Friday, October 28, 2005

Cautiously Optimistic

As usually is the case at this point in the project I’m starting to think about other ways I could have done this. I can’t say for certain whether these “other ways” would have been better ways so I’m trying not to exert too much brain power dwelling on them. Still, the thoughts do pinch the back of my brain as I move through this project.

The project in question is the counter top for the cabinets I made. I ranted about going with redwood a few weeks ago in another blog entry and that is exactly what I’m doing. Definitely not my first choice, but with certain budget constraints that come at the tale end of a long and expensive project like a complete kitchen make-over, I’m forced to cut some corners. Ideally I would be putting in marble. Ideally I would be excessively wealthy, 20 years younger, and sleeping with leggy, blonde twins. I don’t see any of those things on the horizon so redwood it is. I do still have hopes for the twins.

I really stalled the last few days on the counter top. On Monday I had glued up the two panels that will go on either side of the sink. I decided to let them “cook” in the clamps for 2 days because of the damp weather we’ve been having. Wednesday I should have been back to work on the rest of the boards but I discovered a slight problem. A month or so ago when my table saw was down for repairs I had gone to a friends house to use his band saw to split some 2X10 joists. These split joists make up the 2 panels on either side of the sink. At that point I had not built the cabinets yet and I didn’t take in to account that the total counter top will actually be wider than the 2 cabinets and the sink. The total width of the 2 cabinets plus the sink is 90-inches but the total width of the counter is 99.5-inches. The panels are several inches too short (pinch).

I’ve come up with a work-around but it is not an ideal solution. I won’t go in to it now, but I will bring it up again in a few days. I also had some problems edge-joining two of the boards because of their length. A proper glue joint should be straight and even with no gaps. This means that you need to make cuts that are very clean and straight. Not too difficult with the panels that are 30-inches wide but these 2 panels are sandwiched in between 2 boards that are about 100-inches long. These long boards make up the very back and the leading edge of the counter. It was hard to keep them from moving around while I worked with them on the router table. If I had ever done this before I would know whether what I did was suitable. As it is, only time will tell. I think I’ll start saving for marble.

Cooking In Clamps


Anonymous said...

Could you do "Bread board" end to make the counter top longer? Or do I misunderstand the problem?

Greg said...

Excellent question and that is what I'm doing. My concern is because this is a wet area near the sink. If it were just a table top I could do the bread board end but just use a few spots of glue and maybe some dowels. That does leave a gap where water can get in. Not really suitable for this counter. I'm going to clue the entire joint and so I will have a fully glued cross-grain situation. I've been told by Norm (New Yankee Workshop) that this can split the wood. I’m going to seal all sides of the wood, and because this is old-growth redwood (stable when in a wet area) I’m hoping it won’t be an issue. At least not for a while.

Actually, as I'm writing this, I'm thinking I should have done my bread board ends at the outside of the counter. I'm putting them on the inside near the sink opening. I thought this would be better so I wouldn't have exposed end-grain near the water. Now I’m not so sure.

Anonymous said...

On the ends is what I was suggesting. I know they can help keep the lengthwise boards on tables and such from warping. It would also look really nice , I think. You do such nice work!