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Eric R Snow
 
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Default Wood, butcher block counter tops?

Greetings All,
I am going to need new kitchen counter tops in a few months. I'm not
too fond of formica and because I drop things a lot a tile or stone
counter top would not be practical. So I'm thinking that a butcher
block type of counter top might be the way to go. I know that the
softer wood will dent easier and that getting the right kind of
finish is very important. I'm a machinist by trade and though I'm
comfortable with metal working with wood is kind of a mystery.
Thanks for reading,
Eric R Snow,
E T Precision Machine
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Josh
 
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Default Wood, butcher block counter tops?

Just keep in mind that unlike metal, wood "moves" as the humidity
changes. Most countertops are either made of a solid material that
doesn't swell with humidity (e.g. granite, corian, etc.) or are
comprised of a surface (i.e. formica, tile, etc.) atop a plywood or
particle board substrate, which are both quite immune to humidity
changes. If you go with butcher block, you'll likely get significant
growth and shrinkage throughout the year.

That's not necessarily a problem, you just need to take it into account
when you affix your countertops to the cupboards. You'll need to use
connectors which allow movement, like what you'd find connecting your
dining room tabletop to its apron and legs.

One nice thing about wood countertops: If you ever get a bad scratch,
dent, burn, or whatever, you can always sand and refinish.

Josh

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Andy
 
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Default Wood, butcher block counter tops?

So I'm thinking that a butcher block type of counter top might be the way to go.

I've sort of considered the same thing - check out grizzly.com and
search for "solid maple" - they have a variety of sizes of 1 3/4" thick
maple butcherblock bench/table/counter tops. Most of them work out to
$11-12/sq foot - less than most countertop surfaces. Probably cheaper
than you could build one yourself. Shipping costs add a good chunk,
but if you live near WA, MO, or PA, you could pick it up, and see their
showroom of wood- and metal-working tools.
Hope this helps,
Andy

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Joe Gorman
 
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Default Wood, butcher block counter tops?

Andy wrote:
So I'm thinking that a butcher block type of counter top might be the way to go.


I've sort of considered the same thing - check out grizzly.com and
search for "solid maple" - they have a variety of sizes of 1 3/4" thick
maple butcherblock bench/table/counter tops. Most of them work out to
$11-12/sq foot - less than most countertop surfaces. Probably cheaper
than you could build one yourself. Shipping costs add a good chunk,
but if you live near WA, MO, or PA, you could pick it up, and see their
showroom of wood- and metal-working tools.
Hope this helps,
Andy

If you need wider pieces, for an island maybe, try
http://www.hardwood-lumber.com/butcherblock-prices.html They carry 14"
to 48" sections from 3-10 feet long, but the prices are quite a bit higher.
Joe
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ed_h
 
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Default Wood, butcher block counter tops?

I built two 2-3/4" thick true butcher block rock maple countetops
joined in an "L" configuration. ("True" meaning end-grain up.)

It is a lot of work--almost 700 individual blocks in mine--and heavy.
Buying would probably be preferable, but I've not seen endgrain tops
for sale other than cutting-board size.

It is just about impossible to dent the endgrain maple, but it will
scorch and stain.



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Eric R Snow
 
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Default Wood, butcher block counter tops?

On 12 Feb 2006 21:11:42 -0800, "Josh" wrote:

Just keep in mind that unlike metal, wood "moves" as the humidity
changes. Most countertops are either made of a solid material that
doesn't swell with humidity (e.g. granite, corian, etc.) or are
comprised of a surface (i.e. formica, tile, etc.) atop a plywood or
particle board substrate, which are both quite immune to humidity
changes. If you go with butcher block, you'll likely get significant
growth and shrinkage throughout the year.

That's not necessarily a problem, you just need to take it into account
when you affix your countertops to the cupboards. You'll need to use
connectors which allow movement, like what you'd find connecting your
dining room tabletop to its apron and legs.

One nice thing about wood countertops: If you ever get a bad scratch,
dent, burn, or whatever, you can always sand and refinish.

Josh

Greetings Josh, Brooks, Andy, Joe, gfretwell, and Ed,
Thanks for all the replies. The info was just what I needed to decide
if wood could make a good counter top. Now I have to see if my wife
likes the idea as much as I do. Josh, I had not even thought about
expansion and contraction of the wood. The final design will need to
allow for this. And I had no idea that Grizzly sold butcher block tops
Andy. Thanks Joe for the wide piece info. I'm glad Brooks that you saw
the very old top and related how it looked. It would be great if the
next owners really like the finished house and the special touches
like maple counters. And Ed, the end grain hardness is feature that
could maybe be incorporated into part of the counter for a good solid
surface to support a cutting board when using a mallet to thin chicken
breasts and the like. Finally, thanks to you gfretwell (what's your
real name?) for the Grainger suggestion. I order from Grainger several
times a year.
Cheers,
Eric R Snow
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