Kevin — March 4, 2008, 7:16 pm

The Handyman Can’t

Ok, I admit it, I have no business owning a toolbox, much less power tools. I suck at home repair / renovation / upgrades / whatever. Even Assembling bonehead items from Ikea taxes my meager handyman abilities. I mean, I managed to put up some new venetian blinds on my windows with luck and some light cursing, but I really had no business undertaking the job outined below.

So here’s the thing. My new apartment has NO COUNTER SPACE. We’re talking a complete absence of ANY sort of working surface. The entire “kitchen” (and I use the phrase loosely) consists of a row of essential items which are a small fridge, a small stove, a sink, and then it’s a wall. When I was unpacking I stood there holding my toaster scratching my head saying “where the hell do I put this?”. Finding a home for the microwave had me totally boggled. No surface, whatsoever. When I wash dishes, I have to slowly add water to the sink, wash the dish, rinse with the water running out of the tap, and then dry them on top of the stove in a little folding dish rack that lives under the sink when it’s not in use. It’s kind of like cooking in a russian space capsule. Well, that’s what I imagine when I’m doing it, anyhow.

So, since I needed a home for the microwave and a place to make guacamole, I figured I’d get a kitchen island. Those are handy, right? Sure! So I went to Ikea and got myself a “GROLAND”:


Perfect! However, this thing now takes up the tiny bit of floorspace I had earmarked for some sort of eating surface. I’ve always been a fan of bar extensions – you see them in some fancy-pants homes sometimes. Those cool freestanding kitchen islands with the little raised bar bit that has two stools next to it and is used for breakfast or whatnot? I figured bolting one of those dealies on to my “Groland” would allow me to prepare nosh on one side and then consume it on the other. Double the functionality with a the same small floor footprint!

I went to Ikea (again) and got the “PRONOMEN” countertop and some funky “CAPITA” brackets. The instructions give you this formula for measuring X and Y and putting holes in Z, which, I assume, places the bar so that the weight of it is transfered directly on the main kitchen island itself. If you had the “wing” hanging too far out, it might tip the thing over, so I made sure I followed the directions (which stole a bit of my preparing area, but I wanted to play it safe).

You attach the legs to the pre-cut countertop and big mother bolts get buried into fresh holes you drill into your target surface, which you then tighten with a massive nut. Easy!


However, when it came time to bore the holes, I kinda forgot to measure the thickness of the target surface. I ended up boring into one of the support beams and when I mounted the bar extension, the bolts didn’t hang down enough to allow me to affix the nuts.



Undeterred, I decided to affix the bar extension to the island by means of SCIENCE!


I stuffed wadded tissue into the gaping holes underneath my island and loaded each hole with a generous dose of 2 ton epoxy. Then I mashed the bar on top, plunged the bolts into the goop filled holes, and it’s now being held in place with two big pots of water (for weight) while the epoxy sets.


Hopefully by tomorrow the new bar will be firmly attached to the island and I’ll finally have a place to eat my instant noodles! Wahoo!


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI.

  1. Comment by bubby.oxide @ March 5, 2008, 9:57 am

    Russian Space Capsule. That had me laughing. You post do a panorama of the place. It sounds smaller than I can imagine.

  2. Comment by lizzielizzie @ March 5, 2008, 10:19 am

    SCIENCE! I’m great at assembling out of the box stuff, except I always make one huge grave error that requires fixing. Y’know, putting a panel on upside down or backwards, that sort of thing. Good luck with the island!

    Also, if you’re doing prep work before turning the stove on, you can use the stove as additional prep space if you have a big cutting board or two. Just plunk them on the (cold) burners and prep away, then move the bowls of chopped/mixed stuff to wherever you can, ditch the boards, and fire it up.

  3. Comment by Cameron @ March 5, 2008, 10:56 am

    How many square feet is it? I think Kim guessed 300.

  4. Comment by LaLouche @ March 6, 2008, 1:24 pm

    This will end in tears, Kev. I feel it in my bones. 🙂

  5. Comment by dag68 @ March 6, 2008, 9:30 pm

    You could maybe attach the one end to the wall with some L brackets – to keep it from tipping over and leaving you severed in two with a bowl of cheerios on you face. Kinda like the earthquake straps ikea provides with bookshelves.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.