An island bench is a great addition to any kitchen. They offer additional
storage space, a place to prepare meals and they can move around (if they’re
mobile) to where ever you need to work.
This project will take about one weekend, and is made from common materials and
off-the-shelf hardware and accessories.
Step 1: Cut the parts to size. Mark and measure accurately and squarely. Then
use a circular saw to cut the parts to size.
Step 2: Cut out the slots for the wine rack using a bench saw, circular saw or
handsaw (if you feel energetic).
Step 3: Make the bench top. You can buy a laminated bench top off-the-shelf,
laminate your own, or take Kevin’s advice and make a solid timber top that you
can prepare food on directly. Kevin used 32mm radiata pine, but you can use
others. Use a plane to create a close-fitting, square joint. Then simply glue it
together. Use Selleys Durabond, because it’s resistant to water and oils, and is
really strong. Cramp it until cured, trim to size, sand it flat and flush. Kevin
made a groove around the top with a cove bit in a router. This will help prevent
water and crumbs from landing on the floor.
Step 4: Assemble the cabinet. Paint it first if you don’t mind showing the
screws (for an industrial-look), or paint it after assembly. A word of warning –
it will be fiddly and difficult to paint when assembled! Start by screwing the
two ends to the top and bottom to form a box. Then fix in the division. Assemble
the wine racks and screw them to the shelves, then slip them into the cabinet
and screw them in. The wine racks can both face the same way, or you can have
one each side.
Step 5: Screw on the castors. Grey rubber wheels are quiet and kind to all types
of floors (black rubber can leave skid marks). At least two castors should have
Step 6: Screw down the timber top from underneath, and oil it with vegetable
oil. This will protect it and still allow you to prepare food directly on the
surface with tainting food.
Kev ’s Tip:
Avoid using hardwoods for a
food preparation surface, because most of them have tannins and oils that will
leach into foods when wet – yuck! Softwoods will be kinder to your knives too.
They will scratch and mark over time but that’s the idea – character.
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