Maple kitchen counter feasibility

I have a narrow kitchen with a window only at one end & I'd like to create a bright/light impression -- my thoughts are circulating around a maple worksurface (because of the colouring) with some decorative darker elements here and there (around the hobs, for example).
The intent is not a food preparaton surface directly; I will have chopping boards etc for the rough stuff. Nonetheless, it's a tough life for a kitchen work surface.
The questions, of course, are ones of practicality and durability:
1) is there a practical, and food safe, finish for maple that is suffciently water proof ?
2) how well will maple resist food and liquid stains if finished this way ?
3) or is the whole idea just plain stupid and best buried in the woods outside :-) ?
With thanks for your expert opinions,
Nigel.
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Just a thought - I saw some maple countertop (I think it was at Ikea) that had a very tough finish on it and sold for less than I can buy the wood for locally.
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In response:

Probably not, unless you want to consider one of those epoxy-type "bar-top" finishes, which basically looks like hell unless it's actually on a bar.

Pretty well - find a bar and look at the top - I bet most of them get refinished often.
FWIW, I will be putting a beech butcherblock top as an island in my kitchen. I plan on giving it no finish other than periodic coats of mineral oil, and an occasional (every 2-3 years) scraping or sanding to remove dings and stains. I won't be doing a lot of chopping on it, but wood finishes on a countertop don't last long, so I won't bother.
I've had purpleheart bullnose edges on the countertop in my current kitchen for three years now. All they've ever recieved have been a couple thin coats of mineral oil. They show no stains, no damage, and are still bright purple. I never even filled the nail holes because I can hardly see them. The rest of the counter is burgundy-colored tile. While I'd never, ever, not in a million lifetimes put tile on a countertop again, the wood edge has held up amazingly well and I'd not hesitate to do that again.
Jon E
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Committing the ultimate usenet sin and following up to myself, I have just realised that this is a seriously often asked FAQ.
Please disregard, and I'll browse all the previous times this question has been asked.
Sorry, forgot to check first ......
Nigel.
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Your punishment for this offense is that you must read every post on this newsgroup for the rest of your life.....
Key Bored

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No problem with your wanting a maple work surface, but do you really expect much in terms of lightening the kitchen? If you really, really want to do some good that makes a huge difference in a dark kitchen, paint the cabinets white. My wife grabbed the panel off our appliance white dishwasher and took it to the dealer and said "match this". She specified oil based high-gloss enamel. It doesn't chip, wipes clean with a warm soap and our kitchen is a cheery, happy place to work. To keep it from looking too much like a hospital, we did the countertops in 14" Italian stone tiles.
Bob
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New to newsgroups here. How do I see the FAQ's? Thanks, Brandon

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On Mon, 29 Nov 2004 16:10:41 -0500, "Brandon Addison"

<http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search?dq=&num%&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&group=rec.woodworking
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On Mon, 29 Nov 2004 16:10:41 -0500, "Brandon Addison"

<http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search?dq=&num%&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&group=rec.woodworking
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Danke!
wrote:

<http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search?dq=&num%&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF - 8&group=rec.woodworking>
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I was vacationing with my father, who is an avid woodturner, in Hawaii this last summer. He called up Ron Kent http://www.ronkent.com/ a world famous turner and my dad invited himself over. (This will get to counter tops soon.) Any way we had a great time in his shop and then he invited us in and showed us his house. It was beautiful. I got to talking with him about furniture making etc.
So finally he shows me the counter tops he made for his kitchen out of OSB sheet goods. He tooks OSB and riped into 1.5 inch piece glued them together so that the edges facing up and finished them with Danish oil. They were very attractive. Here's a picture
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~tntcleek/OSBCounter.jpg
I think I might put some edging on it but it really looked nice!
todd

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We once made 22 desks for an ad agency from OSB. We did not cut them and glue them up, we laid them out and sanded them until they turned white and then sprayed lacquer. They looked great. We then made some other items using glue lam beams cut in to 2 inch chunks (we started with 4x6) and then glued them in to surfaces They looked great and help up well. You can't cut on them or scrub them because the lacquer is not that durable. We went through two units (66 sheets) of OSB. max

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It can be done easily enough but I think maple (or any hardwood) counter top is pretty high maintenance. Wear and tear on the surface and the normal changes in humididy can cause problems that require sanding or re-finishing. They look very good initially but come back a couple years later and if they haven't been taken care of they are not very pretty. Of course if you don't use your kitchen, the surface should last a lot longer.:)
I have a bar top made from an old bowling alley approach. The material is 2" thick maple with the lane markers still in it. I sanded it and finished it with several coats of poly. While the finish is still good after 8 years you can now feel some of the seams where the boards come together. It doesn't bother me on the bar but if it was in my kitchen my wife would have had me refinish it by now. I have seen some 1 1/2" thick maple tops available from a flooring supply that are pre-finished with some kind of food-safe poly but are not made to use as a chopping surface. The larger butcher block type cutting tables are normally just treated with mineral oil.
Mike
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We have 5/4 maple counter tops in our pantry. They've been used as food preparation surfaces, including, apparently, some chopping and cutting, for 95 years now, and are still in pretty good shape, but they do look "distressed" -- on the other hand, it's an old house, so it ought to look old. If they were ever finished with anything, it wore off decades ago.
What would happen if you did the hot beeswax or paraffin treatment?

Not too badly, if they get wiped up right away. Probably better if oiled. This may be some kind of super-maple that isn't available any more though.
Regards, Allen
--
Allen Windhorn (507) 345-2782 FAX (507) 345-2805
Kato Engineering (Though I do not speak for Kato)
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Wax is superior to oil in repelling liquids and stains. Bigger molecules. Also more difficult for detergents to emulsify and wash away.
writes:

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