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Jan 25, 2021 - 9:50:22 AM
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rinemb

USA

13030 posts since 5/24/2005

Our kitchen footprint and counter space is limited in out house built in 1912. We have to rely on a kitchen cart on wheels to augment counter space and a bit of storage. Boos carts are too big and too pricey. Our present cart is shown in the pic. Size is just right, we like the big drawer, two open shelves, and the thick butcher block top and the white base. Trouble is, the base is crap wood and chip board shelves. So, the construction is also crap. I have tightened screws so often that the cart is no longer tight. It is unsuitably wobly.
So I am thinking of having a furniture or cabinet carpenter build a very similar base, and attached this top to it.
The small cart is 24" wide, 20" deep, and 33" high-not including casters.
What do you think it would cost me to hire a person to build and paint the base using suitable materials and joinery?
Looking forward to your comments. Brad


 

Jan 25, 2021 - 11:41:25 AM

heavy5

USA

1518 posts since 11/3/2016

I know what you mean trying to tighten screws in poor material .
I've taken a tooth pick or similar w/ epoxy & built up the holes , let it dry , & then tighten the screws w/ usually much better `grip than previous .
Also there are metal (usually brass) inserts you can put in that are threaded externally & internally that are the best (IMO) for these situations , the only down side is they require drilling the screw holes to accept them & space to do add the larger diameters sometimes negates their use .
To have another base made of good material is a tough question as to cost .

Edited by - heavy5 on 01/25/2021 11:55:59

Jan 25, 2021 - 11:54:47 AM
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Brian T

Canada

17729 posts since 6/5/2008

It does not look like complex joinery.
Can you find a h/s kid in a woodworking course, needing a term project?
Maybe what you get isn't an exact clone but you can dictate the essential features in the design.
I wouldn't look for a maker of fine furniture, Not cost effective in the least for your application.

Start with 2 clean freight pallets or a coffee table and you're half way there! I couldn't resist that.

I have a big old Italian kitchen, I love it. I have a big portable dishwasher with a butcher block top that I cannot do without. That's my rolling bench for the pasta machine, the panini press, peeler machine, storage for dirty dishes and other things.

Jan 25, 2021 - 12:45:45 PM

36 posts since 1/17/2019

Repairing the particle board material would be a continual challenge. One option might be to buy an end table of similar size and put casters and your own top on although many furniture items are of particle board composition these days so you may have to look around.

I would expect someone would charge a couple hundred to make a base. Not all that complicated..I make small tables and such out of primed 1x4 etc material from Lowe’s.

Jan 25, 2021 - 2:30:27 PM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

13030 posts since 5/24/2005

I would easily pay 200.00 to recreate (mostly) this cart base with paint with suitable joinery. In fact, more. Since it will be painted, how about poplar? The drawer and hardware takes a bit of skill. My plate is full, and it's winter, so I doubt I would tackle this. Brad

Jan 25, 2021 - 2:32:14 PM

Owen

Canada

7742 posts since 6/5/2011

You wouldn't hear Red Green sayin' that ^^.   cheeky 

Jan 26, 2021 - 6:07:12 AM
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wizofos

USA

5830 posts since 8/19/2012

I often build furniture as needed and would use hard maple since it is strong, and available locally. Birch veneer plywood would match nicely. I would replace the wood towel rack with a nice metal one, a bathroom towel rack would look nice and could get a matching drawer pull. I am not a fan of poplar for furniture especially something like your kitchen cart since it gets pushed around and get 'racked' and open up the joints and screws. I would also build the face of the drawer oversize so the face is on the outside and route something nice on the edges. Kitchens are hot and humid which is not nice for wood so putting the face on the outside allows for expansion and contraction of the wood.
I agree about finding a high school or tech school student looking for a project. You might talk to a local teacher/instructor about that.
As for cost I would suspect that materials would be about $50-$75 or so. Biggest problem is that you only need about 2 x 4' of birch ply for the sides but if you need to buy a full 4' x8' piece you have a lot of waste but you are paying for it.
Good Luck

Jan 26, 2021 - 9:26:29 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

13030 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by wizofos

I often build furniture as needed and would use hard maple since it is strong, and available locally. Birch veneer plywood would match nicely. I would replace the wood towel rack with a nice metal one, a bathroom towel rack would look nice and could get a matching drawer pull. I am not a fan of poplar for furniture especially something like your kitchen cart since it gets pushed around and get 'racked' and open up the joints and screws. I would also build the face of the drawer oversize so the face is on the outside and route something nice on the edges. Kitchens are hot and humid which is not nice for wood so putting the face on the outside allows for expansion and contraction of the wood.
I agree about finding a high school or tech school student looking for a project. You might talk to a local teacher/instructor about that.
As for cost I would suspect that materials would be about $50-$75 or so. Biggest problem is that you only need about 2 x 4' of birch ply for the sides but if you need to buy a full 4' x8' piece you have a lot of waste but you are paying for it.
Good Luck


Yes, the wood towel rod goes, will use metal (wife's choice)  hooks on the other side.  I can buy half sheets of ply with nice hardwood veneers at Home Depot. other good ideas you have suggested.  Those legs on this cart are about 2" x2".   If I go DIY, how would you attach shelves to legs to add structural integrity-no more loosey woobly carts.  

Thx, Brad

Jan 26, 2021 - 10:46:34 AM
Players Union Member

wizofos

USA

5830 posts since 8/19/2012

I would probably do 2x2 cross pieces to support the shelves and do blind 1/2 lap joints. If you put the shelf support on the inside you can glue and use some flat head screws on the insides so they are not too obvious although if you used some brass screw they might not look too bad on the outside. Blind 1/2 lap joints are not easy but they don't show the end grain of the shelf supports. By going with blind joints you let the shelf supports stand proud of the uprights so you can put the shelf slats on them and put a picture frame kind of banding around the shelves flush with the tops of the shelf.

Now you might get some steel angle pieces and paint them flat black on each corner. That might look better if you paint the wood white. If it was natural or stained wood then I would look at brass angles. You can buy steel angles but if you have the time you could get some 2" wide 1/8" thick bar stock, cut and bend it and drill screw holes so the black steel would cover the joints. If you go with the steel angles then you don't need blind joints and can just do 1/2 lap joints because the angles will hide the end grain. Still have to let the shelf supports stand a little proud of the uprights so the shelf supports need to be 2x2 1/2 insteaf of 2x2 so that your shelf supports will be flush with the outsides of the uprights.

I am not sure about the dimensions and would have to think on this a bit but hopefully you get the idea.

Jan 26, 2021 - 5:04:34 PM

Paul R

Canada

13862 posts since 1/28/2010

So far, just one guesstimate. If you want estimates, look up custom furniture builders in your town and send them photos and specs. It will be far more accurate than guesses by banjo players.

We did a bathroom reno back in Toronto and I went to a maker and had him build a corner vanity. A contractor said it couldn't be done. It did and it was a great feature. Now you see them in big box stores.

Jan 26, 2021 - 5:47:58 PM

bubbalouie

Canada

14735 posts since 9/27/2007

Terry bought one of those wheeled islands & had it all together when I came home one day.

She said it came with glue but it was all dried up. She put it together without it. There's probably 10 kinds of glue around here! It's a little wobbly & the drawer is coming apart. I'm not sure if I should re glue this one we've had for years or just get a better new one. 

Jan 27, 2021 - 5:35:44 AM
Players Union Member

wizofos

USA

5830 posts since 8/19/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Paul R

So far, just one guesstimate. If you want estimates, look up custom furniture builders in your town and send them photos and specs. It will be far more accurate than guesses by banjo players.

We did a bathroom reno back in Toronto and I went to a maker and had him build a corner vanity. A contractor said it couldn't be done. It did and it was a great feature. Now you see them in big box stores.


Paul, I think that a lot of contractors and craftsmen quote a high price or say it can't be done because they just don't want to do it or don't have the skills.   We have been trying to get some quotes on a new deck, called 3 local contractors and none even called back. So called someone from a town about 20 miles away, guy came out, listened to us about what we wanted, gave us some suggestions and gave us a quote. Will have a new deck second week in March. We will save some money by demoing the old deck. 

Jan 27, 2021 - 5:54:19 AM
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OM45GE

USA

103997 posts since 11/7/2007

We have a lovely kitchen. It was remodeled about 20 years ago (before we bought the house) so it's showing it's age a bit. We put in new appliances 10 years ago and it has a great tile floor and granite countertops. I do most of the cooking and find it more than meets my needs.

However, my wife thinks it doesn't have enough counter space. I built a rolling 2' by 4' unit out of maple with a 2" thick butcher block top and three storage drawers thinking it would solve the space issue.

What I didn't realize was that "Not enough counter space" really meant "I want a new kitchen". The unit has become primarily storage space and the complaints continue. smiley

Jan 27, 2021 - 6:27:14 AM

Paul R

Canada

13862 posts since 1/28/2010

quote:
Originally posted by wizofos
quote:
Originally posted by Paul R

So far, just one guesstimate. If you want estimates, look up custom furniture builders in your town and send them photos and specs. It will be far more accurate than guesses by banjo players.

We did a bathroom reno back in Toronto and I went to a maker and had him build a corner vanity. A contractor said it couldn't be done. It did and it was a great feature. Now you see them in big box stores.


Paul, I think that a lot of contractors and craftsmen quote a high price or say it can't be done because they just don't want to do it or don't have the skills.   We have been trying to get some quotes on a new deck, called 3 local contractors and none even called back. So called someone from a town about 20 miles away, guy came out, listened to us about what we wanted, gave us some suggestions and gave us a quote. Will have a new deck second week in March. We will save some money by demoing the old deck. 


Glen, we know the frustration of dealing with contractors. We really need work done on the exterior of our house - water eroding some bricks, tuck pointing, proper stone windowsills, and so on. Our neighbour recommended a contractor. It took some time, but he finally came out in October. He not only told us what should be done, but pointed out some other issues, which we realized were valid and needed fixing. This guy has a great reputation. The problem is, he's super busy, and we have yet to get quotes from him.

We had a similar issue when our mechanical septic system broke down. Contractors were way too busy. One said outright that they did multi $$$$ contracts. Ours was not worth it to them. Another, when I called again wondering when they'd visit, said, "We're swamped." I replied, "So am I."

We were the main contractors for the renovation back in Toronto. Everything went well, except for the windows, which frustrated our main reno guy. He couldn't complete the work 'cause the windows were late. 

With the bathroom vanity mentioned above, I just looked in the Yellow Pages and went there, talked to the guy, and he did it. Maybe it's serendipity, maybe it's perseverance, ... .

I assembled one of those carts not long after we bought the T.O. house, but the renovation was way better.




 

Jan 27, 2021 - 6:59:36 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

13030 posts since 5/24/2005

I may get bored in another self quarantine, maybe (upon approval...remember, my wife is a retired designer/decorator). What i could do is drill out and run pushrods across from legs to legs (high and low), and set the washers and nuts in the wood with the appropriate spade bit. Hmmmm? Not sure if that would sell. but could buy time?
Brad

Jan 27, 2021 - 9:11:09 AM
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Wyozark

USA

1075 posts since 12/2/2012

". .. .but could buy time?"  Brad, I've often done this until I come up with a permanent fix. Doing it  now during our major kitchen remodel. For example, did a fast build using wood scraps for a microwave stand that will probably eventually become something else outside or in the garage.

You've received some really excellent advice already and I doubt that I can contribute much. But that's never stopped me before. . .

As to the question about hiring someone to build a cart I am reminded of a story from a long time ago. I was with my dad at a little small town diner and we were talking to a friend who owned a backhoe. Dad asked him what he charged for his work. Dad was astounded at the $15.00 an hour rate. The friend said something like, " I know it's a lot, but I really can't afford to charge less."

I guess that amount tells you how long ago this took place. . .

Anyway. . .

Five years ago we needed a working surface in the laundry room remodel for Mrs. Wyozark. We decided to build a cart and bought some tin bins from Walmart to provide some storage. It was made out of  a 2 x4 and 3/4" white pine which is readily available everywhere. Inspired by some old zinc-topped tables I've seen in antique shops I bought a galvanized sheet panel from Home Depot and laid it over a piece of MDF. Added some wheels and it was good to go. Actual zinc panels are a little expensive, but I think if I was going to build something that would be seen routinely that I would go that route. Zinc is more malleable than the steel sheet.

Not much money was invested in the project. My son was certain that I could build these and make some good profit. But I just don't work that way. Once I've made something I'm usually ready to move on to something else.

I wish we lived just a little closer; I'd knock out the base for you and let you finish it. But alas . .




Jan 27, 2021 - 11:37:36 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

13030 posts since 5/24/2005

Micheal, looks great. I like your top choice for that application. Brad

Jan 27, 2021 - 12:16:13 PM
Players Union Member

wizofos

USA

5830 posts since 8/19/2012

rinemb Brad, was thinking about this and wondered if you have any custom cabinet shops in your area.
They might be able to make you a cabinet carcass the right size and height the you would have to probably add some sides and wheels. They might even have some rejects that they would sell you for a good price. I have used salvaged kitchen cabinets in my shop, just lined them up and plopped a piece of high density particle board on top and bobs your uncle, drawers, doors and shelves.

Jan 27, 2021 - 12:47:27 PM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

17729 posts since 6/5/2008

Bob was my uncle.

Nice work, Michael/Wyozark. Functional furniture like that is a pleasure to use.

My portable dishwasher is a nice rolling kitchen bench.
Brutal 45 minute cycle does a good job.

I built an island work bench for my hobby shop. About 60" square, no wheels, all 2x4 and 2x6 = heavy. Power miter saw, 9" band saw, 8" drill press, Scroll saw on the 4 edges. I can twist it a little and work a 16' 2x4, out the door and down the hall, if I need to.

Jan 27, 2021 - 1:07:06 PM
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Owen

Canada

7742 posts since 6/5/2011

quote:
Originally posted by rinemb

I may get bored in another self quarantine, maybe........ <snip>


Dunno whether I should be offering woodworking advice to you, or t'other way around, but I advocate getting bored!!  

I'd look at: 1) disassemble cart,  2) make replica pieces* of real wood, 3) assemble pieces [i.e replicas, not originals], 4) have a  weenie roast with originals.

* = depending on joinery methods, (insert famous last words).... "How hard can it be?"   A table-mounted router could be quite useful.

Not too long ago I more-or-less used that ^^ method  to make a replacement kitchen cupboard drawer for one of my daughters.   [Fwiw, Brian's uncle gave it a yes .]

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