wood countertop

I'm moving into a house with around 15 linear feet of old white laminate countertop. I'm thinking of painting face frames and replacing doors and drawers fronts on the cabinetry. Now how practical is it to buy some mahogany or sapele and gluing up 3/4 inch wide 1 1/2 inch thick pieces and finding a finish that would work in the kitchen. I know I would have to send it out for wide belt sanding. What other considerations am I missing?? Thanks much ---> Ed
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By the time you're done with picking the right (non toxic) glue, the right, durable finish, the amount of wood, etc, etc, the clamping, man... that is a lot of work. OR.. you can call these guys:
http://www.johnboos.com/residential /
It is not that bad.
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Finishes. There are not many finishes that are useful on kitchen working surfaces. Wood is almost certainly going to get treated more like a cutting board or chopping block than would, say, Formica or Corian or granite, too, so it will be even rougher to keep a finish intact.
If you decide to go ahead with wood, make sure you pick something with a closed pores, rather than the oaks, walnut or other open pored woods. Of the two you list, sapele would be my preference, because the grain is interlocked and the color more varied than within individual mahogany boards...mahogany can vary a lot in color, but within a lot from the same tree, it's usually pretty uniform and straight grained. It works beautifully, but can be boring in large expanses (IMO). Sapele can vary from almost purple in the red-brown to a pale yellow sapwood. It is also stronger than mahogany, and almost demands carbide cutters.
If you could get quartersawn sapele, it could make a gorgeous countertop, with the previous idea of having to renew the finish often. Neither mahogany nor sapele should give you any problems with rot from occasional excess wetness, either. Personally, I would consider using a teak oil or similar finish and planning on recoating as needed (every six weeks or so in a normally busy residential kitchen). Finishes that form a more solid film are going to look like the devil quickly.
A lot of work, both to make and keep up, but certainly different and beautiful.
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Sauers & Company offers a veneer with a resin backing, you can purchase it in up to 5' x 10' sheets. Around $150/sheet . you can use it like formica or edge it with a wood trim. It is actual wood veneer and comes in endless species. Finish it like normal, I use Rock Hard Varnish from Woodcraft. The answer to all wood movement problems related with large wood counter tops.
Ken www.sveneers.com Ask for Jeff or Terry Saurers , Off. # 1-336-886-4716

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I have a bar counter top made of 2 wide mahogany boards, and am in the process of making an island counter top out of 1 really wide (27 inch) mahogany board... so far the bar counter top is great, its been about a year, not hard service but regularly used.
Anybody have suggestions on finish? I used waterlox and have no complaints, if anyone has any input or other suggestions, that would be great.
Also am considering how to fill the pores on the new top - old one I used linseed oil and rottenstone, turned out well. I got some Behlen pore o pak and was thinking about that - - but since the bar counter turned out well, I think i might stick with the linseed oil version.
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