wood countertops

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Forum topic by Kent posted 03-21-2011 02:37 AM 2048 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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42 posts in 3804 days

03-21-2011 02:37 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip cherry finishing

Hello !

I was once an avid contributor back when this great site started in 2006. I will try to post more in the coming weeks. But questions relate to

Wood Kitchen Countertops.

As a short preliminary, I have been working on my house for 9 weeks or so now, 3 or 4 ten hour days per week. My new cherry Kraftsmaid cabinets will arrive on Wednesday. Are these pretty decent cabinets? I purchased them Home Depot. I figure I will let them acclimate 2-3 days? Long enough? The cherry countertops will be one of the finals step of this home renovation. My hands and body hurt all over. (I put down 500 square foot of tile with backerboard and 325 square feet of hickory; I removed walls, built arches and will do 11 steps in walnut soon.

I will have roughly 4 different tops each 26” wide and about 44 inches long. Edge glued cherry with biscuits.


1) should I put some 3/4” plywood underneath (between the cherry and the cabinet? I was going to trim out the edges with 2” walnut. I like the extra height but am wondering if it is necessary or desireable to have this under the cherry; If I do….

2) should I put silicone between the plywood and the cherry to allow some movement? I can’t imagine I should glue it. felt paper? How movement is really going to happen. My cherry has been dry for 8 years.

3) how would you nail or screw the cherry down? I want to allow it to move….Perhaps just a few finish nails with my nailer? do i nail the plywood to the cabinet? Or just skip the plywood and screw the cherry to the cabinet from underneath?

4) I do not plan on using this surface for chutting or chopping. (I have plenty end grain boards for that). I would like to hard finish with out too much gloss. What are your recommendations for the final finish after I stain it with matching stain for the cabinet? I would like something more than mineral oil and salad bowl varnish is not necessary since I am not eating on it.

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.

Kent from Urbana IL

6 replies so far

View Kent's profile


42 posts in 3804 days

#1 posted 03-21-2011 02:40 AM

the cherry is 7/8 thick….

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2799 days

#2 posted 03-21-2011 02:47 AM

I use the figure 8 Fasteners to hold down solid wood tops. They allow movement from front to back. I fasten them to a shallow indent on the top of a cabinet side and then screw up into the top.
If you are going to put a plywood base for the wood to rest on (of course not fastened to the plywood), then you would have to cut some access holes through the ply to screw into the wood top.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View Kent's profile


42 posts in 3804 days

#3 posted 03-21-2011 02:54 AM

Thanks Gary. Couldn’t I screw the ply into the cabinet and use the figure 8’s between the ply and cherry top?

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 2731 days

#4 posted 03-21-2011 04:15 AM

IMO forget the ply go get some pan head screws and some large fender washers drill the cabs with a 3/8 or 1/4 bit for clearance . as far as finsh if you stain dont dont dont put out oil on top of that I would wipe on a 50/50 poly mineral spirt mix then scuff it and brush on two coats of full stregnth coats then sand the tops to perfection working from 220 – 400 then I would apply two more coats of 50/50 mix with a synthetic pad (grey) then let it cure for a week or two and buff it with a white syn pad

-- As Best I Can

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2648 days

#5 posted 03-21-2011 04:22 AM

Diddo on the figure 8 fasteners.

I would pass on the plywood and using biscuits all together.

Not sure how you could use the fasteners after installing the plywood. Here’s a pic of the fasteners being used.

-- New Auburn,WI

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2799 days

#6 posted 03-22-2011 09:17 PM

Kent…If you are using ply I assume you are adding a nosing on the front edge of the top to hide the ply edge. Fasten the ply to the cabinets and then drill perhaps a 1” thru hole with a shallow indent next to it on top of the ply to set the figure 8 into. then screw thru your 1” hole to fasten the figure 8 to your wood top.
ScottN’s photo shows what I mean by the shallow indent/rebate/counterbore/etc. One thing on that photo is that the orientation of the figure 8’s is incorrect. The two facing toward each other will restrict move across that direction. You need to orient them to swing with the movement of the top.
I would agree with others on possibly eliminating the ply all together.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

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