support the counter top that cantilevered over the drawer unit. This allowed us a small shelf on top of the drawer unit and we were able to put some pieces of laminate backsplash on there that we had found within the cabinet. Once the counter top is attached you need to sand down the butcher block and applied a couple of coats of mineral oil (caution, this will darken the butcher block but this is a good look for it!).
Replace all of the hardware and re-attach the cabinet door. This is the finished project both free standing and rolled back to its storage place. This allowed us more storage for items that we previously had sitting out and cluttering up the counters. Whoo-hoo!