Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting

:::Build a kitchen island with LED accent lighting and pots/pans hanger.:::
This was my custom kitchen island that I was allowed creative freedom. The client let me do whatever I wanted to do. To date it is still my favorite piece.

Materials used:
- 3 types of Bamboo 3/4" Plywood
- 3/4" furniture birch ply or other paintable plywood or MDO (I would have used this had I known about it at the time. it is an excellent sub-straight for painting.)
- 90 degree angle with holes
- Hooks that fit your pots/pans
- LED lighting , switches and dimmer(12v or 24v, your choice) I used 12v (I used light bars but I would use strips instead)
- Paint sprayer, tarps, rosin paper, plastic drop cloth, blue painters tape, oil based primer and water based latex paint, polyurethane (your choice of gloss)
- Normal carpentry hardware (screws, glue, clamps)
- Tools (including but not limited to):Compound miter saw, Table saw, Jig saw, Router, Biscuit joiner, Pocket hole jig, impact/screw guns, nail guns, squares (carpenters, framing, speed), soldering iron, terminal connectors, wire nuts. Might be forgetting some things but these are the basic tools/supplies you will need.
- Patience and time and a love for carpentry

Step 1: BUILD AND INSTALL YOUR BOXES AND PLYWOOD COUNTER BASE

Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting

I began with making boxes for both sides of the island. In this case I had to build (2) of the boxes around existing columns which presented a challenge due to having to build the boxes around the columns and the columns being in slightly different planes and (1) central box to house pots/pans and electrics.

After boxes are installed and set, use a couple layers of 3/4" plywood as a base for your final counter top.

Step 2: PREP FOR PAINT AND SPRAY

Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
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I used rosin paper to protect the floor and plastic drop cloth taped to ceiling then taped to floor.
*Please be aware of fumes and ventilation.

First I primed with an oil based primer (better for sanding) then I used a water based high gloss white to enhance the reflection from the lights.

*Currently I plastic tarp to a window or door and set up a fan to draw air through the paint room to outside. Make sure that you remove the window screen because it will get paint on it from the over spray in the atmosphere.
ALWAYS WEAR A RESPIRATOR!

Step 3: ADD LIGHT CLEATS AND MAKE BAMBOO SIDE PANELS

Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
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After paint has cured, create cleats to mount bamboo panels to.
1. Take a piece of 3/4" ply about 4" wide and then rip in half with the saw set at or around 30 degrees. You can use this technique to hang other things around your house (cabinets, large pictures...)
2. Add strips of 3/4" plywood, above and below cleats, to mount lights to.
3. Install corner braces to add structural integrity to panels that will have to be removed.

**I also used a single piece of bamboo to cut out the doors so that the grain pattern would run through both doors.

Make bamboo panels with cleats (mounted inside and in opposite direction as the ones you mounted on boxes)
.

Step 4: INSTALL AND WIRE UP YOUR LIGHTING

Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting

Install Lighting:

Install your lighting on the support strips and wire to a main terminal which will be wired to a low voltage transformer/switch/dimmer. You can place this anywhere inside the main cabinet that is convenient.

You can see where I mounted the switch (up, inside doors frame)
The transformer and dimmer are both mounted inside on the cover that hides the wiring terminal. (sorry no picture)

**One trick to twisting the wire is; take your (2) 20ga black/red wires, stretch them out the length you need plus a foot or so then take the two wires and tighten them in your drill chuck then use your drill to twist cable. It took a couple minuets and sore fingers before I figured this out.

Step 5: BEGIN YOUR COUNTERTOP

Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
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I chose to use (3) types of bamboo plywood to create an inlay. I also used mother of pearl as an additional inlay.
You could do anything your imagination brings (concrete, granite...) I love wood and never did an inlay before so I figured that this was my shot.

1. Layout the inlay in pencil drawn on plywood base
2. I placed the boarder on the side of the plywood because the side grain of the plywood has a nice detail (it's built like an I-Beam and the plywood is EXTREMELY rigid)
3. I began fitting my pieces over the sketched out inlay
4. I had to router a rabbit on the brindle style wood to allow for the mother of pearl inlay.
5. The mother of pearl sheet was glued to balsa wood then ripped on the table saw to the dimensions that I wanted.
6. Once all pieces are fit, remove and glue into place.

** Do not press last piece of inlay in because if you make it tight it will be difficult to remove inlay pieces. Just slightly press the last inlay piece into counter top. It might have to be shaved down a little after all other pieces are installed.

Step 6: POLY ALL BAMBOO (BOTH SIDES)

Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting

After everything is glued and set, sand with 100 grit to even out height variations then work up to 220 grit and be aware of any digs left from coarser sand paper.

Begin coating with polyurethane.
I used:
(4) coats of high gloss for the counter top
(2) coats of (regular) gloss for the side panels and front.

Step 7: INSTALL NECESSITIES

Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting

I have always been bothered by stacking my pots and pans inside cabinets. The coatings get messed up and you have to always get the pan on the bottom. Solution? Hang 'em inside.

This you can do in any cabinet and can be an Instructables on it's own:

Use a piece of 3/4" ply (I used the bamboo), Rip to about 2-3" and cut to fit the inside of the cabinet.
Drill holes and mount hooks (make sure your hooks fit the holes in your cookware) DONE!

You can even use a plastic sheet underneath and hang your pots and pans after you wash them and let them drip dry.....TOTALLY AWESOME!

I installed a cooktop that the client had in his original island (cut out opening and install)

Step 8: ENJOY YOUR ISLAND

Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
Custom Kitchen Island with LED lighting
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After the job was completed the client couldn't be happier and neither could I. Of course I didn't charge nearly enough, but It was an experience and a project that I am EXTREMELY proud of.

I am looking forward to doing another one as soon as possible. Projects like this make me love my job.

I hope that you enjoyed my Instructables project and I hope that it inspires you to create something similar. If it does I would love to see it!

Please comment and criticize as I always love to hear what you think and if there is anything that I can improve upon.

Thank you for taking the time to look.

 
 

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