In late 2014, I decided to start a project well beyond my skillset at the time: build a completely custom kitchen island for our basement. I considered it a big challenge and learning opportunity (and reason to justify new shop tools.)
- Top: Cherry & Walnut
- Doors and Drawers: Sassafras
Preparation / Planning
Trick # 1 – Little Access to Basement
People lived in the basement at the time, so I had to do the design/planning work without going downstairs much. So, I went down once to get some measurements, then drew up our whole basement in Sketchup, and did the design/planning/building upstairs.
Trick # 2 – Load-bearing support beams in the way
We had 2 support poles that were going to be ridiculous to work around. So, we hired a builder to come in and advise us how to redirect the load.
I mapped out the upstairs in Sketchup as well, in order to better understand load placement.
The design is custom. What separates this from most range-containing islands is that this will accommodate a range with the knobs on the back. Most islands built for ovens have the knobs in the front, and are therefore counter-height across the whole island.
Any weight placed on the bar-top area would be pulling that wall outward away from the oven. So, I used hidden supports tucked on the sides of the oven to keep the wall vertical even if excessive weight was placed on the bar.
There are 5 circuits in this island. 1 for lighting, 1 for the oven, and 3 for receptacles. Overkill? Maybe. But, we expect to be hosting Raclette parties around this island in the future. It’s not so much overkill as it is excessive preparation.