I hope I can get some help with this; I'm a newbie DIYer with few tools and even less experience...
I need to make a kitchen island. I looked at the fabulous plans on this site but quite honestly, they're a little beyond what I can do at this stage. Also, I can't seem to get butcher block in the requisite thickness. So I had the idea of re-using an old table and turning that into an island. It's a big solid mahogany table with chunky legs. The table top is split lengthwise, there's a slight gap and the previous owner told me that this always appears in winter and shrinks closed in summer (I live in the Mediterranean and it's humid here, all wood is constantly 'moving'). Otherwise the table is in perfect shape.
I have two questions:
1) I would like to make the legs longer to raise the table to kitchen top height, around 10cm/3in. The legs are chunky and square and I found 4x4 wood in my local DIY shop. Am I wrong in thinking that I could just screw blocks of the 4x4 at the bottom of each leg?
2) I'd like to put a hob in the island so I need around 25mm/1in thickness minimum. In order to make the table top thicker I'd like to put a sheet of hardwood on top - I can get beech in 16mm. Questions: how should I do this - glue it on? Screw it on from the bottom? Both? Also: what about that split in the mahogany top - if it really does shrink, it might break my beech top? Any ideas?
I'm planning on painting the whole table structure underneath the beech top white so the alterations shouldn't show too much. The beech top I was thinking of just oiling a few times and leaving it.
Is the whole thing a stupid idea, or could it work?
Thanks so much for any help/insights you can give me.