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Big-Foot 09-07-2012 08:54 AM

Would you butt or miter a butcher block counter top if...
Okay, while it seems simple on the surface, here is my dilema..

I have two counter runs that need to intersect at right angles (luckily 90 degrees)..
I have 1-1/2" thick solid oak butcher block counter tops from that Swedish place. :wink:
The counter tops have a 1/4" radius chamfer on all edges.
The counter tops I have are 96 & 72 inches long.

One run is 104" and the one adjoining it will be 50"

If I miter join the counter tops, I will need to seam in roughly 8" on the corner of the long run (biscuits/glue?).

If I butt join them, I will need to make a fresh cut on the 50" run to remove the chamfered edge.

Personally I think that mitered butcher block would look better, but as you can tell, the amount of effort expended to do it this way would be considerable.

Getting a counter top longer than 8' is not possible I am told by our friends at the Swedish place.

So what would you do?


Regards - Randy

joecaption 09-07-2012 09:05 AM

I'd mitre then router out on the back side for a flip bolt or a counter top bolt so it would be fully adjustable for heigth.

user1007 09-07-2012 09:22 AM

Reason you need to buy from "that Swedish Place" is? They are a catalog, not a custom kitchen operation. Why not get the countertop you want in the length you want from a kitchen supplier that can get the lengths you need?

CoconutPete 09-07-2012 10:12 AM

I have butcherblock countertops from "that swedish place" also.

One of them is L-shaped (so 2 pieces coming together). I went with a different approcach since I was Waterloxing them. I left the miter alone, fastened both of them together with those big clamping bolts, screwed them down to the counter and then filled the gap with wood filler. Then waterlox on top of that. It blends in surprisingly well, plus it's watertight. I can spill redwine on it and come down the next morning and just wipe it up with a damp paper towel.

Big-Foot 09-07-2012 11:07 PM

Thanks guys...

I've been doing my homework and it seems that many people are saying (including the Swedes at you know where) to not miter butcher block but to join them in the "L" shape with a butt joint. Apparently the expansion rates of the butcher block are different with the diagonal joint and that this will lead to a failure in the join. I've never done butcheer block before so I guess I have to give this some consideration too. The lady insists on the Swede's place for the counter, or I would have gone elsewhere. Although I have to say that this is a darned fine looking slab of wood!

Waterlox - looking into this stuff.. Seems a bit pricey, but will deliver a "no apologies" finish if I take care in application. I was thinking about some sort of tung oil or mineral oil. The Swedes recommend Behandla treatment. I might look into that as well.

Okay - one last question. When I join these two - should I attempt to bpnd them or just use the bolt system from the bottom side? I think I know the answer but thought I would check with you..

Thanks again - all of you...

Regards - Randy

CoconutPete 09-12-2012 02:38 PM

I used 3 of these and it hasn't moved a milimeter since February.


Originally Posted by Big-Foot (Post 1005352)
Waterlox - looking into this stuff.. Seems a bit pricey, but will deliver a "no apologies" finish if I take care in application. I was thinking about some sort of tung oil or mineral oil. The Swedes recommend Behandla treatment. I might look into that as well.

I bought Behandla at first also .. then I started reading ... I decided I didn't feel like reapplying oil to my countertop every few months and I decided I didn't want to have to worry about a wet dish rag or a sweaty glass sitting on my counter so I forked out the extra few bucks for waterlox. The peace of mind I have gotten from it is worth 10 times that. I just came downstairs this morning and noticed some stains from when we made coffee the day before. Damp rag .... one wipe - gone.

The only pain w/ waterlox is that it STINKS as it dries, you need to wait 24 hrs between coats and in order to get the counters bulletproof you need 4 coats.

Big-Foot 09-12-2012 03:18 PM

Yes I have purchased a very similar setup for tieing the two countertops together.. Good to know that it works well for you...

I checked with the local big box stores on Waterlox as well as a couple of dedicated paint stores. They all tried selling me "something better", but none of them had any samples for me to look at.

I looked around online and this is the best deal I could find on WaterLox;

I have to Wonder how much of this I am going to need.. I have roughly 16' of countertop.

Also would I apply this before I drop in the sink? I would like to seal the sink in with a good thick bead of RTV sealant and wonder if it would even stick to the Waterlox...

Thanks for the help!

Regards - Randy

CoconutPete 09-17-2012 08:38 AM

I got mine from Woodcraft. There's one in Minneapolis, I'm not sure how far that is from you but I don't see why they wouldn't ship it.

I only have 10 feet of countertop if you subtract my mammoth sink in the middle, but one quart was enough for 2 coats on the bottoms and 4 coats on the tops and sides of my 3 pieces (4.5 foot x 2 and 1 foot). I also put 4 coats on a 2.5" piece of butcherblock I had left over from a project at my parents place and I still have around 1/5 or 1/4 of the quart left.

I can only imagine what they tried to sell you at the big box stores..... Call me old school, but my grandpa always told me "If it's oil based then you can't freaking clean it with soap and water".

By the way ... Get some cheap gloves, waterlox sucks to get on your hands.

I don't think you'll have a problem with silicone, my farmhouse sink is siliconed in and it sticks to it just fine. Waterlox is funny, sometimes it feels "sticky" even though it isn't. We have these slip-resistant bowls with this rubber insert on the bottom for traction and if you leave one sitting on the counter a while, it almost "pops" when you pick it back up, but there's nothing on the counter ... it's hard to explain.

Big-Foot 09-17-2012 11:41 AM

Yep - got the Waterlox at Woodcraft in our area (actually Bloomington MN). $70 or a gallon, but I will have more than half of it leftover for the next project..

Really odd stuff. Tung oil with polyurethane in it... I put the first coat on the bottoms of the counters and it seemed dry, yet oddly tacky after 24 hours. I guess this is consistent with your observations. I wonder if it hardens up even more after a few months?

The stuff I got was the medium shine as the high gloss would acentuate any inconsistencies in the surface as well as the butt joint.

Regards - Randy

CoconutPete 09-17-2012 12:02 PM

Yeah, it dries in a very weird way - i'm glad you are experiencing it yourself now, because it's really hard to explain haha. For my first coat I think I actually wiped down the surface after about 20 minutes with a lint free rag.

When you are done, spend extra time sealing the container, this stuff likes to start the hardening process (however slow it may be) as soon as oxygen hits it.

Big-Foot 09-17-2012 01:51 PM

Pete, did you sand your counters at all beween coats? If so, what grit paper?

I will be reinstalling the counter tops in the next couple of nights and then sand with 120 / 220 / 320 finish, then the 4 coats of Waterlox. If I can figure out how, I will post up pictures here..

Thanks again..

Regards - Randy

CoconutPete 09-19-2012 08:19 AM

I did sand, but only once. After coat # 2 or # 3 - I think it was after coat # 2. I used one of those "brillo pad" looking things that barely sanded, really just took out the imperfections and made the finish dull. Then wiped it down w/ a damp rag and let it dry before the next coat. Good luck, it's a PITA when you do it, but it comes out great.

Big-Foot 09-19-2012 09:55 AM

Hi Pete,

I'm assuming that you used a ScotchBrite pad.. I will try that on a test piece and report back.. The first coat seems to have bubbled up a lot of crud that was embedded in the grain.. I need to level that stuff out..

Regards - Randy

CoconutPete 09-19-2012 01:28 PM

No worries, better for it to show up now than after coat # 4. Coat # 4 is the one that had me lying awake that night .....

Just sand it until it's smooth - then clean the heck out of it and reapply another coat when it's dry. Worst case you could apply a 5th coat - you should have enough since you bought the "big-boy" one. I don't really think there is such a thing as too many coats. I rest assured knowing that a few years from now when we've beaten up the counters I can just take a weekend and sand them and give them another coat or two.

Big-Foot 12-10-2012 12:59 PM

I went five relatively heavy coats Pete and it looks glorious!
Great recommendation! :thumbsup:

Here's some pics for you...

I have refinished the edges since install

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