I was a little hesitant to buy this after reading the reviews, but I'm glad I did. Read the previous reviews, as we got several good ideas. We made a copy of the parts list and then cut it up and pasted it on each part. That really helped. I thought the instructions were pretty good, but there were a couple of parts that not really easy to do. I ended up leaving out a couple of pins, but it is sturdy and not wobbly at all. My husband and I worked together most of the time and it took us about 8 hours to complete it. It looks really nice, moves easily and I really like the fact that it has doors on both front and back to make it really easy to access the cooking supplies inside. The drawer is really big and great for big bulky implements. The top, doors, front,back and side supports and extension leaves are nice solid blocks of wood, but the side panels are just a flimsy piece of plywood veneer. It would have been much better if the sides were made the same way as the doors and were a solid panel. The interior had a bottom and an adjustable shelf. Both of those were just plywood and aren't super sturdy and they are both only supported by 4 thin furniture pins. There is plenty of room inside, but I would think you would have to be really careful not to put anything really heavy inside. The whole unit was pretty rough. Definitely needed sanding and oiling. The 2 lockable castors I paced on opposing corners and that does help keep it from moving, but they are really hard to lock. I am hoping that they will get better with use. Not "fine furniture", but I think it will hold up well in my country kitchen.
I love the looks of this kitchen cart. The assembly was pretty easy to follow. It took us about 3 hours to complete the whole thing. The only complaint I have about the cart is that the sides are constructed out of very thin veneer siding. It wouldn't take much for a small child to stick a foot or throw something through the sides. That is my only caution; otherwise, it is beautiful and sturdy and a great addition to our kitchen.
- How did the color on site compare with the actual product? Very accurate
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. Quality good except the veneer siding
- How accurate was the on site description of the product? Accurate description
If the instructions were sent out prior to receiving the unit I would have refused to build it. Parts aren't labeled, drawings are pathetic and the written instructions aren't much better. Even if they posted a YouTube video of the assembly that could greatly improve the experience. The build literally took 8 hours over 2 days because the instructions were so poor. Now that it is built it is a very good quality piece of furniture. It has a huge amount of storage space with easy access from both sides. It has doubled our usable counter space and once it full it stays in place very easily. Kids like the pullouts as they pullout at table height and like having breakfast on it (reduces the bickering!). Just be careful of a few random splinters!
- How did the color on site compare with the actual product? Color was nicer than on the site not as yellow as in the picture, more red undertones
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. The side panels are a little thin, the Bastion bolts are a crappy way to make sturdy but the cutting board top more than makes up for it.
I have doubled my counter top space in my apartment with this unit. I had no idea it came with two cutting board side drawers. (I thought those were just shelf top type drawers.) I had no idea it had doors on the back so I can open it to get to the stuff in side from both sides of the unit. And it's on wheels!!!! So I can leave it in my dining area when not in use (not much in my dining area), and roll it into the kitchen when I need to do food prep. It was missing a door glide, so I called up Craftsmen to tell them about it and the lady just took my name and address and shipped two right on out. It showed up in two business days! I was so excited to have those door glides that I immediately put them on the finish off the unit. And I'm glad she sent two instead of just one because the ones sent did not match the ones that came in the unit, so I just used her two on one drawer and the original two on the other drawer. This way the, the behavior may be different between the drawers, but the grip is the same on both sides of the drawers. The shelves and side panels are really rough around the edges so handle carefully or you'll get splinters. I know some people complain about the finish, but I have to put a table cloth on mine to protect it from the cat so color/finish does not matter to me. The butcher block is beautiful and big. I've got some food grade mineral oil on the way so I can start using it to prepare food. I've shown it to a friend of mine and she is so jealous! She got another kitchen island cart that doesn't even begin to compare. Hers has no wheels; it's not a butcher block, etc. This island cart provides so much functionality and utility for me that it was well work the 800 smackers! Once again, I've doubled my counter top space, was able to move a lot of utensils into the drawer area, I can hang rags and towels on the side, access the appliances from both sides of the unit, (doors on both sides), do prep work on the side cutting boards as well as the butcher block itself, and roll it out of the way when not in use. This unit rocks!
- How did the color on site compare with the actual product? Quite spot on
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. Sturdy, could have caused me splinters so I handled carefully
- How accurate was the on site description of the product? Site needs another picture of unit from back side to show doors
After searching for a kitchen island for a couple of weeks, I decided on the Catskill Craftsmen Empire Island. I was fully prepared after reading the buyers' feedback, so there were no surprises for me: yes, the wood color does vary from very light to medium dark so there is no uniform look to the piece. Yes, the work surfaces were "fuzzy" on arrival. Yes, it takes a while to assemble and it is not for a faint of heart. Yes, there are only two wheels that lock. But after reading the Q&A on Catskill website, here is what I did: 1. Before starting the assembly, I read the directions, laid out the parts and marked them with the sticky notes. 2. To even up the color of the island, I used Danish Oil (needs at least 2 to 3 applications to get the plywood pieces to look better, and boy does it smell! Be sure to air out the room after every application). 3. Took care of the "fuzz" with fine sandpaper block and used mineral oil with wax to condition the work surfaces (apply warm and do it twice). The result is just wonderful. 4. Placed the locking wheels diagonally from each other - it makes the island less prone to move. Now that I have been using the island for a few weeks, I just love it! The construction is very solid and the pieces fit together like a glove. The sliders operate very smoothly and feel sturdy. The space inside is very generous keeping my oversized pots, pans and bowls easilty accessible and well organized. The drawer is deep and wide, so I bought a couple of bamboo dividers to keep things well arranged. The handles are solid and double as kitchen towel holders - a great help in my kitchen. This is not a cheap buy, but is a great value for the money. It is made in the US, and it makes me feel good that I can support American manufacturer for a change.
- How did the color on site compare with the actual product? Very close
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. Except for a couple of "veneers" (read "plywood"), this is a very solid and beautifully crafted peace.
- How accurate was the on site description of the product? Quite accurate
This is a very well built Island. This is the first time I put something together that I did not have to worry about stripping out the screws. I was able to actually tighten them. The instructions have a little to be desired. Once you figure out the first diagram you got it made. I followed the advice of another reviewer and made a copy of the list of parts and then cut out the separate parts and taped them to the appropriate pieces. That way I knew I had every thing before I started and when the time came that I needed the part it was very easy to find. Everything was included in the packaging. I had been looking at this very Island for a couple of years trying to decide if it was worth it. With the free shipping and 10% off I finally took a chance and I am impressed and wish I would have went ahead sooner. No Regrets
- How did the color on site compare with the actual product? Natural wood can be stained to any color
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. Very good quality
- How accurate was the on site description of the product? very accurate
finished product looks great and is very solid.however, very difficult to put together. product was worth it and looks great with lots of storage space.
- How did the color on site compare with the actual product? good
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. very good
- How accurate was the on site description of the product? accurate
2 of the 4 doors were missing, company was great and sent out new ones immediately. assembly with 2 people took hours, but there is a lot going on with this island. I think title is deceptive - you are purchasing a KIT to build an island, not an actual island.
- How did the color on site compare with the actual product? Well
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. beautiful solid wood - some pieces needed sanding
- How accurate was the on site description of the product? fine
The best price on this product available at the time of pruchase. Was a little concerned with some reviews about the assembly of the island being difficult, but it proved to be fun and a timely project. The parts are not numbered and must be identified from the assembly instructions. We found an easy way to do this by copying the page with the pictured parts, and then cutting them apart and taping them to each piece. Worked very well. Did have an issue in that there was only one set of doors, but a call to the customer service at Catskill Craftsmen was pleasant and productive. Excellent service.
- How did the color on site compare with the actual product? Very nice natural oiled finish true to the pictured product.
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. Great quality
- How accurate was the on site description of the product? Very good and accurate description of the island.
I would recommend this product. The materials were first rate, the pre drilled holes, and pre cut dimensions werwe very accurate. The assembly was a bit daunting at first, but sticking to the instructions soon paid off. A high quality product and made in the USA with local materials. Win ,Win
- How did the color on site compare with the actual product? very close
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. terrific
- How accurate was the on site description of the product? very
I love the look of this crate . but it is very hard to put together , The wood is beautiful . and the look is also . but it is not as solid as you think it would be , it wobbles when you move it or bump it . I have bungee cords holding it still until I can get some L Brackets.Get rid of the Bastion post and barrel they don't make the unit strong enough . I would recommend it If you have put it togeather before. and they need to IMPROVE ON THE INSTRUCTION AND THE HARD WARE IS THE WORST . and they don't give you extra anything so when the heads of the screws get strip and you cant get them out . or in . what a mess. and to buy good screws. the holes are pre drilled but you have to drill them again . I wanted to get another one but not at that price and with all the head ach it gives you. :They need hardware that a fine furniture store would use .Beautiful to look at but waiting for it to fall apart the top does help a little to keep it from wobbing .