|Project by toddbeaulieu||posted 10-13-2016 09:53 PM||1512 views||4 times favorited||9 comments|
As part of our home kitchen renovation that’s now in month #11 … I finally have the counter tops in. The Wife no longer has to balance pots an dishes on the sink!
I expect that when I build the drawers and white painted inset fronts the counters will really shine. I’ll figure out the back splash at some point. It’s hard to tell from the photos but it’s all hand scraped with depressions and even scraper chatter marks. Satin finish. Believe it or not, the rows line up perfectly at the miter.
I bought a fancy Woodhaven circle jig to route the stepped hole for the inset compost bin. That jig worked great and I’m pleased with the purchase. I couldn’t afford to not get it exact and perfect after all that work. Note that at this point it was gloss and you can see why I was unhappy with the surface.
Working with limited and sketchy material
I really thought this project was going to be relatively simple but two issues really impacted the timeline and effort level. For starters the batch of rough-sawn lumber that I started with was sketchy. I didn’t realize that until I started milling it. It was milled too thin IMO, but more importantly, there were too many punky areas that dramatically impacted the yield and left me planning rows according to how much I could cheat on the 45 degree corner. I wanted each row to be the same thickness all the way around, so as i milled pieces I sorted them according to final thickness. Each row starting from the rear row, working inwards required less material because of the corner and I actually had to use that to my advantage, saving shorter lengths for the the inner rows. What a hassle!
The Arm-R-Seal Nightmare
I’ll take full responsibility for my terrible experience with a finish that I’ve used many times, but still managed to fatally screw up here. The VERY short version is that I didn’t use grain sealer first and still expected to be able to get a mirror gloss finish. Ten coats in I ended up stripping it all off with a hand scraper. The second time in … I didn’t let it dry enough and ended up with crinkles. Yup … strip it off again! Third time was a charm. I changed the plan this time and went with a hand scraped look and a satin finish. Also realized that I was applying WAY TOO MUCH finish on. I will figure this out eventually! Anyway, I’m much happier with the more rustic look.