countertop question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-30-2019, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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countertop question

Hello Everybody,
I'm in the process of finishing up a kitchen where I built all the cabinets and will only be living in for a few years. I went to my local home center and bought a very thick piece of butcher block to use for a counter top. My question is, first I'm going to need to cut it for a sink and around objects and adjoining it to another section. When I add it to another section should I use silicone instead of glue? Also should I seal my cuts? Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-30-2019, 01:47 PM
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End grain glue ups dont work too well here. In that situation, Id personally mechanically fasten it with some brackets and screws, while using epoxy to glue it with some dowels or biscuits. I presume youre doing an L or making a really long straight here. (EDIT: when i say "bracket" thats just a catch all term. I've seen tons of various types of mechanical fasteners for this kind of application, and im pretty sure almost any would be fine in this situation).

Silicone has a strong chance of staining the wood making it difficult, if not impossible to get a uniform finish; sometimes even prevents finish and stains from adhering/absorbing. Epoxy is fully waterproof, and has no such issues. When you go to install your sink, the wood should be finished already so silicone for the sink is acceptable there.

If youre using that baltic birch top from lowes, i wound up doing my parents kitchen with it. Worked amazing, just make sure if youre planning on staining to use a pre stain sanding sealer product first. I admittedly skipped this step at first and holy cow it was STREAKY and i had to sand back and redo it all. I finished with a catalyzed urethane in matte and it came out great in the end.

Good luck, im sure some others will chime in with other ideas too

Last edited by bob493; 11-30-2019 at 02:04 PM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-03-2019, 11:06 PM
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You're going to get wood creap no matter what, so I'd be inclined to just use standard yellow wood glue. If the joint fails, it fails, because the only alternative is no glue at all.



But the real reason I wanted to post was to remind you to not use a miter joint in your corners. If you mitered your corners, the angle of the joint will change as the wood expands and contracts. This will cause a gap in the rear as the wood expands, and a gap in the front as it contracts. Because this is a failure in "tension", you cannot overcome it no matter how secure the joint or fasteners are.


As mentioned, regardless whether you choose to glue the joint, you should use draw bolts to secure the two pieces together.



One thing that rarely gets discussed properly is that wood and wood joinery is much more stable during expansion. For this reason, you want your countertop material to be slightly drier during installation than it will be through most of its life. Contrary to popular lore, don't acclimate the wood, per se, but instead store it in a room that is a couple degrees warmer than the rest of the house, prior to installation.
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-04-2019, 07:05 AM
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"cut it for a sink and around objects and adjoining it to another section."


What kind of other objects? It is not normal to have objects sticking through a counter top. What is the material of the "another section."


George
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-04-2019, 10:49 AM
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If it were me, I'd cut the countertop to fit, finish every surface first and then join it using the connectors shown in the link below. I'd put a bit of silicone or polyurethane caulk in the joint just to keep crumbs out. I'd tape the edges where the pieces join to make cleaning up the caulk easier.



https://www.rockler.com/tite-joint-f...SABEgI6pvD_BwE
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-04-2019, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to thank everyone who replied. Great information. I'm going to order the connectors from Rockler. Also GeorgeC the objects in question are sections of walls the counter goes around. Thanks again!
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