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Countertop joint question

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Forum topic by rhinoburn posted 07-18-2011 05:52 PM 2093 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rhinoburn

4 posts in 1971 days


07-18-2011 05:52 PM

Hello all…new to posting…but I’ve been lurking for a couple of weeks. Lots of great info and ideas out here.

I’m installing a wooden countertop in our kitchen this week. They’ll be edge grain 2×2 hard maple and more for looks than function – but should be hard enough to handle knives droppiing, etc. I’ve decided, after reading all the great commentary on food-safe wood countertop finishes, on a mineral oil-beeswax blend to finish it off.

Counter is 2’x11’ with a 90 degree right turn that is 2’8”. My question is on the best way to close up that mitred joint.

Should I use some mending plates underneath? Something else?

Are there any filler products or tips that I should know of that would work well if I have gaps at the joint?

Please keep in mind that i’m fairly new to woodworking (though I’ll have help from my pretty accomplished father-in-law)...so the simpler you could keep your answers the better.

Thanks for taking the time to help me out…it is much appreciated.


8 replies so far

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PurpLev

8523 posts in 3115 days


#1 posted 07-18-2011 06:06 PM

for the joinery you can use something like this (that one is from leevalley):

as for the counter top – unless it’s being constantly used and washed for food preparation (like a cutting board) I’d be more inclined to finish it with something more durable and protective then mineral oil + beeswax (expecially in the kitchen where you are more likely to have spills and staining offenders) and would go for several coats of polyurethane – once cured, it should be non toxic if comes in contact with food (unless you eat the countertop or finish…which I would not recommend doing)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16244 posts in 3685 days


#2 posted 07-18-2011 06:07 PM

Something like this is often used on countertop joints.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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rhinoburn

4 posts in 1971 days


#3 posted 07-18-2011 06:11 PM

Thanks guys for the quick response…what tools do I need in order to put those holes in the underside of my countertop?

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PurpLev

8523 posts in 3115 days


#4 posted 07-18-2011 06:24 PM

forstner bit to make the round holes, and a router/chisels to cut the groove

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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rhinoburn

4 posts in 1971 days


#5 posted 07-18-2011 07:34 PM

One more question – I hadn’t planned on putting this on any kind of plywood underneath – are there any good reasons to do so?

Thanks again for the help.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3115 days


#6 posted 07-18-2011 07:54 PM

I am not a carpenter, or a cabinet maker, or a kitchen remodeler, but at 2” thickness of hard maple, you should expect some movement on those counters and as such should install them in a way to allow them to move (since they WILL move either way with or without the rest of your cabinets). Since they will move, and since you should prepare for that, attaching plywood underneath would be a big no-no as it would prevent the maple from moving and will result in something else breaking apart when the counters WILL move.

I would install the counters AS IS (as in no underlayer) with table top fasteners to hold them to the cabinets but still allow them for some movement, and use the above mentioned hardware to snap tight the mitered corner. nice and simple (or so it always seems)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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Don W

17971 posts in 2034 days


#7 posted 07-18-2011 10:02 PM

I would agree with the counter top connectors from Purplev and Charlie M. I also agree you may want something more durable than a wax for a kitchen counter. Anything that finishes hard and protects. An exterior poly will work. Wax it after if you’d like. I’d coat everything except the end you’re gluing before installing. I’d glue the joint as well. Use a water resistant glue like titebond III. Let it squeeze out of the top and wipe off with a wet rack after tightening the bolts. You can tape the seam to catch the glue if you’d like, but I usually didn’t. As always dry fit everything first to ensure a good fit. If the corner is not a true 90, fit by changing the angle with a block plane or belt sander. You want to change both sides to keep the length the same. You want the joint as tight as you can get it. It will be hard to fill and make it look right.

I’m not sure what you mean by “should be hard enough to handle knives droppiing, etc”. With a 2“ maple top you should be able drive your lawn mower over it!! :-)

For movement, if you’re attaching it the way you normally do a countertop, the cabinet hold corners are usually far enough away to allow for sufficient movement. Don’t go crazy, by the time you’ve got it glues and caulked in place, it’s not likely to move (other than the expansion we’ve spoke of.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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rhinoburn

4 posts in 1971 days


#8 posted 07-19-2011 08:48 PM

Thanks again for all the input – some great suggestions.

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