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Forum topic by missesalot posted 05-20-2015 05:21 PM 592 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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missesalot

102 posts in 1063 days


05-20-2015 05:21 PM

Hi guys,
I’m building walnut plank countertops using 7/8” stock that is between 4 & 6 inches wide and up to 8 ft long, using the method of flipping cutoffs under to build up the edges. I have an L shape piece to build and have some questions. The long side of the L is 12 feet and the short side 5, against the wall. My questions are:
1. regarding planning for movement and building the L in two pieces; should i make the long piece 12 feet and the short 3 feet, or the other way around making 10 and 5’ pieces? i’m thinking 12 and 3 as this would result in the movement of the longer piece pushing/pulling seasonally on the smaller piece. thoughts?
2. regarding piecing a wood countertop together, like a wood floor, what is the best way to ensure that each board in each row of pieces is exactly the same width, as i’m assuming this will be critical in a glue up to avoid gaps. I’m planning to do the glue up with biscuits
3. using biscuits, would i join the edge grain and the end grain, or just the edge grain?
4. is it just plain stupid to build it this way verses finding full length boards instead? i’m not opposed to this but am finding it difficult to get usable 12’ pieces of walnut.
5. the long section of the L will have an under-mount sink attached, do you see this as an issue as there will only be a narrow section of wood an inch thick and a few inches wide in front of and behind the sink. I’ve never done this before and it doesn’t seem like much, maybe i’m worried for nothing.

thanks in advance for any insight you are willing to share.


6 replies so far

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2323 days


#1 posted 05-20-2015 05:36 PM

IMHO, biscuits are not needed for the longitudinal (edge grain) joints. The do little to add strength to the joints above that added by the glue. I might use them on the end grain joints but actually I’d rather cut a half-lap joint for the end grain joints, with perhaps one inch of overlap to provide a good glue surface. I’d glue up the individual plank runs, then use a planer to ensure the widths were equal (ensuring the sides were straight…). Once glued up to length and milled for width, I’d glue up in two board width sets, then glue the sets to form four board with sets. I’d run the glued up sets through a planer or large belt sander when they are either the final width or as wide as the planer or sander can handle, minimizing the amount of hand planning/sanding to be done on the final glue up.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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missesalot

102 posts in 1063 days


#2 posted 05-20-2015 05:40 PM

thanks Herb for the fast response. i was eyeballing the biscuits more for alignment purposes than anything. what tool do you use to cut the lap joint in this situation?

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HerbC

1592 posts in 2323 days


#3 posted 05-20-2015 06:42 PM

I’d use a dado blade set on tablesaw and then finish up with a hand plane.

I’d use cauls to establish and maintain horizontal alignment during the glue ups…

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View Ghidrah's profile

Ghidrah

667 posts in 686 days


#4 posted 05-20-2015 07:36 PM

I never went wider than 2” boards and always glued them to a subsurface of plywood, I’d be afraid of warp, cup and roll.

-- I meant to do that!

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missesalot

102 posts in 1063 days


#5 posted 05-20-2015 07:47 PM

I was afraid to do it that way in anticipation of the hardwood moving and the plywood not wanting to. How has the method worked out for you long term?

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missesalot

102 posts in 1063 days


#6 posted 08-11-2015 04:15 PM

This took longer than I had hoped but its done!

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