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How to Build a Child's Kitchen Prep Station

DIY Network's Carter Oosterhouse shows how to build a child's kitchen prep table.

More in Home Improvement

Step 1: Cut the Butcher Block

Use the table saw to rip the butcher block to a size suitable for a child to use.

Step 2: Build the Wood Skirt Base

Next make the wood skirt base that will serve as the framework for the legs and support for the entire structure. Measure four equal lengths of wood around the perimeter of the butcher block, leaving a modest overhang on two opposing sides of the butcher block. Secure the four pieces vertically with wood glue and nails. Add four smaller wood pieces (cleats) and secure them inside the skirt horizontally, leaving just enough space for the four legs in the corners.

Step 3: Attach the Skirt to the Butcher Block

Once the skirt is assembled, place it on the butcher block and drill pilot holes into the inside cleat. Secure the skirt onto the butcher block with screws.

Step 4: Measure for the Legs

The recommended height for this prep station is 30 inches, just the right height for a young chef and low enough to be tucked beneath a standard 32-inch countertop when not in use. Measure the 8/4 maple to the appropriate length for the legs, keeping in mind that the butcher block and casters add to the total height.

Step 5: Attach the Legs

Place glue on one side of the legs, as well as in the area on the butcher block into which the legs will fit. The legs should fit snugly, but a hammer may be required to fit the legs in to place. Using a countersink bit, drill into the legs at an angle toward each corner and then place screws to hold everything in place

Step 6: Add the Shelves

Add shelves to the station with the 3/4-inch maple slats. Start by assembling a square frame that will fit snugly inside the four legs. Assemble the four sides together with wood glue and nails. In order to space the 14-inch slats evenly, hold a 1/4-inch spacer at the center point of the frame and then secure the two adjacent slats with glue and brad nails. Continue using the spacer to maintain an even gap between slats. Repeat this process for both shelves, continuing out from the center.

Step 7: Sand the Shelves

Lightly hammer the slats down in place for added safety, and sand down the shelves with a sander for a smooth finish and to eliminate splinters.

Step 8: Secure the Shelves

Use a pencil to mark 12 inches above the bottom of the legs. The other shelf will be flush with the bottom of the legs. Secure the shelves with a dab of wood glue and brad nails, making sure everything is nice and flush. Be sure the nails are on the inside so they won’t be seen.

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