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  1. #1
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    Woodworking advice needed.

    I am installing some butchers block counter tops in our kitchen.

    These are the Ikea Lagan countertops. Over the weekend I cut them to size and everything has gone nice and smooth.

    On the main sink wall it is an L shape with a small piece that needs to be butt joined to the main run. This small piece was cut off the end of the main piece.

    It has cupped slighlty, maybe 3/16ths or 1/4 over 24 inches.

    I plan to use a set of regular counter top connectors and wood glue to the small L section.

    How is it best to remove / pull out the cupping? I am thinking I need to clamp and brace parallel to the joint?


    Picture of the counter. You can see that the two pieces don't perfectly match up here.

  2. #2
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    Good choice on the Ikea butcher block, stuff rocks.

    Do you have any off cuts to practice with? I wonder if you'll crack the glue joins by putting enough pressue on it to pull out cupping?
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  3. #3
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    Not sure which side you'd do this to, but would wetting one side take the cup away long enough to secure it with fasteners or would it just crack as the wood started to dry and want to cup again ?

    Just a thought.......
    "You damn colonials and your herds of tax write off dressage ponies". PNWBrit

  4. #4
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    I wondered about wetting it too...

    Would Ikea just replace it? Might be worth a try?
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  5. #5
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    Is that end grain on the smaller piece going to show? If not, you could put a row of kerfs along the bottom side to make it easier to bend back. Although that is a big cup. You might be SOL. What kind of tools do you have available? If you have a biscuit joiner or something similar you could use those to help you with alignment when attaching to two pieces together. Or with a router and a rabbeting bit you could cut a 1/8"-1/4" spline or something. But cutting some kerfs 2/3-3/4 of the thickness and then a shit load of screws from underneath might be just enough.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by OSECS View Post
    Not sure which side you'd do this to, but would wetting one side take the cup away long enough to secure it with fasteners or would it just crack as the wood started to dry and want to cup again ?

    Just a thought.......
    My thought as well. It looks like it has absorbed moisture on one side but not the other. If so, forcing it into position is probably not the best idea.

    The stuff is cheap enough though, I would buy another short piece and cut it to fit with all the laminations running the same direction. It will look better as one cohesive lamination rather than pieced together.

  7. #7
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    Wetting it won't help much IMHO. This is just one of the squirrely things that wood does when it gets cut. There are all kinds of internal stresses that get released when you cut it especially when the piece is wider than it is long. My other question: Why on earth aren't you putting a sink right there, under the window, next to the dishwasher?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcsquared View Post
    Wetting it won't help much IMHO. This is just one of the squirrely things that wood does when it gets cut. There are all kinds of internal stresses that get released when you cut it especially when the piece is wider than it is long. My other question: Why on earth aren't you putting a sink right there, under the window, next to the dishwasher?

    With this being a laminate of lots of smaller pieces of wood wouldn't the wider than it is long idea get thrown out the window?

    I'll do some research and reading on wetting it.

    Sink??? We don't need no stinking sink. We use the dirty dishes for skeet shooting practice off the roof.


  9. #9
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    Ahh, I see you are going to have a range in there. I think cutting some kerfs and then screwing the hell out of it will work. Just go slowly.

    Even though it is laminated from smaller pieces it still acts like one piece of wood. And technically, you could have some movement issues with that piece under the window shrinking and growing during the different seasons and the smaller piece not moving in concert.


    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    With this being a laminate of lots of smaller pieces of wood wouldn't the wider than it is long idea get thrown out the window?

    I'll do some research and reading on wetting it.

    Sink??? We don't need no stinking sink. We use the dirty dishes for skeet shooting practice off the roof.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcsquared View Post
    Even though it is laminated from smaller pieces it still acts like one piece of wood.
    Not really, if grain is aligned correctly/alternating directions. It's kind of the whole point. Surely?

    We butted a small section against a bigger section of exact same counter at our cabin and had zero issues with shrinkage/warping/cupping even given dampness and variations of temps. In fact I wish we'd tried making a 45 degree cut into corner and gluing/biscuiting the shit out of it given how stable it's been. Would have looked better I think. Would've avoided the problem of getting a clean join between saw cut short edge and rounded edge of face edge of longer piece.
    Last edited by PNWbrit; 04-02-2012 at 05:10 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    Would've Avoided the problem of getting a clean join between saw cut short edge and rounded edge of face edge of longer piece.
    Our old school kitchen cabinets are narrower than current standards so I had to rip just under two inches off the width. I decided to put the cut edge on the front so it would be able to mate up to the small section nice and clean without the bevel. I'll borrow a router and put a new bevel on the cut edge.

    How did you treat yours? All the research points to Waterlox but the stuff appears to be next to impossible to find locally. A spot in Squamish previously imported it but no longer due to VOC rules. They recommended WOCA oil instead.

  12. #12
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    The stuff in can from Ikea... http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50070378/

    It's held up to Light cabin use reasonably well. A couple of patches around base of faucet where small puddles of water tend to end up need some sanding (wood has bulged up a little) and retreating.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  13. #13
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    You got a scrap in which the grain runs the same direction that you could glue and clamp to the big piece, shirk?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    You got a scrap in which the grain runs the same direction that you could glue and clamp to the big piece, shirk?
    No scrap that large. IKEA sells this in 96" and 46" lengths. We used up nearly all of the two 96" we got.

    A 46" length is current on for $70. If I can't determine a good way to get the cupping out of the small piece I have I'll grab another slab and cut the piece I need out of it lengthwise.

  15. #15
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    If you lay it on the ground upside down and stand on it, does it get flat?

  16. #16
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    If you sand down the back 1/4 to 1/3 (a thickness planer would be best) it may flush out on the top with shims under the back edge.
    Best regards, Terry
    (Direct Contact is best vs PMs)

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
    If you sand down the back 1/4 to 1/3 (a thickness planer would be best) it may flush out on the top with shims under the back edge.
    That would work and might only require shims to level it out.
    I've farmed out single piece planing jobs to cabinet shops for reasonable prices...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    If you lay it on the ground upside down and stand on it, does it get flat?
    Are right man you completely have me hooked. Why ?

    And the grain in all one direction appeals to me on many levels.
    "You damn colonials and your herds of tax write off dressage ponies". PNWBrit

  19. #19
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    So got home and measured it. It's cupped 1/16th.

    It does flatten out when I stand on it.

    There is room under the joint to add in a brace or cleats. I was originally planning to just use draw bolts and glue.

    Wonder is biscuits will help hold it flat.

  20. #20
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    He's right about the glued together pieces acting as one. Set the wood somewhere flat for a day or two. Biscuit joint and glue the two pieces together. I hope you got some big clamps. Screw the bottoms from under the cabinet. Belt sand it flat if you need to. Belt sanders are rad. Fyi, Glue is stronger than the wood. Try breaking a scrap piece, the wood should break before the glue joint does.

    Also, mineral oil is what you should use to season the butcher block. There are special formulas and brands but its mostly mineral oil.

    I really like butcher block tops we've made a couple this year, they look great. Had no clue ikea had them. maple right?
    god created man. winchester and baseball bats made them equal - evel kenievel

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    Not really, if grain is aligned correctly/alternating directions. It's kind of the whole point. Surely?
    Yes, really. The point of assembling it with multiple smaller pieces is that big slabs like that are rare/expensive. Alternating the grain does little if anything to make the slab more stable. I doubt the people at the IKEA factory gave any thought at all to grain direction when they put that thing together. Most furniture makers organize the individual boards in a glue up like that for looks first and foremost.

    Shirk, if you do end up buying a new piece, I would miter the two pieces together and use some biscuits at the joint to hold it all together. I think it would look better and be more stable. As it is now, the piece under the window is going to move and all kinds of gunk is going to fall into the joint and get a little funky.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcsquared View Post
    Yes, really. The point of assembling it with multiple smaller pieces is that big slabs like that are rare/expensive. Alternating the grain does little if anything to make the slab more stable. I doubt the people at the IKEA factory gave any thought at all to grain direction when they put that thing together. Most furniture makers organize the individual boards in a glue up like that for looks first and foremost.
    So you're telling me that my 7th grade Jr. High school shop teacher Mr. Drahms, lied to me that alternating grain direction in multiple board, glue situations won't stop cupping !!!!! That bastard ! Typical public school, bullshit, propaganda.
    "You damn colonials and your herds of tax write off dressage ponies". PNWBrit

  23. #23
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    Completely off topic but what did you use to cut them? I have to join two together and was wondering how clean of a cut I could get with a table saw, wondering if I had to bring them to a bandsaw.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by OSECS View Post
    So you're telling me that my 7th grade Jr. High school shop teacher Mr. Drahms, lied to me that alternating grain direction in multiple board, glue situations won't stop cupping !!!!! That bastard ! Typical public school, bullshit, propaganda.
    Pretty much. Urban Legend more or less. Kind of like insisting you finish both sides even though the vast majority of moisture enters and exits through the endgrain. You are an architect right? You must have seen your fair share of decks right? Regardless of the grain direction (bark side up, bark side down) of the deck boards all the boards cup the same direction don't they? It has less to do with grain direction than the moisture differential between the two faces.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by VC View Post
    Completely off topic but what did you use to cut them? I have to join two together and was wondering how clean of a cut I could get with a table saw, wondering if I had to bring them to a bandsaw.
    For a mitered corner or a butt joint? As mentioned above, a mitered corner would be nicer.

    One technique for cutting mitered countertops I used eons ago was to cut the diagonals just long with a worm drive. Then, take the two pieces and place them together at the joint on a cutting apparatus (ie, saw horses, table or on the cabinets with blocks. There will be inaccuracies in the joint. Clamp the pieces securely and set up a straight edge saw guide to cut along the joint. Cut the joint (both ends at once) with the circular saw and you'll get a perfect match. Variables will be if the inside corners of the wall are out of square which will require the angles to be tweaked accordingly.
    Best regards, Terry
    (Direct Contact is best vs PMs)

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