Hardwood countertop

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I see a lot of "butcher block" countertops, no doubt made of edge glued 2 x 2 's ? -- but why can't you make a top from 1 by material as well?
Like perhaps edge glued 1 x 8 maple, 4 boards across for the depth. 28 to 30" or so.
I suppose that making a 1 1/2" maple edge and then reinforcing the bottom with 3/4" particle board would be the way to go -- just like the old fashioned laminate tops.
Why not?
I haven't seen any in doing a google search -- just the butcher block style.
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Lots of issues.
Countertop typically means kitchen. Kitchen usually means moisture. Moisture means wood movement. Movement means cupping at least. So very likely the counter top would buckle up or down. Also likely break the edge glued joints eventually. Also need to think abput what to do if you have a corner, how do you let the counter top expand properly withouth breaking itself apart. A 30 inch wide maple panel will change with by 0.42 inches with a 4% change in moisture, about the average range of change over a year in a house in general, a wet counter top likely a greater percentage.
Flat panels as countertops are just way too much trouble.
Now you mention using particle board to keep it flat. You cannot glue a 30" wide panel to ply or particle which does not expand like solid wood. So I guess you could do screws through slots but you will come to find that mechanical fastners are not very well matched against the hydraulic pressures of mother nature.
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On 1/26/2011 1:36 PM, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Plenty of kitchens have butcher block counter tops made out of real maple. Movement doesn't always mean cupping, for example, quarter sawn tends to not cup, or move much across the grain.

That means a solid maple wood 15' floor will expand 2.5 inches across the grain. I think that would be unusual, but your point is generally accurate.

Perhaps, but the question is could a counter top be constructed out of 3/4 maple and the answer is of course. Most of the expansion will be across the grain, and very little of that if quarter sawn wood is used. For a counter top, that should not be much of an issue since at least one end is free to move all it wants.

No reason to attach the top to particle board. Attaching the top to the cabinet sides underneath or to a torsion box might help. There are millions of flat 30" tops made of solid wood that don't bow, crack or warp. Basic construction techniques are needed but are secondary to the choice of wood. By choice of wood I mean how the tree grew, how it was cut, what the grain is like, how it was dried, how it is finished and so on. If the wood is going to bow, cup or warp, not much can be done about it regardless of how thick or thin the wood is.
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Yes but this yahoo wants to build it not as butcher block but as flat panels.
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Other than a lot of maintenance, I don't see any reason he can't as long as he attaches it to the cabinet base in a manner that let's it expand and contract.
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Yeah it "might" work out OK but even with proper dynamic attachment the possibility of a big problem is still greater than 50% IMNSHO. Have you seen many flat panel counter tops? Probably a reason you haven't. I would not take this job on contract. The customer is always right but the customer will also want me to fix the problem once it starts happening or simply blame me.
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

NP, he wants to do it himself, in which case, look at the bright side - you have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor to fix it :)
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On 1/31/2011 12:53 PM, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

I think this is where Mike is detecting some exaggerated perceptions. Yes, solid wood moves, cups, warps and all that, yet and still, plenty of tops are made out of flat boards, and for most of history, that was all there was. The main thing is choosing the correct grain patterns and assembly techniques. Someone posted a link to a Roy Underwood Side table:
http://www.pbs.org/woodwrightsshop/video/2900/2908.html
and if you watched it, you'll see the top is 1" thick 32" wide flat boards glued up with breadboard ends. Counter tops are generally 24" wide or less, and have even more support under them than his side table.
It takes a lot of knowledge to pick out the right wood as well as some luck to avoid problems, but most woodworkers have successfully glued up wide panels. Naturally problems often arise, thus un-natural solutions have been developed to solve, but still not uncommon to see wide, solid wood tops with no problems.
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Yes but...
Mr. Mike said in his post #20 that he "glued, screwed and nailed" and has never seen a problem. Mr. Roy in the first 4 minutes of the referenced video shows that you need to account for wood movement. So you can't just glue everything with no problem. So Mike is totally wrong and ignorant to the fact that you MUST account for wood movement and this "notion" has NOT "taken on a set of legs of its own." but rather is a known fact that any intelligent woodworker accounts for in his design, even back in the days that Mr. Roy is exploring. They very concept of a breadboard end and the traditional attachment method proves the point.
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I think it would deform quickly from alternate cycles of moisture/drying, absorption of oils, natural warpage, temperatures, etc.
Steve
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In article

Not durable. There's a reason "butcher block" is edge or (more properly, but rarely seen) end grain. Flatways, the wood is more prone to dent - also, wide flat boards in countertop (wet, abusive) use are prone to warp.
To make a countertop from 1" material, Cut your 1" boards into 2" strips and glue up 30 or so strips with the 1" side up - or just buy a butcherblock top (costs less than buying the stock to make one, most of the time, if you shop well.)
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Reinforce maple with particle board?!?!
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mkr5000 wrote:

If you're merely after the butcher-block "look," you might try maple (etc.) manufactured laminate flooring.
You'll need a router to get the edges to match and some glue.
I did that with a bunch of left-over el cheapo material over a year ago. It looks nice and works well. I figured if the stuff was designed to withstand dirt, mud, abrasion, water, and golf shoes, it would cover the funky-looking 60's Formica quite well.
It did.
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Maple moves, flakeboard doesn't (assuming it doesn't rot). Better to join the boards with splines, biscuits, dowels, whatever you have handy. Compensate for the boards' tendency to shrink more at the ends by cutting the joints ever so slightly concave, or "sprung."
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Compensate

Hmmmm first time I have heard a plausible reason for the sprung joint (greater shrinkage at the ends). Till now I always thought it was such crap. Adding tension across the entire joint just never made sense. Even so, I am still not convinced that having tension across the whole joint forever, is better than letting glue try to hold the end of a joint together when it dries out.
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On 1/26/2011 3:37 PM, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

With today's modern glues the joint probably *would* hold together, but it wouldn't surprise me if the wood split as some other location while it was drying out.
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Well of course I would seal the surface well and use biscuits liberally on the edges. As for the particle board, it wouldn't be seen but be under the maple to give it added strength and dimension, just like a standard laminate top. Plus, I could screw into the maple from underneath for added strength and stability. ?
I like the idea of using flooring, may look into that or at least try a sample section.
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I guess you won't listen to the many reasonable reasons why this isn't done. You did ask "Why not?" and it was clearly explained. Good luck.
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wrote:

I guess you won't listen to the many reasonable reasons why this isn't done. You did ask "Why not?" and it was clearly explained. Good luck.
SP:
As Google posts are only visible to me by replies, I ask your indulgence for tagging on to yours.
This OP was just on rcm asking about fabricating various varieties of something industrial like an "aluminum countertop". First there was talk of a sheet. Then, maybe, directly butted aluminum tiles. An interjection on the importance of grout and expansion joints was raised without any insightful acknowledgement reaching my eyes. But, again, the full Google feed doesn't land on the doorstep.
Someone mentioned concrete.. .the existence of books directly relevant to his need and the distinctive problems endemic to a countertop environment. "Concrete" became the new word and he was off. Apparently, the windsock caught a woodchip.
I don't mean to be unkind to the OP but in his place, I would consult written sources on topic (try ("countetop* OR "countertop materials") and, yes, read them for a foundation that will result in any remaining questions being a thoughtful and appropriate use of the kind favor of time and intelligence solicited from others who may not even win the wages of direct thanks.
Regards,
Edward Hennessey
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wrote:

Won't matter. Humidity changes will be slowed a bit but not stopped.

Yes but the maple will expand and contract with changing humidity and the particle board underneath won't. The force involved is very large. The maple will tear the screws out of position. If glued to the particle board, the maple will break the glue bond.
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