Kitchen Cabinet Island / Shelving Storage on Wheels




About: I'm an artist, designer and high school teacher. I teach digital media and graphic design. I love to create. I love working with wood, paper, clay, pen and ink, photography, videography and beyond. There is...

If you are planning on building this cabinet. I strongly recommend watching the accompanying video and read this tutorial fully, as there might be a step or two I missed. I have a video documenting almost every part of this build, feel free to check it out at your leisure. I also have plans available, should you need them. We live in a small house with an even smaller kitchen. The shelving and counter space is minimal. I suggested to my wife that I should make a kitchen island / countertop, to give us some much needed shelving and workspace, plus we had just got married in September 2016 and I was wanting to make something special for my wife for valentines day 2017. The other main use for this item, was to also have a pull out island to give Dee some work space to do her baking on at Christmas. Cookies, baked goods (especially her famous brownies)

Permission was given and I was given the go ahead to begin thinking the build from scratch.
There is a time-lapse video in the final step, showing you the build from scratch)

I did not go from any plans, this is my design, based on needs and dimensions of the kitchen.

We needed a place to put the microwave, countertop items like napkins, supplements, huge bags of flour and many other bagged ingredients.

Watch the Video Timelapse :)

The left side open up with 2 doors and has 2 shelving / trays on 18" slide hinges, giving easy instant access without breaking your back to place or retrieve heavy items. There is also a duplicate double tray system set at different heights for various products.

The center storage is comprised of 4 deep drawers on soft close hinges, again being able to be pulled out completely to 18" in depth. The entire inventory list was purchased from Home Depot, nearby.

I have tool limitations. The Table saw I have can only cut 1/2" birch ply. If I cut anything thicker, it always trips the main circuit breaker without fail. It is SUCH a pain, but need to chat with someone about boosting the breaker amount, without risking the house. This is not a step by step, perfect breakdown of how the cabinet was created. But overall, should give you a very good idea of how it was all done. I'll happily answer any questions as they arise.

Step 1: Measurements / Tools and Supplies

Here are the dimensions of the cabinet:

  • Length: 80" Depth: 21.5" Height: 34.5"
  • 2 x 2 Doors width 25" (left side doors and right side doors are both 25" wide)
  • Drawer Width: 23.5"
  • Drawer Height: 5-8" x 18" deep
  • Pullout Shelf 1: 19" in depth 7" tall
  • Pullout Shelf 2: 19" in depth 12.5" tall
  • Pullout Shelf 3: 19" in depth 9" tall
  • Pullout Shelf 4: 19" in depth 10.5" tall
  • 2 - Dual Electrical outlets for powering countertop Food mixers, etc.

I was able to fit all of the wood on or into my 2001 Honda Civic... (though not really recommended)


  • 4 sheets of 4' x 8' 1/2" birch ply - cabinet body
  • 4-6 planks of 2" x 6" x 8'Douglass fir ?(work surface structural support)
  • 1 1/4" brads (for air powered brad nailer)
  • 8 x 18" Soft close drawer hinges
  • 8 soft close door hinges
  • 2 sheets of 1" x 12" x 8' pine (used for drawers and door frames (make sure these are as flat as can be)
  • 4 wheels to handle 100 - 150lb each
  • 2 x dual electrical outlets to plugin required items
  • Small pack of Oak plugs (design elements)
  • Multiple strips of 2" x 1/4" x 4' oak (trim)
  • 2 sheets perforated grill (to taste for hiding items behind doors)
  • Tools & other Supplies Needed
  • Wood filler for brad nail holes Sand Paper (60 grit, 120, 220) Wire Wool 0000 Wood glue 4" metal screws / wood screws Clamps x (multiple) 3 feet long Table Saw Electric Drill Screwdriver Wood Mallet Drill or drill press with Forster Bit to match soft close door hinges

Step 2: Gluing the 8, 1/2" Ply to Create 4, 1" Ply Due to Band Saw Restrictions

I begin by cutting all lengths of the bottom, sides of the cabinet, out of the 1/2" birch ply. I cut 2 of each item, and then laid them flat on some Douglas fir 4"x4"x8' and using a healthy covering of. Wood glue, clamp the items one by one to create 1" thick pieces. I do not create a 1" thick piece for the backing, since I'll leave that as a 1/2" thick piece of ply. I place them between some Douglass fir timber I had to make sure they are nice and straight. Making sure to clamp everything nice and square.

Step 3: Securing the Vertical Separators and Adding the Douglas Fir Countertop Base Layer.

I cut 8 squares measuring roughly 6.5", doubling the 1" thick pieces now to 2" thick, to mount the wheels onto, in each corner of the base of the cabinet, using 3" long machine screws for extra bite. The hardest part of the build for me was making sure the foundation was square and flat. I used t-squares, set squares and tacked the verticals into place using thin strips of wood to help maintain perfect verticals.

With all 4 vertical sections held in place (not including the back panel) I then placed the top foundational supports using the Douglas fir planks. On top of this, to help hold everything in place. I plan to use the finely grained pine boards, measuring 1'x12"x8' - I had to cut down the center board to align them evenly. (As shown in the time lapse video)

Step 4: Adding the Back Panel Making Doors and Drawers and Shelving

With the top now held in place with heavy duty screws & wood glue, I tilted the whole unit on it's front, to fix the back board, which is simply a 1/2" thick piece of Birch ply. I measured the door opening to the left and divided in half, adding 1/2" to add for any mistakes. It's simpler to trim the piece down, rather than add more to a piece that's too short.

I cut 2 3/4" wide door frames out of the fine grain pine I purchased. I created 4 doors measuring 12.5" wide and measured where to drill (using the Forster bit) to countersink the slow-shut door hinges. I stacked the pull-out shelving at various heights both sides to accommodate different products my wife likes to place in there. From tall tubs of powders, to large boxes of grain. Having these pull out as they do, is a god send in not breaking your back.

The oak wood trim around the work surface was sanded to match the thickness of the countertop. Then I placed a different oak wood plugs for a decorative accent. I sanded all over to achieve a perfect surface, going from 120 to 200 to 0000 wire wool on the surface of the countertop, doors and drawer fronts. The shine that was able to be captured using this method was very cool indeed. I then stained the cabinet body with an ebony wash, applied with a rag, and a clear satin finish urethane protective finish on the natural wood components.

The overall look and feel is very clean, simple, yet extremely utilitarian indeed. I only applied 2 coats o the work surface, allowing it to air for a week or so, before bringing it into the kitchen.

For the electrical outlets each end of the cabinet, I installed 2 x twin outlets with trip protection. I am in the process of installing low-profile fixtures inside to run the cable and have a removable outlet, that will plug into the wall, instead of all the various cables for each piece of equipment my wife typically uses to bake with.

This project took a while to finish, due to space I have in my garage, and the limits of my tools, but my current project is an 8' long, 32" wide electric powered boat. A single seater boat for lakes and rivers, that I am also making radio controlled. For S#!&@ and giggles. :)

Thank you for taking a look at my project. I am occasionally free for custom projects, should you require something.

Valentine's Day Challenge 2017

Participated in the
Valentine's Day Challenge 2017

Shelving Contest 2016

Participated in the
Shelving Contest 2016



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    7 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Wise choice to miter the door frames, it sets it off, cope and stick would've looked so "pedestrian". ☺

    1 reply

    Yes, thank Hank. I wanted to add that extra bit of class. Like you, I think the butt joints would have been too simple.


    2 years ago

    love the dark stain and oak plugs for contrast. You did a great job on this overall

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    Beautiful piece my friend. Really well done.