I’ve finally decided on a design for a kitchen island that will hold a mid-sized microwave and cookbooks, and serve as a table with room for stool storage underneath. The design parameters are quite rigid due to window, door and vent locations…plus the dimensions of microwaves of useful size. (If you wish to read more about the specs, and see my design progression – plus pictures of 1.75 of my cats, visit me at my personal blog.)
So…it turns out, my final (I think) kitchen island design looks one heckuva lot like my little Roubo bench, with it’s through-tenon and sliding-dovetail leg-to-top joints, thick top, and sturdy legs and stretchers (the legs and stretchers will likely get deep chamfers, with perhaps a lamb’s tongue treatment at either end…but I didn’t draw that in here – it’s Sunday).
The stretchers, which get 2″ tenons at both ends (to be drawbored, natch), are offset to provide support for two shelves, which are simply a series of slats atop cleats attached at the inside top corners of the stretchers.
The top is composed of a series of 3″x3″ beams, with one 4-1/2″-wide one at center, so as to symmetrically reach my desired overall width.
I haven’t yet decided on the wood. The kitchen cabinets are white with beech countertops, and I’m thinking a contrast might be nice. But a contrast might also be expensive. We shall see. If you want to learn more about the construction, you can pretty much just follow the 18th-century Roubo workbench build in Christopher Schwarz’s “The Workbench Design Book,” making adjustments, of course, for timber sizes and stretcher locations.
Here’s my cutlist (which auto-correct always wants to change to “cultist”…which is, I suppose, apropos regarding Roubo benches), in thickness x width x length, in inches:
(6) 3 x 3 x 52
(1) 3x 4-1/2 x 52
(4) 3 x 3 x 36
(2) 2 x 2 x 26 (2″ TBE)
(2) 2 x 2 x 22-1/2 (2” TBE)
(2) 1 x 1 x 22
(5) 3/4 x 3 x 18-1/2
(2) 1 x 1 x 16-1/2
(5) 3/4 x 3 x 24
p.s. Yes, I am painfully aware of the irony in my building what is for all intents and purposes a 36″-high workbench.