Firstly, thank you again to all of the people who replied in the first entry, you guys helped to expand my view of this project. Especially big thanks to MacB who is an unexpected gift from above, he is helping me design my new kitchen. And when I say help I mean that he is designing something for me out of the kindness of his heart and all I have to do for now is to stay out of the way.. That is so unreal and unexpected, the community here in LJ is absolutely amazing.
Now while the design is on the way, I have some time to think about the next step, which for me is the countertop. Today after work I will be bringing home a 2” slab of Iroko(also called Afrcan Teak; Poor man’s Teak; Iroko Mahogany) rough dimensions are 32” by 13 feet, but I will probably use about 9 feet for the countertop.
So I have read about it and as I understand it is very durable, the oil content is quite high, so the top doesn’t need a lot of treatment. But I still need to plane it and sand it and for that I read that due to it’s toughness you need quality sharp tools and patience. I am tinkerign with the idea of using a hand plane and sand paper instead of powertools, because handplaning gives me more control than anything else and as far as I saw in the lumberyard, the material was not terribly warped.
So I am trying to achieve a silk smooth feel on the top, maybe some gloss or even high gloss, not sure about that yet. Anyone here worked with Iroko and got any good tips for me? How far should I sand it up to, 1500 sounds enough? Should I oil between some sanding to make sure no grains come up after I apply my finish coat of lineseed oil and beeswax?
Also, the slab features awesome sapwood on both sides of the board (see pics below), I feel that the white lines would make great contrast in the top. How is sapwood for these kind of applications, is it durable enough to leave on the outside edge, should I butt it against the backdrop, or should I leave it out altogether?
Is there any other tips about making counter tops from such large slabs? Should I make any vertical or horizontal cuts in the bottom side to eliminate the threat of warping, or should I be fine without them?
-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.