Wood countertop, clear plastic cover?

I made some wooden countertops out of 3/4" pine boards, with 3/4" plywood under that. I like how they look, but they aren't very durable (my son just cut an orange with no cutting board, dang-it), even after several coats of polyurathane. What are my options? I'm thinking either glass, or maybe if I could find some super-clear thin plastic, that would work. I want to see the wood still, that is why I say super-clear, not sure if I could find such a thing. I know I could have some glass cut, but seems like it might be pretty expensive. I also saw some stuff they pour on top of bar tops, but my top is flat, no rim, so I don't think that stuff would be ideal.
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On Sep 21, 10:28 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Pine won't last as a counter top. It will discolor easily, doesn't play well with water or detergent, is too soft to make a good work surface, and at only 3/4 of an inch thick, unless it is laminated to a thicker piece of underlayment, you will find it to be very unstable.
Personally, if you intend to keep the pine tops, I would start here as my first choice for protection.
http://tinyurl.com/47tazd
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That's a busted link.
Regardless, the pourover stuff works fine with no rim--the first place I saw it was in one of the local restaurants and it's held up fine for 20 years or so--it's just thinner on the edges than on the top. One gotcha--anything under it, make sure that it's flat to the surface and well secured--a few tables had thin copper bands with gaps under them--eventually the finish cracked over those bands--the ones where the band was down flat are still fine. When pouring it, put plenty of drop cloths underneath, because whatever it lands on as it drips off the edge it's not coming off of, and if it soaks through the drop cloth and dries then the drop cloth is more or less permanently bonded to whatever was underneath it.
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--John
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

As someone said, no rim is no big deal; however, I don't think it would be good for your application as it is easily scratched. It isn't very good on solid wood anyway because of the wood movement.
You can get nice clear 18" acrylic plastic but it scratches too. Easily. Glass wouldn't scratch (normally) but it would be a lousy topping...it would get dirty on the underside - so would ANY clear sheet layed on top - and is easily broken. If I were you, I'd take off the 3/4" pine boards and put laminate on the plywood.
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dadiOH
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Good to know, thanks.

Anyone have any experience with mylar? Scratches also?

I'm not sure how it would get dirty on the underside, but as for "easily broken", I assume that is probably the case unless I go with the more expensive kind that is used for table tops (i.e.- glass coffee table), but that seems like a waste because I don't need something so strong that it is made to be the top itself (I have plywood for strength already).

I'm giving this one some thought, as well as other surfaces that are designed for the job. My wife and I love the way the pine boards look, but of course if they don't stay looking that way for long, then what is the point. I'm only about 25% done, so it wouldn't be too much too scrap. If I was done already, I'd just leave the pine boards on until they look bad, then rip them off and do something else. ...I'll also like how this quarter-sawn oak top on the desk I'm sitting at right now looks, and it is 20+ years old, but that just isn't in the budget for my whole kitchen.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I used to use mylar years ago...put it on top of unset polyester resin, squeegee out any bubbles and you have a nice smooth, glossy surface on the resin after it sets and you take off the mylar. Yes, it scratches too. ______________

The same way windows get dirty - crud in the air. And a kitchen would have even more what with suspended grease particles.
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dadiOH
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On Sep 22, 4:50 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
Sorry to all for the busted links. I hate that when it happens.
If I were looking for a pine board look, one that I wanted for the appearance of pine, I would make sure as I said before and as others have posted as well that the wood was as stable as I could get it.
Then I would go over the top with a product like this, based on the "regular" pricing, not the commercial grade stuff:
http://www.steebar.com/Supplies/Epoxy.html
The Steebar is particular product I have heard of being used successfully, but I have not installed it myself.
I have seen other epoxy type finishes installed at bars and high traffic areas in restaurants. They are not anything more than about 3/32" to 1/8" of a coat of resin (although some are made to leave a 1/4" thick coating) covering the wood below. This is what you see when you go to a restaurant and see baseball cards, concert tickets, coins, etc, memorialized in plastic.
These plastic/resin coating are pretty much impervious to all cleaners, stains, and even pretty abrasion resistant. Normal scratching and abrasion can be polished out with something like the Novus line of plastic polishes.
I have seen Behlen's Rock Hard Table Top finish installed, and the folks that have used it, love it. It is supposed to be a bear to put on unless you thin it and follow all instructions carefully, but the end results don't look quite as plastic as the epoxies.
Google: "epoxy table top" and you will get a lot of info and opinions. Also, if you DAGS the Behlen's finish there are a lot of posts concerning its application procedures.
Robert
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wrote:

Thanks Robert! I just started looking at this page, but the picture in the top-right area is a kitchen counter-top that looks somewhat like mine, so cool:
http://www.steebar.com/Supplies/images/bar4a.jpg
At least now, if I want to go this option, I know that I'm not the only one doing this, and it looks great in the pictures. At the very least, as long as I can get my hands on something to test without too much trouble and cost, then I'll at least do a test on some scrap. I see they have a pint sample kit, I may just go ahead and order that as a test. If I do, I'll be sure and post my results.
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On Sep 25, 12:44 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I was doing work at a local country club and they wanted their bar tops in a couple of areas to have a hard, cleanable top on them and the let the maintenance guys (not your normal goof, though) apply something similar to this on their bar tops. He followed the instructions to the letter and was amazed at how little problem he had. He did a little buffing and polishing aftwards, and did have to address a drip or two where it came over the edges.
But it cuts and polishes like plastic after about 30 days, so he had an easy time of it. And not only did it look great, it was wearing like iron after about a year.

Build a TV tray or something like that, and use the sample on it. Don't just put it on a scrap and put it in the garage to cure. I personally try to get a sample anytime I try out something new that means a commitment of a lot of time and effort. I think that idea is great.
All of that kind of stuff seems to dry hard and glossy, so I think the next thing I would look at if I found the surface to be what I was looking for, would be to try a bit of 0000 steel wool to see if I could make it a "satin" finish. I don't see why that wouldn't work....

I hope you do! I for one will be looking forward to it.
Robert
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wrote:

Sounds great. The bad news is, according to that web-site, the non- commercial stuff shouldn't be used for table tops (it isn't scratch resistant), and for the commercial stuff I would need to make a $130.45 purchase (after s/h) to get one gallon to try it.
Now that I know what to look for, I am finding a lot more information with Google, so hopefully. I'm checking with a local resteraunt supply place to see if they sale it, since it would be really nice to find something local (Tucson, AZ). It doesn't seem like such a far- out idea, so it does seem a little odd that none of these guys sale through retail stores (if not Lowes/Home Depot, at least the woodworking stores like WoodWorker's Source, since these products are also ideal for furniture, clocks, coffee tables, and other things that your average wood worker would build). It has arts/craft value also, so I would think those type of stores would have it... maybe it is a bad sign that none of them do... or maybe I just live in the wrong place (I can never find anything in Tucson).
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Any of it will scratch. That's because all of it (epoxy) is pretty much the same. And that's because there are very few companies making it...the internet (and other) sellers all buy it from the same manufacturers. Not to say there can't be minor differences in formulation but for general use those differences won't matter a whit.
I buy mine from these people. They are reliable. What you want is what they call "Kleer Koat". http://www.uscomposites.com/epoxy.html
I still don't think epoxy (or polyester) resin is appropriate for a surface finish on solid wood. Ply, yes; solid, no.
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dadiOH
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