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Forum topic by SkiTique posted 06-06-2016 12:59 PM 683 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SkiTique

44 posts in 329 days


06-06-2016 12:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hickory island top planks

A few months back I made an Island countertop out of walnut and cherry that I had posted on here, it didn’t turn out exactly how my wife had envisioned, so I made a new one out of larger planks of kiln dried Hickory. The overall dimensions are 4’x8’ using 6”, 8” and 10” planks, alternating the growth ring direction. The planks were glued with biscuits placed approximately every 8-10”.

I finished the top with 5 coats of Waterlox original followed by one coat of Waterlox Satin (This product is much more difficult to work with than the original formula). After living in the house for approximately a month now, I have noticed that one end of the top does not sit flat anymore, it is slightly cupped to the point that one side is off the island by about 1/8”” and the other close to 1/4” (I have not fastened the top down to the island yet, was waiting to make sure the boss liked this one).

I only did one coat of Waterlox on the bottom, is the bottom absorbing more moisture and causing the countertop to cup? Are there any suggestions how I can get the top to flatten back out? I live in Michigan, so it does get humid here.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


18 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

689 posts in 1261 days


#1 posted 06-06-2016 01:46 PM

I would first look at the grain on that edge does it run down following the the dip on that corner?
I could have been the one coat finish but other things can affect wood movement.
Maybe that corner gets sun on it and get warmer than the rest of the top.
The boards you choose look nice.You should try to live with it.
There’s no fix I can think of with out cutting things apart.

Aj

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 949 days


#2 posted 06-06-2016 01:54 PM

From all I’ve heard you generally put the the same finish and number of coats everywhere so it absorbs moisture evenly.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3333 days


#3 posted 06-06-2016 02:09 PM

do at least 2 more coats on the bottom, and screw it down, no more than you have it should pull down, you never want to leave something this size just floating .

let it lay with the bottom up until dry, ( day or so) it will probably reverse some, then screw it down, it should be fine

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4451 posts in 3423 days


#4 posted 06-06-2016 02:11 PM

How are you gonna attach the top? Table top “Z” clips I hope. They should pull the top flat if ya use enough of them. Pull them snug, but don’t get ham fisted.
Just my thoughts.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2594 days


#5 posted 06-06-2016 02:11 PM

If it’s cupping,then yes, it sounds like the bottom is expanding from more moisture absorption.
Wait until next winter, when it gets dry again, and if it flattens out, then apply more coats to the bottom.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1832 days


#6 posted 06-06-2016 02:50 PM



How are you gonna attach the top? Table top “Z” clips I hope. They should pull the top flat if ya use enough of them. Pull them snug, but don t get ham fisted.
Just my thoughts.
Bill

- Bill White

I built a mobile island cabinet for our kitchen with a hard maple butcher-block top. Although not as big, I just pocket screwed some plywood strips across the top, used a router to cut some slots in them, and screwed up through with pan-head screws. So far, 3 years going, no problems. My only hesitation with the Z-clips (and I do like to use them), is the width of the top. You’d have no issues with the clips on the underside of the ends, but if you needed to put any along the length of it, the expansion/contraction may shrink the top enough to cause the clips to come out of the groove along the length (this has actually happened to me, during the winter, non a/c room, and in the summer, the clips were all the way in the groove).

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View USAwoodArt's profile

USAwoodArt

243 posts in 405 days


#7 posted 06-06-2016 03:08 PM

Sealing all sides is very important but I do think the problem was caused by not fastening it down right away. If your wife didn’t like it you could have just un-fastened it.

-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself"

View SkiTique's profile

SkiTique

44 posts in 329 days


#8 posted 06-06-2016 04:56 PM

Thanks for all of the input, should I wait for it to flatten before fastening or fasten now and try to draw it down?

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

689 posts in 1261 days


#9 posted 06-06-2016 06:35 PM

I missed the part about the top laying there.I wonder if you will be able to pull it down with screws,Hickory is pretty tough to bend at that thickness.Make sure your island is anchored well.

Good luck

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1832 days


#10 posted 06-06-2016 06:46 PM

Just out of curiosity, did you dye/stain the hickory, or did you use heartwood only? I’ve got a stack of hickory, just curious if you did anything besides the Waterlox.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View SkiTique's profile

SkiTique

44 posts in 329 days


#11 posted 06-06-2016 07:47 PM

BinghamtonEd, the first coat of Waterlox was a mix of waterlox and stain just to give it a slightly darker color. The additional coats were just Waterlox.

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

1077 posts in 3005 days


#12 posted 06-06-2016 08:14 PM

I’ve done 100’s of island tops with just about any wood imaginable. I never glue up boards wider than 8 inches and I always put the boards in the home for at least a week before i build the top. If I use an 8 inch board then all the other boards will be 8 inches and the same for the other widths.

When i finish the top I put 5 coasts of Waterlox on the bottom, sides and the ends and on the top. When I install the top I make sure it has plenty of room for movement. We’ve never had a failure on a wood island or cabinet counter top.

Next week I’ll be building a 12 foot countertop, an 8 foot countertop and an island top 72 inches long and 36 inches wide out of 2” x 8” yellow pine. I put the yellow pine boards in the house last Saturday and will bring them to the shop this Saturday. It will get the same Waterlox treatment. I also plane the boards before I carry them to a home for some climate adjustment.

Cypress Countertop
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/63970

-- Bruce Free Plans http://plans.sawmillvalley.org

View SkiTique's profile

SkiTique

44 posts in 329 days


#13 posted 06-08-2016 01:11 PM

Would it flatten out faster if I ran a dehumidifier in the room for a few days? I would like to flatten it out before I seal the bottom, or is flattening first even needed?

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1193 days


#14 posted 06-08-2016 01:42 PM

I have nothing to add to what’s already been said. What I’d like to know is, how much does that top weigh?? Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

827 posts in 685 days


#15 posted 06-08-2016 02:21 PM

Hickory loves to move around!

Lots of good advice here, acclimating the wood to the environment for a few weeks is a biggie.

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