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Need advice on casters for kitchen island and follow along for the build!

Update:

I changed the title from just needing info on casters to follow along since I seem to continue my discussions by adding to them, lol.  Okay, so I will add a new response below to continue on.

We are building a small kitchen island for my small kitchen and for my small self, I am short and am not comfortable cutting on the tall counter tops because I have to lift my shoulders.  I came across this awesome kitchen island made using an old door so we went out and bought an old panel door with all the panels equal in size. 

The door is 30" wide so it is perfect for starting height before adding a top and a cutting board to it.  This is where the greatness ends though because I can't find any hidden casters which would work well for a kitchen island without damaging the kitchen floors.  I would like the casters hidden because I don't want to raise the island very far off the floor so I can keep my low profile 34" high. 

This link shows where the inspiration comes from and we bought a white door similar to the white one on her blog but mine has six equal in size panels instead of the five like hers does in the picture.

http://www.blueroofcabin.com/2012/02/kitchen-island-from-door.html

My final measurements with a 1" overhang of the top are 33.5" wide by 16.5" deep;

My husband cut the panels in this order.  He cut a section with two panels intact and cut the other four into separate panels.  The two panel section will be the back of my island and each side will have one panel.  The last two panels will be used for the sides of a new small cabinet I need for a small coffee bar I would like on a tiny wall.  Did I say my house was small?   LOL

Anyway, I need some good casters that can be hidden but also locking so it doesn't slide around on me while I am chopping fruits and veggies.  I don't mind having a drop down front kick plate to hide the casters and such, I just need help finding the right ones.  I saw some casters made for attaching inside the corners but alot of people are saying it is too hard to control  what they are connected to.  The ball casters look like they don't have enough space between the actual caster and the hardware without having things getting stuck such as a potato peel that might fall on the floor and be missed in cleanup before I move the island to it's place.

Is there anyone that has any ideas?  I just need them hidden and not to raise the island up too far from the floor so I can maintain my lower profile.  We plan to make the lower shelf higher to allow for the space needed to hide the casters as well.

Thanks in advance!

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Suzy, I have built many butcher block tops out of hard woods and used a lot of hard rock maple build tops that could be beat on and cut on with out a lot of damage.  A once in a while sanding and a coating of a finish like salad bowl finish made them look new again.  The salad bowl finish makes most of them glow a golden oak color and you get the beautiful grain look through the finish. 

I always turned the lumber on it side so using 1" X 3" and a threaded rod running through the center and washer and nuts on each end of the rod.  The rods were place about 6 inches from the end and then every 12 to 18 inches apart depending on the depth of the top.  I used 5/16" on the smaller tops that were not over 2 feet deep and then 3/8" rod on anything larger.  I have made them up to 5 feet by 10 feet finished and had no problem making them flat by being careful on the clamping and then using a jack hand plane and then a belt sander, then a cabinet scrapers and then with a final sanding using random orbit.  Then I applied the finish by hand, applying several coats of finish allowing it to soak in.  I finished it of using 0000 and 000 steel wool and or brillo pads with out the soap. 

For glue I used a slow setting epoxy and bar and pipe clamps.  To help control the twisting and cupping I altered the growth rings..  Bore the rod holes on a drill press and then counter sink the two boards on the two edges and cover with a plug.

I have made a few walnut tops but found the maple to be the most desirable an yields the most service. 

This method allows you to easily build the top and size it to it final thichness by adjusting the thickness of the lumber on the table saw cutting the lumber about 1/8 thicker that your wanted thickness.   With it glued up to use the sides rather that the face will give you one stiff top that will span the width and length and stay flat . 

Oh man oh man oh man, I would love to build our own but we can't get the hard rock maple or walnut here without paying hefty fees for it.  In the end if I buy from Forever Joint they will cut both of mine to exact specs and finish the edges for me without extra charge.  My husband said he would rather buy than build the tops. 

I think I might be settling on the hard rock maple and if it is as strong as you say maybe I will try some cutting on it to see how it works out.  If we like them we will probably have our counter tops made of butcher block as well when we redo the kitchen.  I love how you made your tops, I bet those will be forever joints too!

Jay Boutwell said:

Suzy, I have built many butcher block tops out of hard woods and used a lot of hard rock maple build tops that could be beat on and cut on with out a lot of damage.  A once in a while sanding and a coating of a finish like salad bowl finish made them look new again.  The salad bowl finish makes most of them glow a golden oak color and you get the beautiful grain look through the finish. 

I always turned the lumber on it side so using 1" X 3" and a threaded rod running through the center and washer and nuts on each end of the rod.  The rods were place about 6 inches from the end and then every 12 to 18 inches apart depending on the depth of the top.  I used 5/16" on the smaller tops that were not over 2 feet deep and then 3/8" rod on anything larger.  I have made them up to 5 feet by 10 feet finished and had no problem making them flat by being careful on the clamping and then using a jack hand plane and then a belt sander, then a cabinet scrapers and then with a final sanding using random orbit.  Then I applied the finish by hand, applying several coats of finish allowing it to soak in.  I finished it of using 0000 and 000 steel wool and or brillo pads with out the soap. 

For glue I used a slow setting epoxy and bar and pipe clamps.  To help control the twisting and cupping I altered the growth rings..  Bore the rod holes on a drill press and then counter sink the two boards on the two edges and cover with a plug.

I have made a few walnut tops but found the maple to be the most desirable an yields the most service. 

This method allows you to easily build the top and size it to it final thichness by adjusting the thickness of the lumber on the table saw cutting the lumber about 1/8 thicker that your wanted thickness.   With it glued up to use the sides rather that the face will give you one stiff top that will span the width and length and stay flat . 

I just called our local better woods supplier and they make butcher block tops of maple and walnut.  Any wood or combination I want between the two is a total of $277.00 for the two butcher blocks I need.  I believe they would deliver free since they deliver other goods to me for free.  My recent searches for this wood was online because I hadn't thought about my local supplier.  It's called South Texas Moulding and they provide woods for custom home builders out here.

If I want to build my own the walnut is $13.50 per board foot ranging from 3"-7" and the maple is $4.50 per board foot ranging in the same sizes, this is  S3S and 13/16" wood.  If they build the tops it would be 1.5" thick.  Now I could get all walnut for the same price if I wanted for that price and if I buy from Forever Joint full walnut tops would cost me $297.00 plus shipping of $60. 

Thing is, Forever joint will take a 36" x 36" top and make it into the two tops I need and give me the leftover block for chopping.  I wouldn't have that benefit if I purchase locally the walnut.  Not sure I want to chop on walnut anyway.  Choosing is the hardest part, lol.

Clearly if I go with all Walnut it would be a much better deal local but if I decide to go with Maple the best deal is through Forever Joint.  Hmm, I am going to have to take a look at what they have locally but that means about 45 minute drive to get there, lol.

Casters came today and I think the size is perfect and will work great.   4 1/8" radius for the install corners with a little extra room, they turn very well in testing.  I shouldn't have problems with lockup or anything when moving the island around.  The two wheels are a good size too and don't think I will have problems with them leaving indentations in the floor so I think I might have a winner here.

 

Glad to hear it. Good luck and enjoy both the making and the using of your kitchen island.

Thank you James, my husband brought the island into the kitchen today.  It has the back and sides together with the wheels hidden below the bottom support shelf.  We added layers of boards on it to mimic the butcher block top and then added my cutting board to it which makes the height right at 34.5" and seems perfect.

I am going to use it for a week or two like this just to make sure I like that overall height and if I need to add height I can.  The overall size is going to be great since I was able to carefully move it around the kitchen without hitting the cabinets.  I keep telling my husband I want a support board down the middle for the top and he keeps saying I don't need one.  I don't know what the right answer is I just know I will be putting a lot of pressure on the butcher block when I kneed dough or roll it out. 

I have injury to my hands arms and shoulders so many of the things I do require I put my weight into it instead of using just the muscles I was born with to accomplish what I need to do, lol.   He makes sense, top opening is 29" long and 14.5" wide and he has a support board across the front at the top between the two side boards so it might be enough, my concern is the butcher block sagging in the middle eventually or the boards separating from the pushing on it in the middle which would be the most used portion of the top.

Ah well, we will figure that out too, for now I will enjoy using it so I can have it exactly how I like it.


 
James P. Cottingham said:

Glad to hear it. Good luck and enjoy both the making and the using of your kitchen island.

I am loving the trial run on my little island, it's solid with the layers built up and my cutting board on top which makes me comfortable using it.  I also like that I don't have to put it against the cabinets to keep it from wobbling like the makeshift thing I was using before.  This also made it nice this morning for me to be in our small kitchen chopping while my husband did some food prep using the counter I would have normally blocked and we weren't in the way of each other.  That's a win in my book for sure.

I have ordered the drawer side boards for the top drawers and sliding shelf/drawers for both the little island and the coffee bar cabinet.  These are the 1/2" boards with a rounded top and a 1/4" dado already cut into them, like these Drawer Sides.   The better materials supplier will deliver for free and I like that about them because they are so far away at about 45 minutes drive.  It seems so strange that the cost for these specific materials are reasonably priced too at just $2.49 bf in the 5 5/8" tall size which makes it so easy to make drawers with them.  I could have gone shorter but I want a deep drawer with the ability to live large in a small space.  I also ordered 1/4" birch cabinet plywood in a 4' x 8' sheet for only 23.00.  The cost for the same plywood at the local big box is almost double and it is not near as nice a finish.  They don't carry the drawer boards but buying a poplar board from the big box store and doing all the work ourselves would cost us the same.  It's nice to have most of the work done for us.

We used the same materials from them when we built our sliding drawers in the kitchen but we made the 1/4" dado 1/2" so we could use 1/2" birch cabinet plywood for the bottoms which allowed for a higher weight limit combined with the higher quality drawer slides we used.  The birch 1/2" was reasonably priced for the 4' x 8' sheet which also amazed me then.  These materials took 3 coats of polyurethane beautifully and look so nice when I open the cabinet, they are also very easy to wipe clean if something spills on them.

I think I might just go ahead and support them with the purchase of their walnut butcher block tops I was telling you about earlier in this thread.  They will be including a sample of the hard maple and the walnut in my delivery but I think I am leaning toward the dark walnut instead of the hard maple, but that means I need to get a hard maple cutting board to replace the not so good bamboo one I am using as well.  I should have delivery sometime next week.

So my kitchen island is a slow build but I have been using it for the last few months and have to say it's perfect.  It still needs a top, the drawer is built and installed but needs a drawer front and the slatted shelf is built, painted , polycrylic coated and installed.  The bottom shelf tongue and groove pine is stained and it's installed.  Both shelves and the drawer will need to come out so I can paint the inside and outside surfaces of it, then it will need a top.  I am surely happy with the outcome of my little island, it has saved my shoulders many a time while prepping meals.  I only wish I had this years ago and I am thankful my husband takes time out of his extremely busy schedule to build things for me.   :)

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