Friday, November 18, 2016

Kitchen work table done

The next step was to install the lower shelf pieces across the bottom stretchers.  This was a good use for some of those scrap white oak pieces I bought during the FDR chair project.

Some of my brainstorms work out and some don't, and this one didn't.  I decided to fasten the shelf pieces with the 1/8" joinery dowels from Lee Valley.  I really like the way they look on boxes but here they look too much like I used nails and wood filler:

Oh well, they aren't very conspicuous and the chef is fine with them.  If I did this again, I think I would use a larger pin in the center of each piece and make them more prominent, in part by not staining them so they would contrast with the stained oak.  This could be done by trimming the pins after staining but before finishing, using a playing card with a hole drilled through it to protect the piece.  The pin would be left very slightly proud, a look I like.

With this done, it was a simple matter of attaching the top and installing the casters.  The casters have a friction ring, so they just slide into a 7/16" hole.  You get what you pay for; they were expensive but worth it.  Here is the finished project:

Although the casters are too large for my taste, they roll very easily and it is turning out that the table gets moved around several times a day.  It is very comfortable to sit at.  In retrospect, it would have been possible to have a drawer as many kitchen work tables do, but I like the clean look of the spare carcase.  The stool is one I made years ago, but I will be making a new pair to go with the table.

Many hand tool woodworkers believe it is about the journey, and it is, but often it's about the destination too.  This table really enhanced our kitchen and the chef is very happy with it.  Now that we have one, I don't know how we did without it.


  1. How did you attach the casters? Do they have a stem or are they screwed?

    1. Ralph, I drilled a 7/16" hole in the bottom of the legs. The casters have a smooth stem with a brass friction ring in a groove near the top. You just tap them into place.

  2. Nice going, Andy. Good looking and functional. The casters look well proportioned to me. I don't recall from previous posts - you bought the butcher block top, right?

  3. Yes, I bought the finished top on a sale. It was $120.

  4. The journey or the destination?
    When it is for the better half it is always the destination...
    But you have to hone your skills before, otherwise you end up in IKAE.

  5. Andy,

    Sylvain has the best answer to the age old question, the boss could care less if the joints pull up to perfection. That's not saying IKAE is what they want (sometimes it is) but mostly it is results, a table, chair, or whatever that functions. When making a "honey do" I have to keep reminding myself what the goal is, finishing a functional piece in reasonable time.

    Your kitchen table looks like you met that goal with maybe a little "journey" thrown in as well.