Counter top

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Project by pauls posted 04-04-2010 05:56 PM 1609 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Counter top
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I just finished making this new counter top out of Jatoba, Birch, Walnut, and Cherry. The face trim is Oak.
It was my first experience making something like this and was quite a learning experience including a major lesson in finishing. I had been hesitant in reading books and articles about finishing because it seemed to be a very complex topic so I fignured I would not worry about it and just stick with a tung oil finish and/or pure tung oil for all my projects. This worked very well for me (mostly made boxes) until this project. After I finished it with thinned pure tung oil it looked great at first and then after a few days I had a MAJOR splotching issue and it turned a very dull/dirty amber. So after reading Taunton’s Guide to Finishing by Jeff Jewitt, and getting some advise from Lumberjocks member Tbone and going to Jeff’s forum at, I sanded it back down to bare wood, did a sealcoat and did 4 layers of a waterborne polyacrylic topcoat. I left the oak in tung oil because it still looked good and it matched our hardwood floor. It was a hard lesson but I now feel a lot more confident in selecting and applying a finish on future projects. I spent so much time learning all the woodworking skliis only to discover there is a reason it is called “finishing’!

-- PS. "Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they're yours." R. Bach

11 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


15847 posts in 2227 days

#1 posted 04-04-2010 06:02 PM

Nice work. I had a similar finishing problem on the mantel I built. Once done, I rubbed it with wax and it gummed up the whole finish had to start over! Cool website you posted, thx.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View pauls's profile


29 posts in 2515 days

#2 posted 04-04-2010 07:28 PM

Ken. Thanks for your comment about the wax. I had also done a layer of paste wax and had not considered that it may have made the problem even worse. Great input and looking forward to learning more every day!!

-- PS. "Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they're yours." R. Bach

View remy97's profile


206 posts in 2053 days

#3 posted 04-04-2010 07:32 PM

looks nice man, good wood seclection

-- ---ray suppan--- anger + woodworking = -finger AHHHHHHHH!!!!

View woodworm's profile


14144 posts in 2629 days

#4 posted 04-04-2010 08:01 PM

It looks so beautiful – the stripes of wood colour & grain pattern nicely blended.
Nicely done!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 2069 days

#5 posted 04-04-2010 09:39 PM

Now that’s one beefy counter top. Nice work.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2711 days

#6 posted 04-04-2010 10:52 PM

Thats a beautiful countertop.

View chrisstef's profile


13253 posts in 2045 days

#7 posted 04-05-2010 01:47 AM

Cpuntertop looks great, nice work ith the colors. But ive got to say your makin me scared to finish my latest project with that final coat of paste wax … maybe ill look into shellac .. lol

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View jjagerson's profile


42 posts in 2016 days

#8 posted 04-05-2010 07:17 AM

those are great colors. I love the idea of mixing planks like that for a very interesting top. Good job!

View tbone's profile


267 posts in 2723 days

#9 posted 04-05-2010 04:22 PM

I love the look. I am seeing more and more wood countertops on the TV shows and in the magazines. Your finish should be easy to maintain as the need arises.

By the way, when I zoom in on your photo, I notice something very strange in the background—LP’s!
I hope you’re still playing ‘em.

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View remy97's profile


206 posts in 2053 days

#10 posted 04-05-2010 04:34 PM

its a shame people dont use as much wood for countertops anymore, laminate, marble and graphite no wood, we have a laminate counter top but everything in our whole house is wood

-- ---ray suppan--- anger + woodworking = -finger AHHHHHHHH!!!!

View pauls's profile


29 posts in 2515 days

#11 posted 04-05-2010 06:24 PM

Tbone-yes those are LP’s and we do listen to them. Old tech analog beats digital every time.

-- PS. "Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they're yours." R. Bach

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