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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Question Red oak counter top construction


    I am planning to cover one of my kitchen formica counter top with 3/4" x 3/4" red oak. The counter top is in good condition but needs updating. Is it possible to use a brad nailer with glue, or, do I need to drill and nail and glue? If a nailer can be used, what size and how much pressure?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    7,150

    Default Re: Red oak counter top construction

    What you are proposing won't work, you won't be able to get the joints tight enough nor a good overall finished product.

    If you want to make your own countertop, that is fine, but you need to do it correctly. Wood pieces are glued and clamped tightly until dry. The resulting slab is then milled and shaped. Titebond II wood glue should suffice, the typical butcher block top is 1-1/2" thick. I would also recommend that you use full length strips rather than the more typical random length pieces since end gluing large pieces will be extremely difficult without a 4 sided press.

    Once you have the new slab prepped and finished, you need to remove your existing countertop and install the new one.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: Red oak counter top construction

    Actually what you propose can be done but it is not easy. You would need to clamp and glue the oak up on a flat surface, sand flat and smooth the under side. Cut the slab so it overlaps the front and end of the old counter top by 3/4". You would then drill slightly over sized holes in the existing counter top and fasten the oak slab down with screws from the under side. The holes in the counter top for the screws must be over sized to allow for seasonal movement of the wood. Use as few a number of screws as possible to hold the wood table top securely. Install wood edge ban under the slab connected to the old counter top do not glue to the top board. Sand the top flat and smooth, cut out sink opening if needed, put a heavy finish on all sides that seal the seams very well, as well as the edges if you have to cut out any openings.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Red oak counter top construction

    I like oak very much, but oak counter tops are not used around here.

    Spruce & Jack: How do you protect from scrtches and knife marks (if you too lazy to pull out the cutting board)?

  5. #5
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Red oak counter top construction

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    I like oak very much, but oak counter tops are not used around here.

    Spruce & Jack: How do you protect from scrtches and knife marks (if you too lazy to pull out the cutting board)?
    That's part of the "charm" of butcher block tops.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    nova scotia, canada
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    Default Re: Red oak counter top construction

    something about this just screams can of worms.

    oak is such an open pored wood its just gonna soak up all the water on the countertop. why are you going with oak

    but as the others said 3/4" isnt really sufficient for a countertop. the high end cabinet guys we use do a fair amount of wood countertops, none of which are oak but are still atleast 1" thick if not 1 1/2" so its more stable and stays flat
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  7. #7
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    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: Red oak counter top construction

    Quote Originally Posted by jkirk View Post
    something about this just screams can of worms.

    oak is such an open pored wood its just gonna soak up all the water on the countertop. why are you going with oak

    but as the others said 3/4" isnt really sufficient for a countertop. the high end cabinet guys we use do a fair amount of wood countertops, none of which are oak but are still atleast 1" thick if not 1 1/2" so its more stable and stays flat
    If you read the post the OP says to cover the original counter top not build a new one. We have had Oak counter top in our kitchen for 25 years, properly sealed it won't soak up anything.

    dj1, If you are going to have wood counter tops you need to know how to take care of them.

    Jack

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    2

    Smile Re: Red oak counter top construction

    Thank you for your poisitive and constructive assistance. I believe i can complete the job successfully.
    Matt

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: Red oak counter top construction

    If you want to create a glued up countertop, the small strips of wood need to be glued to each other, not to the substrate. You run the risk of having 3 dozen little open seams catching food debris and moisture if the c-top slab is not a monolithic glue-up.
    I would really recommend white oak instead of red; it's a much less water-absorbing cell structure.
    Both types of oak get dark stains from iron+water. Set a wet tin can or knife overnight and you could have an indelible stain on the wood. Ash and maple are not so susceptible to these stains.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

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