Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Island Countertop

This stone wall is on the ridge between our house and the brook. It is a very pretty spot.

Another shot from outside - Karen was out taking pictures one day.

This is the butcher block slab for the island. We will end up with two sections for the island countertop. They are too short and too wide for our application, so we will trim them to length and width with the circular saw. As carefully as possible.

The bare island. No sink, no faucet, no countertops.

Measure twice, cut once. We measured twice, then clamped the level in place as a fence against which to run the circular saw. I'm pretty smooth with the circular saw by now, but the fence is even better. Yes, I made Karen hold the extra bit until I came back with the camera. :) There are some dark spots on this slab - because we are cutting it upside down, and the bottom of the butcher block is not as polished as the top. It surprised us when we opened the first box, but then we saw the big stamped letters that say "Down". We cut it upside down to minimize any tear-out of the wood as we cut.

The first section cut to length and width. The length on this first slab doesn't matter too much - we just needed to trim the rounded end off so it will have a square edge to butt against the other slab. The width of these tops is 39" or so, but we only need 34". The extra 5" will be trimmed again, and will be used as a backsplash on the non-island countertops. We tried a few methods for an accurate template for the sink cutout, and cardboard was one of them. The sink cutout proved to be the most difficult part of this, but we knew that going in.

Both slabs cut to length and width. But no sink access. Hmm, we'll have to fix that.

The sink cutout is done. The camera exaggerates the differences between the slabs, and the tops are not installed here, just set in place.

A close-up of the sink cutout. We cut a few templates out of cardboard until we had the fit that we wanted, and then we traced that edge onto the slab. If it came out great, then great! If it came out bad, then we planned on sanding for awhile. If it came out terrible, well, we would have looked for a top-mount sink that fit the hole. Fortunately it came out pretty well. Some finish sanding, and we were good to go.

Another spot of the cutout.

Last shot of the cutout. The faucet is not reinstalled yet, but that will be simple - it's just a 1 1/2" hole drilled straight through the top. The top will be caulked to the sink, screwed in place, and then coated with Waterlox. It's expensive, but seems to be the best finish we can find for this application. We don't want to risk water damage, so we will treat the wood well before we even reinstall the faucet. No sense risking the temptation.

So how do you do dishes with no kitchen sink? That actually turned out pretty cool. I washed, and Karen rinsed and dried. There is always a way to make things work. :)


Anonymous said...

looks really good! (though for some reason i can't see all the pictures.)

we installed an undermount sink with butcher block countertops at our last house. we oiled both sides, plus sink cutout, with 10 applications of pure tung oil before installing. we kept it wiped down and didn't let water stand for too long, and we never had any trouble.

Hannah said...

Simply beautiful guys!!! We love you!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful job you did! And Karen looks very pleased with every step! Love, Mom and Dad

The Wests. said...


Good to know about your experience with a similar installation, Serina. We're confident that this setup will work out just fine for us, too.


OUR CLAN said...

You guys are moving right along. It sure is beautiful!

Benjamin said...

I was googling around trying to find someone who had glued two pieces of butcherblock end to end to see what the seam would look like and I stumbled across your blog. Your island looks great so far. We are thinking about doing something similar in our new house (7' butcherblock peninsula with undermount bar sink). When you are done, would you mind posting a up-close shot of the seam? The house looks great!