Oil Based Poly and Butcher Block

So in my ongoing saga to finish the "acreage" of butcher block counter tops I just bought for my store, I saw the recent post on water based poly and see that the cure time for oil poly to harden can be weeks. If this is true then I need to finish them now so that when they are installed in about 3 weeks they will have hardened. Two questions come to mind. 1) Is the poly flexible enough to withstand normal flex/stress from drilling and installing the counters? 2) Since I will have to finish the counters in the back of the store, are they likely to stink up the whole place? I could do the work after closing and ventilate until the next morning. It is a food establishment so I can't have too, too much fumes.
After consulting some guys at a website I was recommended to visit, here's what they came up with: The idea is to protect the wood in non-food prep areas with poly. I wanted to bring out the grain of the hard maple as much as possible and the suggestion was to 1) treat with boiled linseed oil, 2) finish with gloss poly (I got Minwax) maybe 2 coats with sanding, and 3) finish the top coat with satin poly. It was also recommended to use a thinner in the poly to keep the coats thin instead of "gloppy" but the can does say not to thin...not sure who is right on that one. There was also the suggestion to add Japan Drier to quicken dry time. Anyone use this before?
Thanks, dwhite
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Hi Dan, The poly is flexible enough. Don't worry about that.
Finishing late in the day and letting it dry overnight seems like a safe idea.
I normally use Flecto's Varethane and you can thin it a bit(maybe 5%) with mineral spirits. I know some guys thin it much more when they want to wipe it on.
Forget the japan dryers. I made tables for a restaurant. Suggested to the owner that he wait two-three weeks before putting them into service. After one week they were being used constantly. I year later they look fine. Cheers, JG
Dan White wrote:

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Thanks, JG!
dwhite

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