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Forum topic by spunwood posted 08-16-2011 07:11 AM 1986 views 2 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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spunwood

1198 posts in 2301 days


08-16-2011 07:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question kitchen countertop

Here is my plan for kitchen countertops…any thoughts. I am particulary interested in what people think about the breadboard splining and the supports for the sink.

You can see more pics of progress here:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.257366100954927.70591.233428150015389&type=1#!/photo.php?fbid=257376610953876&set=a.257366100954927.70591.233428150015389&type=1&theater

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν


32 replies so far

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spunwood

1198 posts in 2301 days


#1 posted 08-16-2011 07:12 AM

That label at the very top says “spline at the butt joint”

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

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TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3141 days


#2 posted 08-16-2011 07:27 AM

What is it made of?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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spunwood

1198 posts in 2301 days


#3 posted 08-16-2011 01:50 PM

It’s solid oak (red and white). Not the best for countertops, but it is what I have and I will use grain filler.

I am going to follow GaryL’ suggestion of using a clear grain filler and possibly some epoxy for nail holes.

Then I am go use varathane gloss finish over that

I just realized I have 2 other questions:

1.When you bread board, do you just put glue in the spline slot to allow for expansion, or do you glue the ajacent faces of the boards too?

2. When gluing up boards in a brick layout, what’s a good way to keep them aligned?

a. glueing just a few at a time?

b. using cauls to align?

Appriciate any of your comments, brandon.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

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spunwood

1198 posts in 2301 days


#4 posted 08-16-2011 01:52 PM

By the way, thanks Gary for the design suggestions.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

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489tad

3099 posts in 2477 days


#5 posted 08-16-2011 04:10 PM

On the bread board end. I’ve seen only glue in the peg (bottom side) to hold it in place. I’ve never done it. Clamps on the width and length. Cauls to keep it flat. I’d probably do it in sections. When the top gets long you’ll need a lot of pipe. that wood cleaned up nice. Its gonna be great.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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Aka_Cam

20 posts in 1708 days


#6 posted 04-05-2012 05:52 PM

I’m totally confused on this subject. “Breadboard” ends are constructed to allow the long boards to expand and contract. That said, then there has to be gaps, unsealed areas, that would allow water to seep into—not to mention dirt and debris—would it not? How would you keep these areas sanitary? And I hate to think about the many water issues that would arise surrounding the actual sink. Also consider what the expansion will do at the backsplash junction. In regard to the long boards, are they made tongue and groove? Or are we gluing all the long boards together and expecting the expansion to occur as a unit?

Don’t get me wrong, I need to make kitchen countertops and would love to have wooden ones. I just can’t see how this is sound. Can anyone explain to me how these things will work out?

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bruc101

1077 posts in 3007 days


#7 posted 04-05-2012 06:16 PM

I’ve built probably a couple hundred or more wood countertops and it’s part of how I make a living and some of this confuses me also. I will say this..the back splash…make a 3/16” deep rabbit the width of your back splash where your back splash is going and put it down with a top grade silicone.under it.

On a wood countertop, and most countertops, if you use a glossy finish you’ll able to see “everything” in it and on it.

Sink supports, what kind of sink and how heavy is it?

And remember..those Ogee profiles love to collect anything grease, dust and dirt.

Good luck on your build. Looking forward to seeing it completed and installed.

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

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Aka_Cam

20 posts in 1708 days


#8 posted 04-05-2012 06:29 PM

Hi Bruce,

I actually had in mind making a cove joint at the backsplash junction, thus no joint to collect debris. Since my walls are going to be tiled, the tile thickness once set would predetermine the thickness of the backsplash. I was planning a salad bowl finish, thus it’s food safe. I haven’t settled on a sink(s) style yet, but most likely it will be stainless, although I do like the Kohler cast iron. I do plan and already have the installation kits made to add support. Whatever I decide I strongly suspect it will be undermounted.

Thanks for the comment about the ogee profiles collecting grease, dust and dirt. I’ll avoid them.

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Doss

779 posts in 1730 days


#9 posted 04-05-2012 06:46 PM

Some thoughts, breadboard ends keep wide panels flat and allow for expansion along the width. This joint is glued in the center of the width on the tenon and pinned on the other tenons with an expansion slot along the width of the tenon. I’m not really sure what you’re talking about when you say long boards.

A lot of the wooden countertops I see are just biscuit or edge-glued together (depending on other joinery for fastening and support) with no breadboard-type ends. I don’t know if that’s right, but it works as far as I’ve seen.

Red oak is not a great choice, but you are sealing the pores so that will at least be a step in the right direction.

You’ll have to pay a lot of attention to the finish depending on your joinery, area of use, and use function.

You’ll want to use cauls, a large flat surface, and lots of clamps to keep it flat while drying.

Food safe surface has many meanings to me. There are people that just prep on the surface while others cut on the surface. Cutting adds a whole new level of complexity and maintenance.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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Aka_Cam

20 posts in 1708 days


#10 posted 04-05-2012 08:03 PM

Doss,

I understand how to construct the “breadboard” style ends. I’m questioning if the long boards (you call wide panels) are glued or tongue and grooved along their length or perhaps both, and if this process—due to the expansion taking place— is leaving everything at risk to water and debris. Or is there a way around these innate problems. BTW, I’m not using oak, Spunwood is. I’m using walnut or maple. Since one can not predict what everyone in the household will do on a kitchen countertop, I was playing it safe with a totally food safe sealer.

I’m questioning the wood countertop application as a sink surround. However I see it done all the time. The question is HOW are they doing it to overcome the water issues?

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bruc101

1077 posts in 3007 days


#11 posted 04-05-2012 08:19 PM

Sinks, nothing special, just sitting in a normal cut-out.Both are very heavy cast iron. No bread board ends not necessary unless you just want them if you build the top correctly.

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

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Aka_Cam

20 posts in 1708 days


#12 posted 04-05-2012 08:34 PM

Bruce, thanks for the jeps. You aren’t having any problems down the road with these types of installations? I definitely want undermount sinks; have you sucessfully done those? Are your wood pieces joined only with wood glue? What finish are you using? What connection process are you using at your mitered joint? How thick is your wood?

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Doss

779 posts in 1730 days


#13 posted 04-05-2012 08:51 PM

Aka_Cam, sorry, I was replying to a lot of people in one response… didn’t mean for it to sound like I was singling you out.

My guess is the wood species and finish are going to make a difference around a surface exposed to water. Some people suggest using a few coats of tung oil if you’re leaving the end grain exposed. Better yet, an exterior poly or epoxy (even better, marine epoxy) would work really well for an undermount I would think.

Most of the people I’ve read about that successfully build sink surrounds make sure the long grain is facing the sink (boxing it in). How they are joining it to the other boards… I don’t really know.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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bruc101

1077 posts in 3007 days


#14 posted 04-05-2012 09:40 PM

What you see with the sink opening is the only way we’ve ever done them. We’ve never boxed a sink in and have no plans to, it’s not necessary. We use only Waterloc for the final finishes. Five coats on the bottom and five coats on the top. We do each coat top and bottom at the same time. Waterloc is tough and is also used on wood floors. Every floor person I know uses Waterloc. It’s pricy but has never failed us nor the homeowners.
The undermount sinks are a little more difficult. We have to make a template to match the sink. When it’s installed be sure to seal it big time. The undermount sinks cause more leakage problems than any of the others because of the seals breaking on them. They do look awesome in a wood top though.
We’ve never had a problem with any kind of water damage with it. The end grain anywhere on the top gets the same five coats as we finish the top.
We’ve always used what ever wood glue was the best on the market at the time, recently we’ve been using Titebond 3….no problems.
We plane the boards top and bottom lightly, then we run all the boards through a sander several times with 120 grit paper. This helps to get them close to the same thickness. We then straightline the boards on a table saw.

Once we get the boards strightlined we make sure they fit flat together without any pressure and no cracks in them. This is a key factor in joining the top together flat with no pressure in the joints.

We “do not” glue up the full width at one time, we do it in two different sections. Once we get this done and remove them from the clamps we run them through the sander again and flatten the joints. We then glue up the two sections and after removing the clamps then we run the complete top through the sander again to flatten the center seam.

In the miter joints we use four biscuits on the top and bottom of the joints. Before we install the tops we build a frame to sit on top of the cabinets. looks like face frames with 2 inch wide boards with pocket screws.
We install the frame and make sure it’s level in all directions. We then take a plunge router with a very small straight bit and cut slotted holes where we’ll be locking the top down..we use corse thread drywall screws to hold the top down..very gently screw the top down snug. We let the top rest on the cabinets and climatize to the cabinets and the home for a few days. We then go back and pull the joints together and snug the screws a little more.

Our wood tops have been from 3/4 inch to 4 inch thickness. We do not do the butcher block tops unless it’s a customer request only. All our tops are horizontal not vertical orientation and I can’t recall a client ever asking for one that wasn’t horizontal. I’ve got a friend in the business can tell nightmares about vertical direction tops and the failures he experienced and he’s as good as it gets with wood tops.
I can not ever recall a client asking for mixed species of woods together in a top either. It’s a personal choice as far as I’m concerned.
We’ve been building wood tops for probably 30 years and have never had a call back except to refinish one afters years of use.
Hope this helps.

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

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Doss

779 posts in 1730 days


#15 posted 04-05-2012 10:10 PM

Bruce, that was a great explanation. I am not a countertop maker. I was just reporting what I see people doing or hear as possible solutions from some.

That explanation was much appreciated.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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