Build a rustic movable bench using reclaimed timber.
For extra storage and workspace, this kitchen island is small enough to double as a serving trolley. Made with reclaimed timber, it stands 900mm high, the same as a standard benchtop, with two 800 x 400mm shelves. The middle and base shelves are topped with sections of mixed softwood flooring and the top shelf is made from three offcuts of dressed all round (DAR) hardwood boards. It’s mounted on rubber castors with brakes. A black rubbery sealant called Sikaflex FC-11 bonds the joints as a rustic design feature.
Smooth the rough timber
Prepare the timber by going over it with an angle grinder fitted with a wire cup brush to reveal any embedded metal fixings to remove. The wire brush treatment smooths and cleans the timbers without removing characteristic marks.
Rebate the shelf sides
Use a planer with a guide fence and rebating attachment set to cut a rebate 15mm wide and 22mm deep in four long and short shelf sides for the middle and base shelves (see Diagram).
TIP: Cut the rebate using a series of sweeps with the planer.
Make the shelf frames
Set a saw to mitre the ends of all the shelf sides, including the top, positioning them to secure the faces with PVA adhesive and clamping the frames with a strap clamp. Drill pilot and countersunk holes through the sides for 75mm x 10g screws.
Add the shelf boards
For the middle and base shelves, position the shelf boards in the frame rebates, working from the centre and trimming the end boards to fit. Remove to run a bead of construction adhesive along the frame rebates, replace the boards and leave to dry.
Make the housings
Mark the 75mm-wide shelf housings on the legs at the top, base and 320mm from the base. Set the mitre saw to cut 25mm deep, positioning an offcut along the fence for a full sweep of the blade to make a series of relief cuts in the housing.
Clear the housing waste
Knock out the loose timber between the housing cuts with a hammer, using a sharp chisel to clean out the base and checking the housing against the side of the shelf to widen if necessary.