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I have some 3"X8" beams that I believe to be Douglas fir and I would like to make a end grain countertop for a small kitchen. I thought of cutting them in to 1" thick pieces and glue them to a 1/2"plywood sheet that I will attach to the cabinets. Just would like to get some advice on what to use to glue the pieces down and any good finishes that would be good for a countertop.
 

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Personally I wouldn't and can't recommend wood tops, especially around sink area. But if I was trying to do what you are, I would use a two part epoxy. Set ply in place, pour an 1/8" layer of epoxy spread out evenly. Set your pieces of wood into epoxy, let dry and flood another layer ontop to fill any voids and seal wood. Sand bubbles and nibs with 220. Then a final thin layer as your finish coat.
 

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>>>> I thought of cutting them in to 1" thick pieces and glue them to a 1/2"plywood sheet

Nope, you can't do that. The solid wood blocks will want to expand and contract with changes in their moisture content. The plywood will not want to move. You will end up with the glued up panel warping or having some other damage.
 

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Here is a endgrain countertop I did maybe 10 years ago. It is rock maple and is about 2-1/2 inches thick. It's about 13 lineal feet at the backsplash, and is made of almost 700 individual blocks.

You do need to take special care near the sink where water might linger a little longer. I used several coats of urethaneunder and around the faucet penetrations, and around the undermount sink perimeter. The rest of the top is just oiled regularly with mineral oil.

This isn't a kitchen, but it's in our "sun room", where my wife tends to the plants.

Ed

 
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