An Island on Wheels
When my wife and I decided to build an 800-sq.-ft. home, we knew that every inch of space would need to be utilized. Because we cook regularly, the kitchen and dining area was our biggest challenge. Neither of us wanted a traditional island, believing that it would be too limiting in such a small space. I toyed with the concept of elevating a dining-room table to countertop height, which would have given us an eating space and a workstation that could be moved out of the way easily, but the loss of storage under the counter would have been dramatic. One day I was moving my jointer, which sits on heavy-duty lockable casters, around the shop. At that moment, the concept for an island on wheels was born.
The island is made up of three cabinet boxes, reinforced with two layers of 3/4-in. plywood at the bottom and with beefed-up stiles at the four corners to help transfer the weight to the swivel casters below and to provide extra fastening for them. I chose the 4-in. casters (grizzly.com) for their industrial look and their weight rating (550 lb. each), and because we had to raise the cabinet 4-1/2-in. off the floor to match the countertop height. I estimate the overall weight of the cabinet, countertop, and the pots and pans inside to be about 675 lb. This, of course, doesn’t include our 20-lb. 2-year-old, who likes to sit on the island while we make dinner.
Photo: David Fell, courtesy of Farley Pedler