Because this project uses purchased Legs, your first step should be ordering those. That way, you’ll know that they’re available before you start making the other parts.
Now you can start assembling the island base. First, attach the Rail/Support assembly to one set of Legs using 1 1/4" fine-thread pocket hole screws, as shown. Note that the Side Rails are inset 1/4" from the outer face of the Legs. Make sure that the pocket holes are oriented correctly for attaching the island top later.
Now you can begin creating the island top. Though it looks like it’s made from thick boards, it’s actually all made from ordinary 1x6 boards (we used soft maple). You’ll start by making an extra-long panel, then cutting off the ends. Then you’ll attach these cutoffs underneath and add long edge boards to create this unique look.
Cut five Top Boards to length from 1x6 boards, as shown in the cutting diagram. Note that you’re cutting these longer than the final length of the island top. Then, with your pocket hole jig set up for 3/4" material, drill pocket holes in the Top Boards, as shown. The holes nearest the ends of each board need to be positioned away from the ends, as shown.
Next, add the Top Boards using wood glue and 1 1/4" coarse-thread pocket hole screws. Make sure you have glue spread along the board edges all the way to the ends. After the glue sets, cut 1 1/2" off each end of the Top assembly, as shown. A circular saw with an edge guide works great for doing this.
Now you can add the pieces underneath the Top panel to create the thick look. To do this, start by cutting two Top Long Edges to length from a 1x2 board, mitering the end of each piece at 45°. Then take the trips you cut off of the top and miter the ends at 45°, as well. Make sure you align the miters with the ends of the strips so that you don’t cut off any length.
Once you have the Top assembly done, you’re ready to attach it to the island base. If you plan to paint the base, though, do that before attaching the top. Be sure, also, that you use a food-safe finish on the top. Linseed oil or butcher-block finish works great.
TIP: GET THE RIGHT ANGLE
When you attach the top to the island base, space is too tight to get a full-size drill and driver in position. Pick up a right-angle attachment for your drill, which you can get for as little as $20, plus a short #2 square-drive bit, and you’ll be able to attach the screws in tight quarters without a problem.