Kitchen Counters

I started on October 17, 2008. The kitchen counter looked like this.

Cluttered, but that is normal.

Cleared for action.

Sink is gone and the hot water shut off valve, doesn't.

But I will need the sink later, so it waits.

Big job, big tools. I could have brought in the Monday but enough is enough.

Well, that is sort of irrevocable.

We put on the base of the new counter top. Exterior grade 3/4 inch ply, which is now 23/32 inch -saving somebody about 4%, but not me. Cans and boxes of food aren't the only thing shrinking. When I started 2x4s were 1-5/8x3-5/8 not the 1-1/2x3-1/2 they are today.

And we cut out the hole for the sink.

Roughing in the oak around the sink. The ply wood has 3 coats of polyurethane for water proofing at this point.

The oak is glued down, the clamps are to keep things from moving until it dries.

That is an air-driven industrial grade finish nailer. There is a big air compressor under the bench in the garage. I paid $350 for it at Costco the year after I got charged $190 to blow out my sprinkler system for winter. It also runs air tools, which are great things.

The back board and the first course of counter-top. Glued together in one 11 foot piece to the right and a 3+ foot piece to the left. Then nailed down. Red oak. The back board is 1x4x3/4 the counter-top will be red oak 3/4 tongue and groove flooring. Home Depot for both. The hammer is a 2 pound Estwing. You may remember that I think highly of Estwing hammers, I've about 8 different ones.

For what it is worth, the cutting board underneath the pate in my Blog header picture is 3/4 unfinished oak flooring and glue, and the top of the 4x9 kitchen work table is the same wood, also unfinished, where it isn't granite. See here.

The other end. That is a curved claw Estwing, either 16 or 20 oz. I've both.

Close up shot.

The corner. I did have to remove about 3 inches of tongue from all of the left hand pieces, but other than that it was simply cut to fit.

Now, I had left the sink in place once I got the wood around it cut and down. I was just very careful to not get water on anything. I also hooked up the dishwasher and garbage disposal.

That is flooring, it needs to be sanded before sealed. That belt sander is ancient. I would love to replace it, it goes back to my first house, but the thing still runs fine.

Last shot before the sink gets pulled again.

First coat, high gloss poly.

Three coats. My guess is I'll need to sand and reapply every couple of years.

This morning, electricty to the garbage disposal, plumber's putty around the opening.

And in.

That is what it looks like underneath. The hold down clamps screw into that track running from upper left to lower right. And yes we varnished the underside as well, water is water, waterproofing is a good idea.

And me getting under to clamp it down. I hate plumbing, even if I am better at it than Joe. My regular plumber has been known to drop off parts with instructions on do it your self, because he has somebody with a problem that doesn't know what to do.

And that is what it looked like 218 hours after I started.

The double doored cabinets still need to see an orthidontist and there are two small cabinets that need counter tops, but that is a few hours a day for a short week. I don't have to be as careful with the waterproofing, which leaves out three coats of poly. I also have to put a blind on the window behind Maurice, but I've already got him pulled out to get to the cabinet end above. Now I just shove him back to the cabinet, put up the blind and shove him back to the wall.


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  • 10/26/2008 5:10 PM mama kat wrote:
    Wow! It looks awesome. I bet wifey is super proud of you!! That kitchen is primed and ready for some good cookin!! Great work!
    Reply to this
    1. 10/27/2008 7:08 AM ntsc wrote:
      My wife did a Jambalya (sp) last night, chicken pieces rather than shredded, no shrimp and home made andouille sausage.

      We've started on the Thanksgiving menu planning, starting Wednesday evening ending Sunday Lunch. 11 guests and this year we even have room if the single nephew wants to bring a friend.

      I'll be posting it soon, Thanksgiving Day involves two turkeys, neither deep fried this year.
      Reply to this
  • 10/26/2008 9:34 PM Noble Pig wrote:
    Wow, this is a labor of love! The counters are beautiful! It must feel great to have those in.
    Reply to this
    1. 10/27/2008 7:19 AM ntsc wrote:
      This is my third house, the first two purchased with the knowledge that they would need a lot of sweat equity. This one very little.

      I'm also a very good stage carpenter, having been doing it since college at age 16 - that show was The Male Animal by Thurber. I haven't done theater since we moved out of NY City, but I've done at least 25 shows with this group, , as Technical Director, Master Electrician, Lighting Designer or Fly Master. I once even had an Assistant Fly Mistress.

      In our house in Brooklyn the owner's duplex had a pullman kitchen I built where I used oak flooring for the counters. It is an amazingly durable surface.
      Reply to this
  • 10/27/2008 8:19 AM Andrew wrote:
    Fantastic looking counters, just beautiful, I wish I had that skill. The house we own now is newer, so I can't really justify any new projects, but I'd eventually like to get a house that needs a bit of work (I'll probably regret that at some point). Loved the prior meat run post as well, nice looking beef.
    Reply to this
  • 10/27/2008 10:03 AM ntsc wrote:
    This house is relativly new, we just did not like the kitchen counter top. We could have gone with granite, but decided the cabinets weren't worth that kind of money and changing out the cabinetry was more than we wanted to spend.

    I already had all the tools, so the only cost was the wood. 2 sheets of plywood and 2 bundles of flooring, less than $300. I also already had the poly.
    Reply to this
  • 10/27/2008 4:42 PM fitzie wrote:
    Beautiful! You did a fabulous job.
    Reply to this
  • 10/29/2008 12:23 PM evil chef mom wrote:
    that makes me tired just looking at your pictures.
    Reply to this
  • 10/31/2008 7:51 AM french tart wrote:
    looks fantastic! hey you wanna come down and redo our counters too? we'll feed ya.

    jk. happy halloween.
    Reply to this
  • 11/1/2008 7:53 AM The Yummy Mummy wrote:
    Gorgeous! The counters are beautiful! You are a handy little thing, aren't you?

    And special thanks for the picture of you working your magic under the sink. Now I know what you look like! Finally, the mystery is solved!

    Reply to this
  • 11/1/2008 5:17 PM ntsc wrote:

    That is my evil twin George Bush.
    Reply to this
  • 11/3/2008 1:08 PM Wendy wrote:
    Wow! I'm impressed! I wish I had some counters of my own, because I would try to bribe you to come do mine. lol.

    Thanks for your comment yesterday. I think it helped Thomas to hear it from another "dude."
    Reply to this
  • 11/3/2008 6:44 PM jennyonthespot wrote:
    WoW! It looks GREAT! So much work, but so worth the effort! Nice job!
    Reply to this
  • 11/6/2008 2:02 PM Walt wrote:

    Thanks again for your info over at DelGrosso's blog about Dietrich's. I've ordered some fresh ham and lamb on the shank as well as some pork belly for the weekend we drive through. I wish Hendrick's farm was a bit closer to our route and open on Sunday so we could check it out as well. Next trip I suppose.

    Thanks again
    Reply to this
  • 11/23/2008 5:13 PM Jesse wrote:
    Wow. I am so amazed. Can't stop looking at the pictures and comparing the differences. You're so talented!
    Reply to this
    1. 12/4/2008 6:54 AM ntsc wrote:
      I am kind of curious what a vegetarian is doing wandering around a site titled 'Charcuteire', but a visitor is a visitor.

      I'm a frustrated stage techie, but except for a short summer when I was 17 it has always been amature, I've also always loved well done wood furniture. I've the wood shop in the basement to do this kind of work.
      Reply to this
  • 12/21/2008 1:04 PM Becca wrote:
    I LOVE that you admitted that your counters stay cluttered. So do mine. I just clear off my island before a big project.

    I have done a touch of carpentry and construction in my life. My uncle has built 3-4 houses/businesses completely on his own. I went through the whole process with him to build my mother's business. It was hard interesting work. It is a shame I didn't absorb more of it.
    Reply to this
  • 12/22/2008 7:58 AM ntsc wrote:
    There are two of us and we both cook, things get cluttered, very cluttered. There is about 100 square feet of counter-height surface in that kitchen, most of it covered with something, hopefully not one of the cats
    Reply to this
  • 3/12/2009 2:00 PM Shannon wrote:
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Don't you just love Karen and her house? Anyway, love your counter. I saw something similar to this once but they stained it dark as well as sealing it. I'll find out about the kind of table saw and let ya know!
    Reply to this
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