Last minute questions before installing butcher block counter tops
Getting ready to start the cutting, joining, and installation of butcher block counters. (Birch, 1.5Ē, kiln dried, no factory finish or oil.) Have done a lot of research but still have a couple remaining questions.
1. Counters have been unwrapped in the kitchen for a couple days (with air exposure on all sides). Cutting will be done outside, where itís about 40 degrees colder and humidity levels are different than in the house. This may sound nuts, but I am running a risk here moving them back and forth between two locations? I wonít leave them outside any longer than is needed to do the work on them (I wonít store them there).
2. Have read a lot about the new cuts being sources of problems (exposing new grain). How quickly should I be getting finish (or glue, in the case of joining) on newly exposed cuts? Hours? A day or two?
Some folks make it sound like if you donít get something on them the minute you cut them, the moisture content will start to get out of whack and cause issues. Whatís realistic here? Iím working with long pieces and several cuts will need to be made both across the grain (some joined, some not) and with the grain. They canít all be immediately joined/finished. Hopefully this can all happen over the course of a couple of days, though. Thoughts?
3. Does anything special need to be done for a counter over a dishwasher? Iíve read that dishwashers have sufficient moisture protection built in (existing particleboard laminate counters seem to have held up fine above the dishwasher). Iím using oil and wax finish (Howardís) on all sides of the counter, but I could do poly on the underside above the dishwasher if that seems like a better option there.
Thanks, really appreciate the help.
If I'm understanding you about exposing new grain, wherever you got that notion is silly. If you had wood that was finished on both sides and you stripped one side then you would need to get some kind of finish on it before the weather turned damp but cutting the edge or end there is no worry with that. You could take years to get a finish on it if you can keep it clean. It just comes down to keeping the moisture content uniform on both sides.
You might coat the underneath side of the top where the dishwasher goes with an enamel or varnish. It's more to seal in what moisture is there since the washer lets off a lot of heat. Another option might be to attach a sheet of 1/2" foam insulation to the underside of the top if you have any. I don't know if it merits buying a sheet. The dishwasher may let off steam right at the front edge but back toward the middle where it matters there will be just heat and could dry the top out.
Good catch on the dishwasher. If there's an oven under, consider that too. Mine caused my butcher block top to crack.
continue with the care you have so far. placing one on the floor will allow it to cup overnight!
yes, like steve said, finish over the dishwasher.
I would say try to accomplish the joining in one day if possible.
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