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Countertop thread?

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Sup /diy/

this is my first thread here, so please excuse my stupidity, if any. I tried to search for kitchen thread in the catalog, but couldn't find any.

I'm up to replacing my water-ruined particle board countertop with DIY butcher-block one. I have a circular saw with a decent 40-teeth blade, bought beech countertops from IKEA, 6" and 8" long, planning on getting a router, jigsaw and some stuff, see my to buy list, prices in CAD. The HomeDepot sales dude was trying to sell me a laminated one for the almost the same price.

The plan is:

1- cut the countertops at 45° with the circular;
2- trim the cut with router (I have no experience using it, but it looks pretty straight-forward);
3- cut miter bolt slots with the router, using DIY plywood template, connect the miter;
4- cut the sink hole with the jig, put everything together;
4.1- maybe route the edge;
5- build a small L-shaped bar from leftover wood.

Anything I missed?
>to buy list
Whatever you use for a finish make sure you give the underside a couple of coats, not just the top. You want both sides to accept moisture at the same rate. When routing the inside of the sink cut out make sure you go counter clockwise or youll be making a climb cut and risking serious tear out,
Thank you. What should I use for finish btw? Oil, wax, something else?

Also what router bits will I need for the cuts and (maybe) rounding up an edge a bit, like the OP-pic?
You're going to want to cut that seam with something better than a circular saw.

Cabinet table saw with sled ideally. Any deviation in that seam will show like a sore thumb. And i mean ANY imperfection.
This anon gets it. He really means ANY imperfection. If it ain't perfect, then it's amateur.
Well, unfortunately that's either ordering a custom wooden countertop or buying professional tools. Both are out of my price range, and I mean - way out.

So, I'll use a straight board in clamps as a guide for a circular saw and pray eagerly, lol.
>nobody has mentioned how to even make butcher block

Amateur hour on /diy/
Then put some effort into networking with local hobbiest wood workers. Theres plenty of them.

Put an ad up on craigslist detailing what you want to do. And that you need to borrow the use of a cabinet table saw with sled. Most hobby guys would help out for a case of their favorite beer.

There's plenty of woodworkers who scrounge craigslist and would be happy to help.

You can get away with a circular saw. Just make sure to fit and the seam for a good long while to make it perfectly flush.
Words to live by. I needed to trim 1/2" off my counter to widen the gap when I replaced the stove. How hard could it be? Chips in the edge of the cut, cut not straight, scratches on the surface from the bottom of the saw sliding over it ... It looked like total ass. It's a clean well lit surface you will be staring at from 3' away. It will be noticed.


I dont know about an entire kitchen with all butcher block tops, but god damn i love them still.

Theres a fuckload of videos, guides for butcher block and concrete countertops im surprised someone /diy/ing a kitchen wouldnt keep it as an option.

Plus another mention for fucking up your miter when cutting the tops, just not gonna work. I've seen seams in CNC cut granite and quartz that look like ass from slight deviations in cuts, a circular saw, some speed clamps and a straight edge wont be better.
I would suggest that rather than a router, you consider using a plane and shooting board to trim the miters. I can't promise you will get them to mate perfectly, but I can tell you they'll be straighter than you're likely to get from a router, and because it's setup to remove small amounts of material at a time, you're less likely to fuck up.
look up scary sharp method to sharpen the blade sharp sharp, and even with a sharpening setup, it will be quite a bit cheaper than a router. go with the grain.

Since no one else has said it, clamp a cheap board to the back of all the cuts to prevent tearout.

Also, protip for cutting a miter that matches. Cut a miter that gets close, clamp the two halves together, then use the circular saw to cut along the miter, trimming both halves. You will end up with a perfectly matching miter.

A roundover bit is what you want for that edge. most router bits have a little picture on the side of the box for what profile of cut they make. look at that when you go shopping.

And re home depot dude, if by laminated you mean engineered hardwood aka plywood and not the shitty laminate ontop of mdf, he may have had a point. a large solid wood board like that will shift a bit with humidity changes from summer to winter, so you need to account for that when attaching to the cabinets, or else it will hulk its way free. this is why doors all have floating panels in them, and why chests and wardrobes tended to have ship-lapped boards, and why european cabinets without door panels were a huge deal back in the 70's. Plywood stays the same size, because the glue between the plys is stronger than that force, which is one of the reasons why it's MUCH easier to mass produce with plywood than real wood.
bartop epoxy if you want it to be done. Oil+wax if you want to be waxing it every month or two and dealing with it. (real) boiled linseed oil if you can wait a month for it to fully dry and want to go all natural. plain floor sealing polyurethane if you just want something that will work well and aren't too worried about being able to eat off of the countertops.

Oh, check to see if countertops are level. they may be slightly off, which you'll have to account for.
Generally wood is stained to the color you want, so check that before you use up the scrap, because you want to look at results in the lighting conditions it's going to be in before you commit to it.
I don't see a reason to buy a plunge router (unless that's what you need for other projects)
I'd give good odds you'll need WAY more clamps than that. I would guess 2-4 handscrew clamps and 1-2 longer clamps (so you can clamp the handscrews on each countertop half and use them to clamp the sides together)
along with the 2 to clamp the jig to the counter.

The type of jig you want is a circular saw tracksaw jig. There are TONS of plans out there, imo the most important part is to use a STRAIGHT piece for the guide rail. the best suggestion for that is to buy a steel yardstick. The $3 harborfreight aluminum one is fine.

For the sink hole, you want the router and a pattern bit or a flush cut bit. Get a piece of mdf or plywood and cut out a sink hole from that, then once you have a good one, trace out the sink hole on the countertop, use the jigsaw to cut it undersized by a bit, then use the pattern bit to follow the mdf pattern you made from the top, or go underneath and use a flush cut bit to cut to the pattern from there. Actually, just get a pattern bit.

also, fyi, butcher block generally means with blocks of wood facing their endgrain towards the top. this means that when struck with a knife, the blade tends to go 'between' the grains, meaning a much longer life expectancy without gouges and chips
Gentlemen, I knew I'd get some good advice on this board, but you still surprised me. Thank you. Sorry that I don't post any progress, I'm busy at work at the moment so the kitchen fun will begin in about a week.

>granite and quartz that look like ass from slight deviations
To be honest, I hope the miter bolts will compress the pieces together, so the tiny imperfections will be smashed into each other and hidden by glue/filler. Stone is a bit different at this point. Of course I'll still try to get the edges as close to 'perfect' as I can.

>shitty laminate ontop of mdf
This. But thank you, I haven't thought about the countertop 'breathing'. Should I use something like pic related to allow the top to slide a bit relative to the cabinets?

>circular saw tracksaw jig
Not OP
But can you use a plane to straighten it out, working on the end grain would be funky but with a sharp blade, light cuts and a reference edge will it work?
My choice for a countertop finish would be arm r seal or waterlox. Both oil based.
Nah, that's way overkill. Here's an article on your options: http://www.craftsmanspace.com/knowledge/17-ways-to-fasten-a-tabletop.html
If the cabinets have a slot for them already, i'd go with the z fasteners.
Also, found the discussion where I got the idea for getting the miter to match perfectly by trimming both sides at once

Also, to patch any imperfections on the miter, sweep up the sawdust, mix with glue until it's playdoh, and use it as wood filler. sand flush and stain the same. since it's the same wood, the color will be an exact match, the grain pattern will be the only difference.
You did it wrong. You cut laminate counters from the bottom, not the finished side, no scratches. You also want to run at least a couple strips of good duct tape on the laminate so youre cutting through the tape, no chips. And if you screw a straight edge on the cutting side to guide the sled, nk deviation from a straight cut. Lastly use a laminate blade kr one with a high tooth count and youll end up with perfect cuts.

I trashed one or two before i found the aboce method, havent hurt one since.
I don't want to burst your bubble or anything man, but if you haven't done something like this you may be disappointed with the results. I make corian and granite tops for a living. We've done wood ones before and they are a pain.

Like the other guy said, skip the plunge router and get a nicer non plunging one. The profile is just a quarter round. Get something nice and chunky like a 3/4" or 1". Do a couple of passes if you get a cheap bit.

Skip the 45 degree angle. Trust me on this man, you will not get the cut close enough. It doesn't seem like it, but that's a really long cut.

The top you can attach either by screwing directly into the cabinets from the bottom or use silicone to attach it. After it cures it will hold it forever.

You need to make a template before you cut or put anything in. Your walls are not straight. Once you slide it in there's gonna be gaps. Use the template to trim the back as close as you can or get a nice thick backsplash.

The sink will come with a template. If you're going to reuse the one you have make sure and carefully take it off to avoid being it. If you're undermounting it secure it with silicone and sink hangers if you can find them. If you can't find sink hangers, secure it with wood screwed into the top or cabinets. If your faucet is going through the wood, drill the hole at the very end of everything.

Standard overhand for most tops is 3/4" off the front.

Good luck man, I'll keep an eye to see how this turns out.
Also forgot, you'll want to grab a 1 1/2" or 2" straight bit to clean up your cuts and make them as smooth as possible.

Also like the other guy said, just cut the sink hole out with a jig saw, if you are top mounting it's fine to leave it like that. Start at 1/2" from the edge and sand down. Since it's your first time do little cuts and remove more material by sanding. You can't add material back if you cut too far. This should be done before you mount the tops.

Don't worry about the wood needing to breathe. Your house temperature doesn't vary that much, if you are real concerned, just put it down with silicone like I said earlier.

Use luan for the template, Trim it to 3" wide strips and use a hotglue gun to glue everything together. This will get everything lined up and get your 3/4" overhang consistent. Besides your walls, there's no telling if your cabinets are even straight. I've installed in a lot of houses and it's rare for things to be "correct".

Don't put a profile on the edge facing the stove or fridge. Just leave it flat.

Make a detailed plan after you measure and template everything, it'll help a lot.

Again, just keep in mind there is a reason why installed countertops are expensive.
Thank you anon.

It's not that I've never used measuring tools, lol, so I hope it's going to be acceptable countertop at the end.

I saw routing templates on youtube. The idea is cool, but the ones for sale are RIDICULOUSLY expensive. Any idea, where can I get about 1/4 in. thick sheet metal to make a template?

The walls are straight for the most part, there's an area pressed 1/4" in, but scribing the whole thing to correct that is too much of effort. Backsplash will cower it, I hope.
The templates come with follows that attach to your router so it's not as easy to make one yourself.

You could however buy one and return it using some bullshit story like you found you already had one in the garage or something.
A lot of them have "warranty-void" bits you need to snap off before using, specifically to stop you doing that.

Stop being an absolute pussy who thinks the system cannot be beaten,

99% of retailers have a 30 day money back guarentee if you're not happy regardless if you've used the product or not.

Kitchen fitter here, have done many, worktops, Laminate/Melamine, Beech, Walnut, Mia etc even recycled plastic worktops at one point.

Can't really add anything that hasn't been said other than: if you have an integrated dishwasher/washing machine under your worktop then use a moisture barrier above the appliance on the underside of the work-surface, its generally just a sticky-tin-foil-type film.

Also you can do straight cuts with a router and jig instead of circular-saw if you do a few passes, it may well be worth looking into hiring a jig as you're going to need a jig for your bolts/dog-bones anyway.

If you're going for an L-shape it may be worth biscuit the joint if you want a good flush finish, it's an extra expense/tool hire but something to think about.

Also you said your walls appear straight, something else to consider is "are they square" it can/will affect your job it they're not, especially an L-shape, even more so a U-shape.
If the main worktop is just a straight-run then it's not so much of a problem.

Worktops can seem an easy job in the mind but in practice can throw unexpected problems your way if you've not done one before especially walls that are out of square in relation to eachother, I don't think i've ever worked in a house with perfect walls other than a showroom.

But just go for it, it's not like you're doing it for a customer etc
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This is what I mean by 'template'. The metal sheet with slots cut in it, simple as fuck. I just don't know where to get the sheet of metal suitable for this.
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>Should I use something like pic related to allow the top to slide a bit relative to the cabinets?

Not that guy but yes, NEVER "directly fix" beech-block worktops to base units etc with mechanical fixings (screws) etc.

Over time the worktop will want to expand/contract and may start to pull itself apart if it has no room to move.

Like you said use pic related to fix the worktop and screw it down just tight enough to hold in place but not so tight you constrict its natural tendency to move.

Pic related, use the two little hole to fix into your cabinet and the elongated holes for the worktop, the wood will want to expand/contract across its width so fix accordingly
most hardware stores sell metal sheeting.... not a lot of it, but more than enough to do that.... the ace by me carries up to 1 yard square in steel, stainless diamond plate and brass for some odd reason....
Yeah, you don't need metal unless you're using the template hundreds of times. What you want is, as I said >>902999, use a piece of cheap plywood or mdf and use a pattern cutting bit. cut an UGLY hole in the cheap mdf or plywood and check against your sink size, then trace the hole on the wood, rough out with your jigsaw, then use the router to cut flush and smooth to copy the template. Done.
Or buy one if you really want.
flush trim bit will be more available/slightly cheaper than a pattern following bit, but more awkward to use.
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I know what you wanted you dullard.

Do you think it's as straight forward as copying a template, sticking a straight cutter in your router and off you go?

If you have a 1/4" collet and a 3/8" straight cutter, how would you mirror a template? You wouldn't.

That's why you use a base follow. That is why you buy a pre-made jig.

Do you ever stop to think why router jigs have a much wider slot than even half inch cutters?

The people at Ikea will have thought of this and I can say it's a pretty safe bet it won't be a solid block, instead will be made up of many sections, with alternating grain and either biscuits or tenons between joints.

Most 'proper' butcher blocks are fixed to stainless frames using coach screws.

It will also be kiln dried and sealed so it won't pick up a considerable amount of moisture.
Probably a moot point now, but those tops aren't butchers block. Real butchers block is made with a bunch of usually square cut pieces with end grain facing up. Don't expect to be able to use this $200 ikea wood top to actually cut directly on. It will turn to shit rather quickly.
>The people at Ikea will have thought of this and I can say it's a pretty safe bet it won't be a solid block, instead will be made up of many sections, with alternating grain and either biscuits or tenons between joints.

They won't be biscuited especially from Ikea, they'll be solid blocks of Beech constructed with the grain running length-ways and glued together with finger-joints, nothing more.

>It will also be kiln dried and sealed so it won't pick up a considerable amount of moisture.

Whether the worktop draws mosture or not, natural materials WILL expand and contract due to temperature alone.

I have fitted many.

>those tops aren't butchers block.

This, people keep calling them butcher-block, they're just Beech or Beech-block worktops, or whatever particular other wood is used, Walnut is another common one.
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Cut the first 45°. Good news: the Freud 40-teeth blade is awesome. It feels like cutting a block of butter. The cut is almost perfect, no chipping (thanks to anon - I clipped old shelf underneath the board). Once I angled the blade and it made a hardly noticeable step, which will only be visible from underneath. Another time I slowed down and the wood burner a little.

Bad-bad-bad news: the board is apparently bent. When it lays on a flat surface, the middle arches 2-3 mm above the surface. Any idea on how to fix this?
Idiot me! I left it on the floor flat, to make sure it cannot fall and hurt someone. I didn't read IKEA manuals because I'm an idiot. I opened the seal to measure everything and then put it on the floor again for 3 days. Now the tops are slightly warped, because blah-blah, uneven moisture absorption.... Oh, anon, did I just ruined everything?
Take a deep breath. We've been telling you, wood moves as moisture changes. it will LIKELY flatten back out as it evens out the moisture. (FYI this is why we all said seal both sides if you're going to seal it, otherwise bottom will absorb and top wont)

Wood is also flexible, when you screw it down this will also shrink any cupping.
If you don't notice it from the top, then you won't notice it when it's on.
And yeah, Freud gets good reviews for a reason. Fresh blades are great. Remember that you can resharpen/get the blade resharpened once you start getting resistance, and it will be like new again. But it should be fine for this project without it, you're only going to be cutting like 100' or so.
Safety tip, btw: don't start the saw with the blade in contact with the wood. If you have to stop a cut, back the saw all the way out and then thread your way back in with it running.
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Pic related. I cannot notice it from the top, but when I laid it side to side only.

So... Should I put some oil/sealant/whateverlox on it right now, or clamp it together, wait till it straightens up, then apply oil? Or stand it up by the wall? Or wet the concave sides, to help it straighten?

I didn't realize I have to seal it right after I open the package. So I opened it, measured, and didn't bother to read manuals, lol. Well, I paid for it shitting a Great Wall of bricks when I realized it's warped.
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I finished cutting. Tomorrow I'll be routing slots for miter bolts and biscuits. In a meanwhile putting a first coat of linseed oil on, doing it overnight, lol. I wish I had a garage.
I wouldn't sweat the warping its got to come to an equilibrium before its going to stop moving around. Nice looking miters there. Let that linseed oil dry for a good week before you go putting any poly on top of it. If you can put your nose to it and still smell the BLO it aint totally dry. You did use boiler linseed oil right? Regular linseed oil takes for-fucking-ever to dry.
Jesus Christ, so many kind people here. Never been on /diy/ before, but /diy/ has to be the best board.
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> You did use boiler linseed oil right?
Yup. I'm applying it every night 50/50 with paint thinner, it's supposed to dry in 24 hours. I polish the surface with fine steel wool b4 applying every next coat.

> I wouldn't sweat the warping
One of the pieces is pretty much cured by now, but the other one is still warped. But I'm going to glue the miters with biscuits, and bolts and PVA glue, that's supposed to be strong as fuck. So, if I glue it warped it will not up-warp ever. Am I right? Again, as I said - it's hardly visible only at the joint. It's literally 2mm step. I'm thinking of screwing small metal plates across the joint to force it to level up.

> Jesus Christ, so many kind people here
Yes, this place is perfect for a complete newfag like myself.
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And here is the whole thing.
hmm. Are you gluing it together first and then mounting it onto the cabinets?, or are you mounting it and then gluing together?
If gluing first, then get some weights, furniture is ok, and weight down the cupped piece first. You're probably overthinking. One of the benefits of biscuits is they use the same reference surface (the top) so they tend to flatten the top rather than making it stuck in the shape. as long as there's no lip, you should be fine. It's more of an issue with layers of veneers and bent wood furniture, where the amount of glue surface compared to the size of the piece is large.

Nice drawbolt cutoutss, btw, and the sink cutout looks decent. looks slightly ragged from this angle, but I think it's the edges of the planks/optical illusion.

The small cornerpiece miter looks great, but the larger one looks slightly gapped. Not terrible, but you're going to be looking at it for YEARS. Did you take my advice and >>902998 to get rid of that slight gap in the middle? you still might want to. If not, I hope you saved some sawdust to make wood filler that will match exactly and stain to the same color. you'll have to add more linseed oil after, though, and do some sanding in place to get rid of it.
What you think is a gap, is actually a step. It's backlit, so the edge looks dark and makes it look like there's a gap. Sorry, I don't have a better picture at the moment. And yes: I did follow that advice, the miters match perfectly.

The sink cutout has pretty rough edges, but who cares as long as there is no cracks and tearouts. Sink will be sitting on top of the counter.

I'll probably be gluing first, it looks easier so far.
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Here's the smaller one. Just some sanding and finishing left to do.
Thread posts: 46
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