Rustic Oak Brackets
Learn how to use rough-sawn timbers and traditional joinery to fabricate sturdy, beautiful supports for a cantilevered kitchen island countertop.
Synopsis: Woodworker Peter Polcyn describes the creation of two barn-style brackets made of scrapwood for a kitchen island. Detailed drawings show the three bracket pieces and how they are assembled with wooden pegs and half-lap joinery. Polcyn then walks through the process of cutting and fitting the pieces and finishing the brackets with a distressed look to fit the new kitchen’s rustic aesthetic.
I was hired by clients looking to update their kitchen to a more rustic farmhouse/barn aesthetic. In my original design, the featured white-oak island included posts to support the countertop overhang. We later decided posts were impractical, impeding legroom, so I suggested replacing them with two sturdy, rustic brackets.
I didn’t have any reclaimed stock on hand, but the next time I was at my materials supply house, my eye caught some white-oak timbers used to separate stacks of material. They were rough-sawn, about 3 in. by 3 in., and aged beautifully from being kicked around the warehouse—I thought, “you just can’t fake that.” So I grabbed a few, along with my order, and was on my way.
Back at my shop, I toyed around with some ideas and landed on a simple design for rustic brackets that would have looked right at home in a barn a hundred years ago. They’re held together with wooden pegs and half-lap joinery. Technically, making them was as simple as the design, but I did find sequencing was important. My tendency is always to measure out and mark all the pieces at the start of a project, but with the uneven nature of this material, I found cutting and fitting individual joints was best.
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Plus, watch the companion video:
How to Design and Assemble Rustic Oak Kitchen Island Brackets
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