Center Island

This Section Last Updated: 3-27-2007

I was flying on a business trip one day and was leafing through the Sky Mall catalog and happened upon a nifty idea for concealing a trash can in a cabinet. Their version used kind of a piano hinge that folded the trash can out on an angle.

Currently in our kitchen there is no good place for our trash can and the though of hiding it and integrating it into a cabinet really fascinated me.

As I started drawing and designing I came to the conclusion that I was going to set this up as a center island for the kitchen. The center island would have 4 drawers in it and the trash can. The top surface I am toying with the idea of making it butcher block. Then I noticed a nifty little product by Rev-A-Shelf. It is a waste container that is built into a counter top. A light bulb went off. What if I cut a hole into the top so as I am prepping veggies I can sweep off the garbage into the hole and it falls into the trash can! UEREKA!

So I started research on the different hardware that was available for trash cans. I noticed a strong difference in quality as I looked at each hardware companies products. Some products where really cheaply made and was obvious they would not hold much weight. I also noticed most cans were only 35 quarts. I wanted a much larger trash can 50 quarts. So that narrowed down the options really quick.

I came across a product by Knape and Vogt.

SKU: PDMTM14.5-1-50 Color: White Length: 22" depth Size: 50 quart Width: 14-1/4" Height: 21-5/8"
It is a very high quality product with good sliders that can handle 100 lbs of weight.

I also liked that there was this realy cool option of a toe kick to open it. You can imagine your hands are full of trash and you cannot reach down to open the trash can door. You just kick this lever that releases the door and a spring gently rolls the trash can out of the cabinet.

I found a great supplier that had the product in stock.

Well here it is in all of it's beauty. The top turned out incredibly well. My brother Brian had to help me with the top. My tools just were not up to the job.

I have a small 12" x 18" end grain butcher block made by Boos and loved it so much i make the top of this center island out of hard maple with the endgrain of the wood up.

Then i saw a good example of how to make an end grain up butcher block on the Wood Whisperer's web site. I shot Marc an email to see what he thought of such a large top using end grain up and he gave me some great advice.

This is so nice on your kitchen knives. The knife slides into the endgrain and i rarely have to sharpen my knives know. As long as i use my steel before use the knives stay razor sharp.

I did end up tossing out the idea of cutting a hole in the top so i could scoop my veggie bits into the trash can. I found it just as easy to keep the trash can out just a little and scoop into the can that way.

Here you can see how the trash can hardware works. The toe kick takes a little getting use to, but it works really well.

Here is a close up view of the hard maple end grain butcher block top. It is 2 1/4" thick and 27" x 36". It weighs in at nearly 100lbs! We put it together with Titebond III and the finish is plain old mineral oil. I soaked the board with almost a pint of mineral oil over the course of a day and i will have to re-oil the top probably every month.

Once again BIG thanks to my brother Brian without his help i never would have been able to do this nice of a top. If you have not clicked on his name yet he has opened a new web site where he sells custom pens that he turns on his lathe. Really beautiful stuff!

We will see how the top survives the humidity... im a little nervous but i think if i keep it oiled i will be ok.

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