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Posted: 10/30/2020 1:33:31 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/26/2020 9:21:08 PM EST by Trollslayer]
I'm going to be putting in butcher block counters.


On one, I'll have a 45 degree miter cut to go around an inside corner.  

I'm going with a butt joint, instead.


Anyone ever done this?  Would you care to share any lessons learned?

How did you close the seam?

How did you keep the top surfaces co-planar/aligned?

How did you make the sink cut out?

Any other tips on how to do this?

If you've done it, would you do it again?
Link Posted: 10/30/2020 1:35:34 AM EST
How do you keep it from looking like crap after a year?

seems like there's going to be a lot of sanding and refinishing in your future.

I'll take corian, thanks.
Link Posted: 10/30/2020 2:38:42 AM EST
On the underside router in some cross bolts holes. I know on cheap laminate countertops theres slots you put special bolts and plates then tighten and glue it before you lay it down on the cabinets, then fasten down.
Link Posted: 10/30/2020 2:55:38 AM EST
Butcher block island, maybe. Butcher block countertops, hell no.

Why create more work for yourself? It'll have to be oiled/waxed regularly, will be prone to staining and moisture damage, can't put a hot pan on it, and will quite possibly hurt your property value if it's in anything less than perfect shape when you go to sell your house.
Link Posted: 10/30/2020 6:14:50 AM EST
A lot of fitting and sanding to get that corner tight.  I bought a laminate top from HD for my last house.  My brother that did countertops put it in.  That corner angle was so bad only the ends met up with a gap in the middle.  He spent almost an hour sanding and fitting to get it tight. You'd never know it was that far off to begin with.
Link Posted: 10/30/2020 6:28:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2020 6:31:39 AM EST by esa17]
I put a cutting board style island and counter tops in my house using a wood called sapale. It’s extremely hard and they are gorgeous.

The amount of upkeep required to keep them looking good is insane, never again.

Attachment Attached File

Link Posted: 10/30/2020 6:34:34 AM EST
Not sure how after a period of time you would actually keep them clean as crap will seep into wood unlike stone
Link Posted: 10/30/2020 3:23:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2020 3:24:28 PM EST by Trollslayer]
Has anyone else actually done this work?

I am looking for methods and options on how to do the work, not a critique of the design.
Link Posted: 10/30/2020 3:29:30 PM EST
I've been considering making an end grain butcher block top for the island in the new place. Kind of like the one they show in this vid on a smaller scale (skip to a minute in)

Link Posted: 10/30/2020 4:15:28 PM EST
I think jacobsk used an old bowling alley lane for his counters.  I will see if I can find the thread.
Link Posted: 10/30/2020 11:45:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2020 11:46:32 PM EST by K1rodeoboater]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jerret_S:
On the underside router in some cross bolts holes. I know on cheap laminate countertops theres slots you put special bolts and plates then tighten and glue it before you lay it down on the cabinets, then fasten down.
View Quote
This.  I'd not mess with the other options as they will involve buying a festool domino or take more time with a router to cut for floating tennons (then temp gluing or nailing clamp blocks in place to pull it tight)

For the sink cut out use a round over on the top and bottom edges. Cut it with a jigsaw to rough cut the opening. Make a template to get it exact and finish it with a flush cut bit.

Personally....I'd not do this but they do look good when installed. I'd sooner do a concrete or epoxy granite poured in place countertop.
Link Posted: 10/31/2020 10:03:32 AM EST
so i have this idea that putting an inset butcher block would be awesome.  would be like having your own cutting board all the time.

so butcher block slightly higher, right where you want your cutting area and then tile or whatever around it.  so you brush off DOWN to the tile/whatever but you always havea  built in cutting board

Link Posted: 10/31/2020 8:57:44 PM EST
My wife and I installed cherry butcher block last year, and drawing from my experience as a cabinetmaker for 10 years, I did 5 coats of polyurethane before allowing anything to sit on it.

I did not have a mitered seam to contend with, but if I had, I would've templated with 1/8" lauan and figured out exactly what angle to cut so that my overhang was consistent.

I'd recommend going with a straight seam in this case.  Less material to purchase and a shorter seam.

We did an overmount cast iron sink but I like the undermounts as well.

Link Posted: 10/31/2020 8:59:49 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By esa17:
I put a cutting board style island and counter tops in my house using a wood called sapale. It’s extremely hard and they are gorgeous.

The amount of upkeep required to keep them looking good is insane, never again.

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/232306/B431B25C-CEE2-4AF9-9857-B1624752B0CC_jpe-1660624.JPG
View Quote

sapele is a great guitarmaking wood also.  good idea.  sorry you're having a maintenance nightmare.
Link Posted: 11/1/2020 8:04:39 AM EST
Easiest way:

Buy your block, unwrap it and let it sit flat for week or two to acclimate, in the kitchen.
Remove the current counter top.
Use one piece of paper and template the corner.  Mark it so you know what is left and right, top and bottom.
Take the template, and using a legit straight edge, draw a line, outside corner to inside corner.
Buy or build an adjustable miter sled for a table saw.
Buy some MDF, put your template on top, trace it, and cut so the thickness of the line is still showing, using the sled on a table saw. .  Do the same for the other side.
Match them up and hand sand a dry fit until it fits like a glove.
Use them as your template for the real wood, repeating the process.
Save the templates in a safe place, as it will require replacement with one kitchen accident and it gets damaged beyond refinishing.  


People will say it is a waste to do this essentially twice (mdf and block).  Not knowing what tools you have, and assuming you are not using digital scanning with cnc equipment, it is the only way you will get a perfect joint.  

d
Link Posted: 11/1/2020 12:03:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2020 12:04:35 PM EST by Trollslayer]
@Originally Posted By M4ger:
My wife and I installed cherry butcher block last year, and drawing from my experience as a cabinetmaker for 10 years, I did 5 coats of polyurethane before allowing anything to sit on it.


Did you have any trouble with the polyurethane surface finish caused by knife cuts or anything of that sort?


I'd recommend going with a straight seam in this case.

I've thought about just butting the two together.  I am concerned the butcher block edge will be rounded over, even if it's just a tiny bit.  Then, when two are butted together they will create a little "valley" that is unsightly.
Link Posted: 11/1/2020 2:42:16 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tinysd:
I think jacobsk used an old bowling alley lane for his counters.  I will see if I can find the thread.
View Quote


It is in the what did you work on today thread.  You will have to scroll through the other posts.

https://www.ar15.com/forums/General/What-did-you-work-on-today-PIC-THREAD/139-2017760/?page=10#i71662286
Link Posted: 11/1/2020 3:02:15 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Stasher1:
Butcher block island, maybe. Butcher block countertops, hell no.
View Quote


And butcher blocks are end grain, not side grain.
Link Posted: 11/1/2020 11:12:28 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
@Originally Posted By M4ger:
My wife and I installed cherry butcher block last year, and drawing from my experience as a cabinetmaker for 10 years, I did 5 coats of polyurethane before allowing anything to sit on it.


Did you have any trouble with the polyurethane surface finish caused by knife cuts or anything of that sort?


I'd recommend going with a straight seam in this case.

I've thought about just butting the two together.  I am concerned the butcher block edge will be rounded over, even if it's just a tiny bit.  Then, when two are butted together they will create a little "valley" that is unsightly.
View Quote

We use cutting boards.

The finish has held up very well for a year's worth of use, and we cook a lot at home.

As far as the slight ease on the edge you may find, ours did not have anything until I ran my router over it.  If what you order does come with an eased edge, a quick pass on the table-saw will be in order.

A seam after that is easy.
Link Posted: 11/2/2020 12:06:38 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/2/2020 1:01:40 AM EST by Trollslayer]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By M4ger:

We use cutting boards.

The finish has held up very well for a year's worth of use, and we cook a lot at home.

As far as the slight ease on the edge you may find, ours did not have anything until I ran my router over it.  If what you order does come with an eased edge, a quick pass on the table-saw will be in order.

A seam after that is easy.
View Quote


I looked at the pictures of jacobsk's counter tops at the link posted above.  He used a butt joint instead of a miter.  I think it looks just fine.  His is more rustic than I'd want but his counters are more rustic than mine will be.  

Honestly, I cannot imagine running an 8 foot long, maple counter top over my crappy table saw.  It would be a case of "the tail wagging the dog".

IF it has to be done, I will find some other way of doing it.  My jointer's plane comes to mind.  It's all tuned up and has a thick, hard, sharp blade and chip breaker.  

Link Posted: 11/2/2020 1:00:18 AM EST
Does anyone have favorable experience with a particular brand of the cross-joint bolt kits meant for holding sections of counter top together?

If none are favorable, then are there brands to avoid?
Link Posted: 11/2/2020 5:15:58 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By M4ger:

We use cutting boards.

The finish has held up very well for a year's worth of use, and we cook a lot at home.

As far as the slight ease on the edge you may find, ours did not have anything until I ran my router over it.  If what you order does come with an eased edge, a quick pass on the table-saw will be in order.

A seam after that is easy.
View Quote



Had granite (real granite) for years.
Wife had a friend visit and she did not understand why we still used thin plastic cutting mats.

Granite will take the edge of that expensive knife just about instantly.
The 'true' granite does not absorb water, does not stain, does not need 'sealing.'

It was THE standard in chemistry labs for working surfaces for many many years.

For the most psrt it also tends to be sort of plain.


It is the inclusions in true granite that give it the appearance we like.
Those inclusion are often the 'weak spots' in a 'granite' slab.

Real integrates are igneous rocks, often inclusions in other types of stone.


Link Posted: 11/2/2020 11:38:27 PM EST
Oh, by the way, I also have one of these.  :-)

Link Posted: 11/3/2020 2:40:47 AM EST
FWIW, we have wood (hickory) counters. Bought 3 slabs, cut them up, and glued two pieces together to make a counter for an island. Butt joint aligned with biscuits. Finished with polyurethane. We make sure to use cutting boards and don't set anything hot directly on the counters.
Link Posted: 11/3/2020 4:40:14 AM EST
I live near the John Boos store in Effingham, IL and have visited the old factory showroom to get material for projects.  They make all kinds of butcher block style products.  For mitered counter top joints, they mill in a pocket on the underside and have a special clamp that goes in and clamps the two pieces together.
Link Posted: 11/3/2020 4:47:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2020 4:49:49 AM EST by BLKVooDoo]
If you don't oil them frequently they weather check.

My parents did it when I was young. The entire kitchen. Cost them a fortune.

Lasted 2 years before they tore them out and went stone

If you want the look. Epoxy the tops and set it and forget it.

But a bare butcher block top, you are infor a bad time.
Link Posted: 11/3/2020 7:01:20 AM EST
im in the do stone for most of the counter top and possibly get a large butcher block cutting board to leave out on the counter if that is what you like.

live the looks of a butcher block counter but would jsut seem to be a pain to have to upkeep every 3 months.
Link Posted: 11/3/2020 7:57:42 AM EST
I recently watched a video of using pocket hole screws to join them together - a little sanding on the seam was all that was required to keep the joint flat
Link Posted: 11/3/2020 7:59:15 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bobfig:
im in the do stone for most of the counter top and possibly get a large butcher block cutting board to leave out on the counter if that is what you like.

live the looks of a butcher block counter but would jsut seem to be a pain to have to upkeep every 3 months.
View Quote


A pain? You just rub some conditioner on it every once in a while. A combination of mineral oil and beeswax keeps them looking/performing nicely
Link Posted: 11/3/2020 9:48:05 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By stewie97:


A pain? You just rub some conditioner on it every once in a while. A combination of mineral oil and beeswax keeps them looking/performing nicely
View Quote


What is the ratio of each and how often is 'once in a while'?  

Thanks
Link Posted: 11/3/2020 10:21:27 AM EST
I'd be curious to know how many people in this thread actually have or had butcher block countertops.

We put some in our kitchen about 3 years ago and they have held up really well. They were meant to be a temporary thing until we get the whole kitchen remodeled , but they may very well end up staying. I made all the necessary cuts and then the wife stained them the color she wanted and we put on several coats of Watco butcher block finish. Its a clear finish thats food safe. Last year I spent an evening and scuffed them with some fine sandpaper and put on another coat and and they looked brand new. No complaints here- I'd do them again.

I didn't make any corner cuts-none of mine had to mate with another. I'd probably biscuit joint them and sand smooth if they did. The sink is a farmhouse top mount, so it was just a U shaped cut. Didn't even have to be pretty as its all hidden.
Link Posted: 11/3/2020 10:33:04 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Deuskid:


What is the ratio of each and how often is 'once in a while'?  

Thanks
View Quote



I use this stuff - maybe once a month. Just use it whenever it starts feeling dry.

Link Posted: 11/4/2020 10:59:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2020 11:19:21 AM EST by Trollslayer]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Kornbread:
I'd be curious to know how many people in this thread actually have or had butcher block countertops.
View Quote


Me, too.  

I'd also like to hear from @jacobsk, the guy in the linked thread, who used the bowling alley lanes for his counters.

It seemed the early responses were mostly negative towards wooden counters.  Only a few people were clear about actually having the counters in their home and of those, most seem satisfied.

Link Posted: 11/4/2020 11:16:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2020 11:22:38 AM EST by Trollslayer]
The thing is, I was only asking about how to make that giant miter joint for the corner.

A really good outcome of this discussion, one that has changed my plan - you've pointed out I don't need a miter, a butt joint also works.  

I am still uncertain how to attach the two sections across the seam.  Guidance or past experiences on this is the reason for this thread.

There are biscuits, pocket screws, cross bolts and various bottom surface hardware items to draw the two together, align them and keep them together.
Link Posted: 11/4/2020 1:36:23 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
The thing is, I was only asking about how to make that giant miter joint for the corner.

A really good outcome of this discussion, one that has changed my plan - you've pointed out I don't need a miter, a butt joint also works.  

I am still uncertain how to attach the two sections across the seam.  Guidance or past experiences on this is the reason for this thread.

There are biscuits, pocket screws, cross bolts and various bottom surface hardware items to draw the two together, align them and keep them together.
View Quote

I would use what most laminate counters use, those cross bolts.
Link Posted: 11/4/2020 1:55:52 PM EST
Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
I'm going to be putting in butcher block counters.

On one, I'll have a 45 degree miter cut to go around an inside corner.

Anyone ever done this?  Would you care to share any lessons learned?

How did you close the mitered seam?

How did you keep the top surfaces co-planar/aligned?

How did you make the sink cut out?

Any other tips?

Would you do it again?
View Quote


We put BB countertops in about a year ago. A few things I don't like about them.

1. The wood seems very soft....drop a plate on it, or a chefs knife = dent in the wood.

2.  The finish doesn't last very long...after a year, it's ready to be refinished again.

Would I do it again? I would definitely look harder for other options.

Link Posted: 11/5/2020 12:01:50 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
The thing is, I was only asking about how to make that giant miter joint for the corner.

A really good outcome of this discussion, one that has changed my plan - you've pointed out I don't need a miter, a butt joint also works.  

I am still uncertain how to attach the two sections across the seam.  Guidance or past experiences on this is the reason for this thread.

There are biscuits, pocket screws, cross bolts and various bottom surface hardware items to draw the two together, align them and keep them together.
View Quote


Biscuits to align the seam. Glue and pocket screws/cross bolt things to hold it together.
Link Posted: 11/5/2020 5:57:39 PM EST
We put in "butcher block" counter tops about 6 ish years ago. I made a movable island with one of the leftover pieces and a bunch of oak I salvaged from pallets. They have held up very well with minimal maintenance.  About once a year I sand them with very fine paper on my random orbital and brush on food-grade oil/sealer.  We use cutting boards and do not cut directly on them.

We considered miters but used butt joints in the end.  I dont think the miters would have gone well with my OCD......

We also decided against bicuits.  Thank god, because about two years later the faucet crapped out and I ended up replacing the sink while I was at it.  Had to remove one section to it, and biscuit would have made that damn near impossible.  Pocket screws are the answer.....  Also, I sealed the seams with wood glue that dried very close to the color of our tops.  Blends in almost perfectly.

Used a track saw to cut them to length and for most of the sink cutout.  If you are using an undermount sink, I would probably cut it out differently.
Link Posted: 11/8/2020 9:05:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/8/2020 9:06:51 PM EST by Trollslayer]
I've decided to go ahead and install the butcher block counters.  I can get a whole new set of counters for only a few hundred bucks, because I am doing the work.

I'm going to use a butt jointed seam.  I'm going to use cross-seam bolts to draw the joint together.  

I'm not going to use biscuits unless I have trouble getting and keeping the two surfaces level.

I want to thank those of you who cautioned me against wooden counter tops.  Honestly, I will use your various warnings as guidance for what to avoid in using them.  I'll also take the comments as a warning to maintain them well.

Thanks to all.

I will post some pics when I get it done (most likely after Christmas).

Link Posted: 11/16/2020 12:10:40 PM EST
@Trollslayer

Sorry I’m late to the party, I happened to stumble across this thread randomly, the mentions seem to not be working

Anyhow, we’re a few year into our bowling alley butcher block counters with some seriously heavy use. My wife is not nice to them.

They’re holding up just fine, better than I expected, and I was somewhat skeptical when we opted to go this route.

We used the milk paint brand tung oil to seal ours and I’ve only ever sealed them when I did the install. I think I did 3 coats that week. Nothing since and they’re still water & stain resistant.

Folks who say they need a ton of maintenance either chose some other product which demanded constant reapplication or did something very different from what we’ve done

I’m on the road right now. When I get home I’ll snap some images of our counter tops for you folks to decide.
Link Posted: 11/16/2020 2:34:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/16/2020 2:35:02 PM EST by jacobsk]
So here we are, Bowling alley maple butcher block counter tops after use for 2-1/2 years and no reapplication of the (real) tung oil.

Note: not all “tung oil” is actually real Tung oil like MilkPaint. Hence the dissatisfaction many have after using a  mix of varnishes sold under the name “tung oil”.

MilkPaint is actually real deal old school tung oil that is both food safe, durable, and stain resistant.

This is our primary food prep surface. My wife makes all of our meals (breakfast lunch and dinner) from scratch. We literally grow/raise most of our food, and purchase what we don’t from other local farms. This gets fruits, veggies, meats, etc cut on it daily.

Attachment Attached File


Second most used area next to the sink: it drives me nuts but my wife leaves wet dishes here all the time to dry. Attachment Attached File


Other side of stove where I do my cutting when helping: Attachment Attached File


Actual butcher block sealant which works: Attachment Attached File


ETA are the pics upside down for you guys? Strange
Link Posted: 11/17/2020 11:34:05 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jacobsk:
So here we are, Bowling alley maple butcher block counter tops after use for 2-1/2 years and no reapplication of the (real) tung oil.

Note: not all “tung oil” is actually real Tung oil like MilkPaint. Hence the dissatisfaction many have after using a  mix of varnishes sold under the name “tung oil”.

MilkPaint is actually real deal old school tung oil that is both food safe, durable, and stain resistant.

This is our primary food prep surface. My wife makes all of our meals (breakfast lunch and dinner) from scratch. We literally grow/raise most of our food, and purchase what we don’t from other local farms. This gets fruits, veggies, meats, etc cut on it daily.

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/116241/1655A7BB-06DE-4574-838F-952B9035B0B1_jpe-1687072.JPG

Second most used area next to the sink: it drives me nuts but my wife leaves wet dishes here all the time to dry. https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/116241/53B3EBBD-0F7E-4951-BA05-3BD7E1501671_jpe-1687078.JPG

Other side of stove where I do my cutting when helping: https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/116241/C4179787-4DCD-487F-BCD0-86110497B765_jpe-1687080.JPG

Actual butcher block sealant which works: https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/116241/03585B0A-4551-42A3-B2C5-B56F03D7849C_jpe-1687082.JPG

ETA are the pics upside down for you guys? Strange
View Quote


they are upside down, but the good thing about maple is it is really pretty either way
Link Posted: 11/18/2020 10:20:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/18/2020 10:21:22 PM EST by Trollslayer]
Jacobsk, thanks for the update and for taking the time to post the photos.  The photos really helped a lot.

I ordered TheRealMilkPaint Tung Oil.  

Home Depot just texted me saying my counter tops have arrived.
Link Posted: 11/19/2020 9:23:04 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/19/2020 9:24:39 AM EST by JQ66]
Maybe for the 45 miter connection you would want to cut both 45.  Then butt these sections together
Shim both sides on your saw horses so they are level/coplanar.  Clamp down so they don’t move but not so much they twist
Then clamp down a good track saw rail.  the saw cuts through that 45 degree joint/seam.  
If it’s a good saw and a very good blade the joint should be pretty tight after the saw cut
If it needs any tuning use something like a L-N or veritas low angle jack plane to take out any tight spots.
The same might be able to be done with a router.

As far as the joiner hardware goes, it’s probably all chinesium now.
Link Posted: 11/19/2020 9:34:55 AM EST
The house we moved into a couple years ago has solid oak flooring for the counter tops. I was going to replace them right away, but they are holding up very well. I did sand and refinish them, which was an easy job. If they get buggered up, I'll do it again.

Link Posted: 11/23/2020 3:06:04 AM EST
I got started on this project.  When I get some time I will post pics.

So far, I am very happy with both the counters received from Home Depot and with the tung oil received from Real Milk Paint.  

I cannot believe how much oil the maple is soaking up but I am loving the orange smell of the citrus solvent.
Link Posted: 11/23/2020 5:24:28 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/23/2020 8:40:07 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
I got started on this project.  When I get some time I will post pics.

So far, I am very happy with both the counters received from Home Depot and with the tung oil received from Real Milk Paint.  

I cannot believe how much oil the maple is soaking up but I am loving the orange smell of the citrus solvent.
View Quote


@Trollslayer

What kind of oil and solvent are you using?  

Thanks
Link Posted: 11/23/2020 12:54:33 PM EST
It is Real Milk Paint's Tung Oil and their Citrus Solvent mixed 50:50.
Link Posted: 11/25/2020 10:07:06 PM EST
I have finished oiling one of the two counters.  Now, it needs time to cure.  The other will be done over the weekend.  They'll both be ready for installation by the Christmas break.

PICS!  I need pics.
Link Posted: 11/26/2020 1:03:54 AM EST
Congrats on the progress Trollslayer.

I'm sure it'll look really good.
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