A few months ago, we had the opportunity to partner with Osborne Wood Products and RYOBI Tools for the island project we were planning in our kitchen. I had a fairly specific idea in mind, and wanted to balance the maple and poplar rough stock I had sourced from a local sawmill with the immaculately crafted and ornate soft maple legs and corbels Osborne sent over.
For more information on the Osborne Wood Products click here:
For the DIY steps to complete this project, I had my husband write... as he was the one who brought my idea to life. Read more for his step-by-step tutorial in his own words.
To begin, I bought some basic poplar boards from the lumber yard to build the underlying frame upon which the top would rest. Basic pine would likely have been fine, but for a project like this, I prefer the parts you can’t see to be at least as good as the parts you can.
The poplar came as a 1x6 so to start, I set my RYOBI table saw to 2.25” width, and cut the boards down to my desired width. After doing a quick dry fit to determine brace spacing, overall dimension, and the width of the perimeter boards (which were over-cut to aesthetically match the dimensions of the adjoining legs, and also because they were going to be routed for additional detail), I assembled the frame using pocket screws (via a Kreg jig) and Locktite wood glue. After the perimeter was installed, bracing was added as 8” on center to provide even bracing for the weight of the substantially built top- and the marble that would go on that.
With the top frame roughed in, I turned attention to the bottom shelf and its installation. I laminated three 6” strips of poplar (and attaching with glue, pocket screws, and strap bracing for additional weight support), and routed around the perimeter (using a RYOBI fixed base hand router) to match the theme of the top.
The shelf was quickest part of this project; and the most complex part of the whole task was trimming excess material from each side to keep the middle laminate centered.
With the shelf complete and routed, focus turned to attaching the shelf to the main legs, and the installation of the bottom feet. If you’re tackling this project yourself, this, in my opinion, is the most critical moment. Everything else can likely be fixed in the event you make an error- this part can’t, so proceed carefully.
First, extrapolate the center line of the legs by measuring the base diameter. In the instance of the legs I used, they measure 4” x 4.” Since my bottom shelf was built to be of exactly the same dimension as the frame above it, I marked a 4” x 4” square on the underside of my shelf and connected the opposing corners. The cross in the lines gave me my center point, and thus ensured that I could keep the legs in square as the bottom assembly was attached.
With the corners marked on the shelf, I drilled pilot holes in the main legs, the shelf, and the bottom feet. It’s crucial to put the whole in exactly the center of these pieces; otherwise, the final assembly will look slightly off center.
Using my cordless drill, dowel screws were inserted into the bottom feet, and then the final installation of the bottom feet, through the shelf, and into the top legs is quickly done. I did apply glue liberally on the bottom side of the shelf, but just a drop on the top (I didn’t want to run the risk of having a glue line on the maple legs).
The corbels were then attached using basic 1” Kreg wood screws at the center of the leg’s top.
The top was my favorite part of this project as it came from a local Amish owned sawmill and the owner (who sees hundreds of quality logs a day) and I looked at several of the best pieces coming over his tables in hopes of finding something that was a near match to the grain and hue of the Osborne legs. We looked at poplar, spalted maple, sugar maple, and in the end (though I did come away with a great inventory of all these), we ultimately used hickory.
I worked on the maple pieces to have a rough fit top with my hand planers, but in the end decided (and very glad I did) to delegate this out to the professionals. Our Amish friends ran the hickory (in three pieces) through their joiner and laminated them; this ensured a tight, professional looking bond and fit that I, frankly, didn’t have the tooling for. With that piece returned, I gave it a final sand and routed the edges with a rollover bit to make sure there were no sharp corners our kids could bump their heads on.
Finally, the project was nearly complete. I applied the finish over three coats (finish sanding in between) and laid Carrara marble tiling over the top to finish the look.
Here's a few other photos of our DIY custom island in our kitchen.
If you have any specific questions on this DIY project, please e-mail us directly at email@example.com. As always, thank you for stopping by the blog and following along on our renovation journey.
Amy & Mat
This is a sponsored blog post, but all opinions are our own.