This is the most beautiful island/cart I have ever seen. Read all the other reviews and most are spot on. I did have to sand the top, but honestly, with this type of wood, this is going to be the case with ANY wood product that is new and then oiled afterward. The grain will ALWAYS expand and seem like the surface is "rough." This should be expected with any unfinished wood product. I have NO regrets with this purchase and would highly recommend this product (and all other Catskill Craftsmen product) to anyone.
I am very pleased with the Catskill Craftsmen Empire Island Kitchen Cart (#1480), and it arrived sooner than expected. With my husband's help (well, he probably did most of it), we put it together in an afternoon. There were 3 pieces of defective hardware, which was promptly shipped to us upon request to Catskill. The only reason I've given it 4 stars so far is that, even with a small discount, I think it's a bit overpriced. But I think it's a good-looking piece and just the right size for where I need to use it. We recently assembled it and just started using it, so I can't say now how it will withstand regular, long-term use but it seems plenty sturdy. I think I will put a clear coat finish on the lower part (excluding shelves and butcher block top) just for my personal preference. But if the size and look seem to be what you're after, then I really would recommend this for you. *After using this for nearly 3 months, I have a couple of comments to add. One of the reasons I purchased this cart was because of the pull-out shelves. However, there seems no way to secure them while out, which means they slide back in too easily ... and that could be disastrous. Also, had thought to put a natural finish on the cabinet base and just oil the butcher block top. But since the top so quickly sucks up the recommended oil and gets rough again, even after sanding it smooth, I will now sand it smooth once again and put a good finish on the top as well as the cabinet.
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