Introduction: Up-cycled Kitchen Island

About: I am an automation engineer but I will give anything a go. I don't know if you call if pessimism or just being an engineer, but I look for problems everywhere, then I look for some weird, left field way to sol…

We recently moved house to a larger site with 2 homes...

My family moved into one and my mother-in-law into the second.

There were extensive renovations to both houses which are nearly complete.

This kitchen island was a Saturday afternoon project, my mother-in-law asked if I could build the island from some old furniture she didn't need elsewhere but didn't want to throw away. Her kitchen is almost entirely up/recycled so this had to fit in with that motif.

Everyone's favourite type of project, no plan, no time, no budget and the wrath of the mother-in-law if it all goes wrong...

This project is my entry for the furniture contest so if you like it please vote!

Step 1: Where to Begin?

I was presented with some items which HAD to be included, these were:

A chest of drawers & a tall hall table

What I had (in stock)

The frame from an Ikea Malm bed (malm)

4 Ikea Silveran legs (silveran)

Some 8mm dowel

An 8x4 sheet of 18mm (3/4") Plywood

Assorted srews

6mm Canadian shuttering

White deal corner strip 40x40mm

6x18mm white deal edge stip

Anti-scratch furniture feet

Step 2: Set the Height

The first step was to set the height of the island, the chest of drawers was way too tall even for me at 6'3 and my mother in law is only 5'7!

So I removed the drawers and trimmed off the legs, I attached the anti-scratch feet and adjusted them to set the top level. The top height was then 1m, this allowed some play for the thick top to be fitted.

I read somewhere that an island countertop should be approx 42 inches (106cm) so we are still good!

Step 3: The Low Table

The next problem was that the table to be included was only 880mm tall.

I decided that the best attack was to build a podium for it to stand on, I could close it in once I had set everything level.

I cut a piece of ply the same size as the table top, I had to use a level as a straight edge and pile of pallets as a workbench as my workshop is not ready yet.

I flipped the table over and attached the board and the Ikea legs.

Just a note, the label on the bottom of the table said it was mango wood, it may also have been iron for all of the difficulty I had drilling and screwing to it.

I set the legs in quite far as they are really only for levelling, you will see the rest of the infill later.

I used the screw adjustment to level the table top with the top of the drawer unit.

Step 4: The Top

The top on this island is temporary, some friends of ours own a restaurant and following some up and coming renovations are donating the top from their pass.

In the meantime, I had the old frame of a Malm bed that was damaged during our move.

There was a little water damage to one edge but I was told that wasn't a concern.

I removed all of the hardware and the little plastic feet from both the head and foot of the bed frame.

I opened out the holes to 8mm with the drill and inserted dowels, it all lined up, I used a little Tec7 as I had no wood glue.

I also don't have any really long clamps so I put some timber offcuts on either side and pulled it all together with a ratchet strap.

Step 5: Infill and Closing Up

I cut some ply to close in the end panel and make a divider between the 'table side' and the sitting side.

I used the brad gun to fit some strips of Canadian shuttering to the end panel and some deal corner strip to the edges, this is just to hide the plywood finish and edge profile.

I added the edge strip to the plinth to again cover the edge profile.

You can now see that the top is now supported by the 18mm ply 'H' frame.

I added a kickboard, also made from 18mm ply to close the gap under the front of the plinth.

Step 6: Shelf and Get Out of There

I added a plywood shelf, it was notched around the table legs and supported on blocks attached to the backs of each of the legs.

There is a 2x1" batten under the middle of the shelf as a backbone for some added strength.

I took away my tools and handed it over for whatever painting was desired.

I will try to post an update when the final worktop is installed.

P.S. my mother-in-law was very happy so I live to build another day! :-)

Furniture Contest 2018

Participated in the
Furniture Contest 2018