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Forum topic by missesalot posted 06-21-2016 04:14 PM 562 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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missesalot

102 posts in 1063 days


06-21-2016 04:14 PM

Hey all. I’m working on a 12’ long black walnut countertop for our kitchen. This will be plank style build, planning on using a built up edge for a thicker look. I’m using 4/4 stock, that is 8’ long or less. This countertop will have a sink installed in it. Since I don’t have 12+ long stock, i’m going to be gluing up boards end to end. So far I think I’ll be able to get all the end to end joints located where the sink cutout will be, with the exception of the front and rear most plank, as I figure i’ll need the strength of a solid piece in those areas. My question is, will using domino’s to make those end to end joints work, and do i even need to do that considering the large amount of edge grain that I’ll be gluing up. This is my first build on something not using full length stock so I’m sorta feeling my way through it. Thanks in advance, be gentle:-)


20 replies so far

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 950 days


#1 posted 06-21-2016 04:26 PM

Dominos would be be hell of a lot better than than gluing end grain to end grain. Which doesn’t have much strength at all.

Put solid piece in front and back.

If the only end grain to end grain butt joints are on the front and rear you could probably get by without a domino there but it definitely wouldn’t hurt.

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

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missesalot

102 posts in 1063 days


#2 posted 06-21-2016 06:07 PM

ok, dominos are easy, i’ll use a bunch.

the front and back pieces WILL have an end to end joint, but not near the sink hole, i’ll domino the hell out of those.

am i right in assuming that the long grain contact will be extremely strong, or is this a false sense of security?

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bruc101

1077 posts in 3006 days


#3 posted 06-21-2016 06:20 PM

I built a 22 foot long wood top quiet a few years ago and I used scarf joints. About two years ago the people built a new home. I designed their kitchen to incorporate the same countertop in it. When we finished installing her new kitchen and removed the top from her old home the top was just as strong as the day I built it.

The top was so long we made top cabinet supports like a set of face frames to fit in the inside of the cabinets to screw the top down to. On both sides of the sink we put supports as part of the support frame. The sink was a Kohler and had to weight at least a 100 pounds and the top handled it just fine.

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

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missesalot

102 posts in 1063 days


#4 posted 06-21-2016 06:22 PM

Bruc101, how thick was that top? This one will really only be 4/4 thick, maybe a little less finished, with the built up front edge, and one end. would a scarf joint be a good option on soemthing that thin?

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bruc101

1077 posts in 3006 days


#5 posted 06-21-2016 06:29 PM

The top was 4/4 Cherry with a built up edge. When I built the top I offset the scarf joints. It was actually and still is a very pretty top. I used scarf joints on the drop edge too.

Scarf joints are centuries old and are still holding up old homes and buildings. I’ve got an 18 foot top to build a little later out of 8/4 yellow pine and I’ll use scarf joints on it also.

I would suggest you make a sample and see how it works for you.

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

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Rick M

7920 posts in 1844 days


#6 posted 06-21-2016 06:58 PM

I would shiplap or scarf. Scarf will look better but if you get any moisture you risk the edge of the scarf lifting. I would like to see it when done.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1773 days


#7 posted 06-21-2016 07:02 PM

I could be wrong but all the commercial plank and butcher block counter tops look like simple butt joints. They are aesthetically pleasing and I’v never seen one fall apart.

I’d think the domino’s would help greatly with aliment.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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missesalot

102 posts in 1063 days


#8 posted 06-21-2016 07:10 PM

I’m going to play around with both later and see how it goes. What angle do you recommend cutting the scarfs? My gut is telling me that the dominos will work but I haven’t used scarfs on anything like this so I’m curious to try. Just cut with a miter/chop saw?

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jbay

816 posts in 363 days


#9 posted 06-21-2016 07:12 PM

I would use a finger joint router bit on the ends.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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missesalot

102 posts in 1063 days


#10 posted 06-21-2016 07:12 PM

The other thing I’m nervous about is scribing the thing to the wall over the base cabinets. Old house, nothin is straight…at all. So I’m going to leave it a little big to give me a couple whacks at it. This is actually he long side of an L shaped top, other side is short so I’m not worried about that one.

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Lazyman

695 posts in 851 days


#11 posted 06-21-2016 07:17 PM



The other thing I m nervous about is scribing the thing to the wall over the base cabinets. Old house, nothin is straight…at all. So I m going to leave it a little big to give me a couple whacks at it. This is actually he long side of an L shaped top, other side is short so I m not worried about that one.

- missesalot

Would a backsplash help to hide where the top meets the wall? You may still want to scribe and cut the line but it would at least hide any imperfections.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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missesalot

102 posts in 1063 days


#12 posted 06-21-2016 07:41 PM

Yeah you’re probably right, but then wouldn’t I need to scribe the backsplash to some extent?

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Lazyman

695 posts in 851 days


#13 posted 06-21-2016 08:07 PM

I don’t think so but someone with more experience than I have might disagree? My logic is that as long as the backsplash appears parallel to the long joints in the top it won’t matter. You may have to caulk and paint around the top and ends of the backsplash to hide minor imperfections but If you have some huge divots or humps it might make more sense to level out the wall with some joint compound first. Of course if the problem is that the corner the counter is in is really far off from square, I am not sure how to deal with that.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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runswithscissors

2189 posts in 1489 days


#14 posted 06-22-2016 03:09 AM

If you do scarf joints, do not try the miter saw. A scarf joint should have a minimum of 1:8 thickness to length ratio, even up to 1:12. They are a very strong joint, used often in wooden boat building.

But I would probably try JBay’s suggestion to use a finger joint router bit. They look okay when seen on edge, and seem to be strong enough.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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oldnovice

5729 posts in 2832 days


#15 posted 06-22-2016 04:13 AM

When I built mine I used 1/4” plywood splines since bisquits and dominoes weren’t around yet and dowels don’t like me! Cut the mortises with my router and the 1/4” × 2” wide splines on my table saw.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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