Framing for a Counter Top

Hi. I have been trying to construct a frame for a deli counter. It is 12' long and 3' deep and will have a granite top which weighs about 20 lbs per square foot. So, I need to make sure the counter is pretty strong, although I was told that regular Mills Pride counters are strong enough. Anyway, I looked up plans for fish tank stands since they also hold a lot of weight. They are made from 2x4's. These stands are made from two frames connected by vertical 2x4's. I can't make my frame this way because I have to slip some equipment in underneath the counter top and the bottom frame would be in the way. I guess I could put a floor on the bottom frame and slide the equipment in on top of the bottom frame, but then I think the counter will have to be too high. Is there a good way to make a strong frame without any framing on the ground? The front of the frame will be covered with plywood so I can add decorative cladding, but the other side will be open. I do have a drawing, below.
http://f2.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/qstroker2004/detail?.dir=/771f&.dnm 56.jpg
Thanks for any suggestions! dwhite
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You will be fine with it resting on the casework below.
Use some fir ply for a sub top (for the mastic) and attach that to the top rails of the cabinet first and be sure it is attached to both sides of the equipment opening (next to the 48" piece of equipment otherwise the stone will droop there.
A built up edge (drop edge) on the stone will hide the fir ply.
If this is a commercial application be sure to check with the health department and see if FRP is required for the sides and underside at the equipment opening.
By the way, if this is commercial, isn't 36" kind of low or is it a prep counter?
UA100
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Thanks. Actually the counter is 36" deep, not 36" high. I tentatively have the counter at 38" high, including the est. 1.5" thick granite. I noticed that it is hard to see the dimensions on the drawing I provided. Many sandwich unit cutting boards are at standard counter height, which I guess is really right around the 36". You don't want your hands to have to reach up from the elbows, it's easier if it is a little lower.
I guess I am really building an 8' long counter with a 4' sandwich unit next to it, but I have a 3" strip of granite that goes along the backside of the sandwich unit so that a sneeze guard can go the whole 12' and look like all one unit. I guess I'll build an 8' frame and figure a way to support the thin 3" section of granite.
When you say "you will be fine resting it on the casework below" are you talking about constructing a bottom frame with plywood top, and resting the equipment on that? I was considering to do that, but I have to make sure it doesn't make the counter top too high. If it is too high, is there a good way to do it without the bottom frame?
thanks, dwhite
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Dan White wrote:

I meant that the casework will be set first. Then this will be topped with the sheet of fir ply. Then the granite will lay on top of the fir ply.
You mentioned Mills Pride. Aren't they 34 1/2" high? With a 1 1/2" top you'd be at 36".
The biggest snotter I can see is the support of the granite on the left hand side of the equipment opening (to the right of the sandwich unit/pan inserts. I'm unclear as to if that (the sandwich unit) is a bought piece of kitchen equipment or a cabinet with allowances for the inserts. If it's a cabinet then you can prolly attach the sub top (fir ply) to it some how. If it's a bought unit I suppose you could use some stainless steel angles, attach them to the unit and then to the sub top.
UA100
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the
Oh, Ok.

Yes, I see how that would be confusing. The granite people told me that regular cabinets like you can get at Home Depot would be fine for granite. I was thinking that the granite might need more beefy support, but a regular cabinet construction should be fine. However, I wasn't considering to actually use those cabinets for this counter. Sorry for the confusion.

The sandwich unit is a stand alone stainless steel refrigerator with ss containers in the top. I have to match up the height of this unit to the granite top so that it is flush. In essence I'll be making an 8' counter and then butting the unit up next to it, and then constructing something behind the unit that will support a 3" section of granite to support a sneeze guard.
thanks, dwhite
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