Author Topic: Before & After 1...From butcher block to a white oak slab  (Read 4500 times)

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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
This project started 3 years ago by taking the east wall in the kitchen and tearing it down to the studs. The existing cabinets were repurposed, 2 pocket doors were eliminated, with one of the openings being enlarged from 30" to 62", while all 120v & 240v wiring, plumbing and gas lines inside the east wall were updated/modified. A chimney was also eliminated at the same time to provide additional room for a refrigerator and a new 3/4" oak floor was woven into the existing floor to cover the area occupied by the old chimney.

Photo 1: The old white cabinets and the chimney area covered in drywall.

Photo 2: The 30" pocket door and the chimney are still in place.

Photo 3: The chimney has been removed and the 30" pocket door opening is now 62".

Photo 4: The east wall finished and opened up into the stairway.

Photo 5: Another shot of the finished wall with the subject of this thread in clear view...the butcher block counter top. This birch butcher block was never meant to be the final solution, however at the time we needed something and this became the temporary solution.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 02:32 PM by Cheese »

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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
Before & After 2...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2018, 10:42 AM »
So it took me almost 3 years to find what I really wanted. Something with a large split to allow lighting with LEDs and some colorful grain. I really wanted it to be a single piece but I was willing to cut & paste if that's what was needed.

Photo 1: The slab when I first encountered it. This slab was 34" x 38" x 2" thick. It came from a BRANCH of a local white oak tree that was estimated to be in excess of 200 years old. It was starting to rot and a lot of the surface had grain that was powdered wood and was easily removed by your fingernail. Being a branch gave  the slab its unusual grain pattern.

Photo 2: The slab when I got it home.

Photo 3: The slab had a fairly wide split and it extended quite far into the slab. I just kept hoping that it wouldn't break during the transportation process.

Photo 4: A worm hole that I managed to save when the slab was cut to size. The worm was still in the hole...yuk [huh]

Photo 5: Some of the spalting
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 10:55 AM by Cheese »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
Before & After 3...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2018, 11:16 AM »
Photo 1: Here's a shot after the slab was cut to size. This slab was cut with a TSC 55 on a rail using the standard saw blade. Note the the worm hole on the front edge.

Photo 2: This was the first time I placed LEDs into the split. I was interested in seeing how much light would be transmitted and the colors of the wood. There was no epoxy in place at this time.

Photo 3: This is the slab with epoxy in place to stabilize the split and 3 coats of General Finishes clear water base poly. The clear poly was used because from prior testing, I found the epoxy would soak into the oak and darken it considerably. I wanted to keep the surface as light as possible. 

Photo 4: A shot after the first pour of epoxy over the entire surface. The first pour was 1mm thick. I found out through experimentation that West 105/206 has a yellowing effect so I used the West 105/207 combo instead.

More to come...just ran out of battery power. [crying]
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 02:29 PM by Cheese »

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 351
Re: Before & After...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2018, 02:46 PM »
I believe I saw the kitchen picture in a different thread?
I like those cabinets, I;m curious about how you setup the shelves on the cabinet near the stove.

That's one slab you have there. Have you started the prep yet?

Mario
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 04:13 PM by Mario Turcot »
Mario

Offline dupe

  • Posts: 61
Re: Before & After...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 02:51 PM »
That's killer man! The LEDs are a nice touch and helluva finish, almost looks like stone.
MFT.1080    CT.Midi    DF.500    DTS.400    ETS.EC150/3    RO.150

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3528
Re: Before & After...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2018, 06:48 PM »
Very clever, Cheeser!!!   [thumbs up]   Well done!!! 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
Re: Before & After...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 10:41 AM »
I like those cabinets, I;m curious about how you setup the shelves on the cabinet near the stove.

That's one slab you have there. Have you started the prep yet?

Hey Mario, I'll take a photo and post it later on.   [smile]

The prep has been more than started...it's finished. Keep reading  [big grin]

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
Re: Before & After...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 10:44 AM »
That's killer man! The LEDs are a nice touch and helluva finish, almost looks like stone.

Thanks...when you look real close there are parts that you'd swear were granite. It's a pretty wild look for wood.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
Re: Before & After...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2018, 10:46 AM »
Very clever, Cheeser!!!   [thumbs up]   Well done!!!

Thanks Sparky...but the main coarse for you...the details...is coming right up.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
Before & After 4...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2018, 11:15 AM »
This series of photos will give details on the LEDs and the way they're mounted to the slab.

Photo 1: The LEDs I chose are Ultra Blaze by Diode LED. They aren't cheap but they are reliable, extremely bright and will last a lifetime. They're mounted to a 1' x 1/8" aluminum flat that functions as a heat sink. You can also see the recess that was routed in the bottom of the slab that will house the LED assembly.

Photo 2: This shows how the LED tape needs to follow the curve of the split to optimize the light output. The dark curve on the wood is actually the split in the slab after it's filled with epoxy.

Photo 3: This shows the LED assembly installed into the slab.

Photo 4: The same photo but with the LEDs turned on.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 02:34 PM by Cheese »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
Re: Before & After 5...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2018, 12:05 PM »
This will detail the routing of the LED cable. Because this slab is directly above an opening drawer, I wanted the LED cable to be flush with the bottom surface and most importantly, remain flush with the surface. The last thing I needed was to have a tongs or spatula pop up when the drawer is being opened and snag on the LED cable. That would not be good.  [crying]

Photo 1: Basic layout of a routed groove to guide the cable to the rear of the cabinet.

Photo 2: Close up of the cable groove and the 10mm x 24mm x 3mm domino.

Photo 3: These spacers were placed on a DF 500 to limit the Domino depth to 2.5mm.

Photo 4: The spacers are sold by Traxxas. They come in assorted mm thicknesses, which makes getting the proper Domino depth easy.  [big grin]

https://traxxas.com/products/parts/3769
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 02:26 PM by Cheese »

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3528
Re: Before & After...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2018, 12:15 PM »
Very clever, Cheeser!!!   [thumbs up]   Well done!!!

Thanks Sparky...but the main coarse for you...the details...is coming right up.

I like the way you did that, Cheeser!!!  I especially like how you used dominoes to hold the cable in its groove.   [thumbs up]   Thanks for the details. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline mike_aa

  • Posts: 1017
Re: Before & After 1...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2018, 01:06 PM »
@Cheese  That is really slick!  Thanks for the details!  You seem to always come up with clever solutions.

Mike A.

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 351
Re: Before & After...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2018, 01:28 PM »
The prep has been more than started...it's finished. Keep reading  [big grin]

OMG I'm such a dork... I haven't even seen/notice the led work you did on post #2.

Now I did, wow  [eek] [eek] [eek] and double wow on the use of dominos to hold the cable  [big grin]

Mario
Mario

Online magellan

  • Posts: 163
Re: Before & After 1...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2018, 06:01 PM »
Cheese
Nice job on the kitchen and the slab.  You’re inspiring me to get after the kitchen we’ve always wanted.  I love the fact that it took 3 years to complete.  Life gets in the way, believe I know.  Friends always accuse me of working on our house but I never seem to be finished. 

Couple of questions for you.  The counter depth refrigerator, do you guys like it?  We recently were at a home show and started looking at them after a women just started talking to us about hers. I asked the about larger things and she said she doesn’t worry because she has a normal fridge in the nearby garage and so do we.  So now I’m considering one

Question two concerns the materials used in the cabinet construction. Is that Wenge Veneer or another Wood dyed to look dark?  Veneer I assume?

Love the spacers.  I’ve been using them for a few years when needed.  Someone way back posted the idea and a link, maybe it was you and I now use them when need.

Always enjoy your posts and info you contribute

Take care
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 06:05 PM by magellan »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
Re: Before & After 1...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2018, 11:19 PM »
@Cheese  That is really slick!  Thanks for the details!  You seem to always come up with clever solutions.

Thanks Mike, I appreciate your support. I decided about a year ago that I was going make a greater effort to showcase some of the projects I’ve completed over the years. However, detailing these projects on the FOG is not easy. You really gotta wanna or else you just give up and decide to enter into another Kapex bashing session.   [eek]    Which Festool seriously, needs to address by the way.  [poke] [poke]

I hate to pitch a bbitch but it’s long overdue. The days of 900 x 600 pixel photos was over probably 10 years ago. Any decent phone now captures images in the 3000 x 2000 range while a decent camera is in the 5000 x 4000 pixel range. So take 10-15 photos with a phone or a camera and you’ll be spending the next 20-30 minutes trying to downsize the photos so they fit within the FOG format.

Then add in the issue that photos entered from the computer appear properly oriented, while photos entered from the iPhone or iPad appear rotated 90º.  This means I need to send every photo to the computer first so that they become oriented properly.

This relatively short thread that I’ve produced has already consumed well over 4 hours and I’m still not finished. Each photo was entered one at a time and then the thread saved. Adding 2 photos at a time, crashed the system and I would lose everything I'd written.
And then they wonder why we chat rather than why we showcase. I’m retired, so I have some time, but to expect a working guy to showcase his projects on an ongoing basis with this antiquated system is pure German madness. Rant over...

Thanks again Mike as I’ll be trying to showcase my latest project, custom sized Kerdi board shower niches if the German internet gods permit it within my life time...   [big grin]
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 08:59 AM by Cheese »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
Re: Before & After...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2018, 11:40 PM »
I like those cabinets, I;m curious about how you setup the shelves on the cabinet near the stove.

Mario, here’s the photo I promised. Pretty straightforward...it’s just a PITA if you need to move a shelf.  [crying]

If you need to move a shelf, you need to make a shelf.   [crying]    [crying]  However, I would rather live with that negative aspect than live without the angled design feature.

EDIT: I had to repost this photo today so that it would be oriented correctly because last night I posted the original photo from my phone thinking I was going to save some time. Hah... [dead horse]
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 12:44 PM by Cheese »

Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

  • Posts: 1039
    • Jim Kirkpatrick Woodworking
Re: Before & After 1...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2018, 07:53 AM »
Cheese, first rate job, mate!  Since you brought it up I will say..... I really hate thumbnails.  You should upload to a free photo hosting service (like Flickr) then link the address like so:



If you need help, I'm glad to help as I'm sure many others are too.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3528
Re: Before & After 1...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2018, 08:47 AM »
So take 10 photos with a phone or a camera and you’ll be spending the next 20-30 minutes trying to downsize the photos so they fit within the FOG format.

Hey Cheeser, if you use Darktable (a free, open-source, and VERY competent Lightroom replacement) to edit your photos, you can set up a workflow such that when you export edited photos, they're automagically downsized to whatever size you need them to be.  Example: most MLS providers require that photos be in a 4:3 ratio, and no larger than 2048 x 1536.  My camera of choice defaults to 4:3, but I need to reduce finished photos to 2048 x 1536.  My workflow does that as part of exporting the finished photos.  PM me if you want more info. 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 08:51 AM by Sparktrician »
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
Re: Before & After 1...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2018, 01:28 PM »

1. Friends always accuse me of working on our house but I never seem to be finished. 

2. Couple of questions for you.  The counter depth refrigerator, do you guys like it? 

3. Is that Wenge Veneer or another Wood dyed to look dark?  Veneer I assume?

4. Love the spacers.  I’ve been using them for a few years when needed.  Someone way back posted the idea and a link, maybe it was you and I now use them when need.


Hey Magellan thanks for the compliments.  [big grin]

1. Let me put your first statement into perspective, if you really enjoy performing home improvements...you'll never be finished. [big grin] [big grin] [big grin] When we purchased this last house, I declared loudly and proudly to my wife "This will be a 10 year project".  [jawdrop] Well, 28 years later I'm still updating kitchens and bathrooms.  [jawdrop]

2. The counter depth fridge is sweet. Especially in a narrow galley style kitchen it makes a huge difference during food prep and it just generally provides a more open feeling kitchen. The French doors also help considerably because they're only half the width of a regular sized door. A number of years ago when we first started looking for counter depth refrigerators, there were only 2 available. The Liebherr and the Subzero, we went with the Sub because it's made in the USA. Now I believe there are 5 or 6 companies that offer a counter depth fridge and they are substantially cheaper.

3. The doors are MDF painted black while the carcass is maple ply.

4. Ya those spacers weren't my idea, I pirated it from someone on the FOG I believe. If I knew where I got the info I'd gladly give credit where credit is due. The spacers are pretty slick.  [cool]

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
Re: Before & After 6...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2018, 09:22 AM »
Well here's the final product. A white oak slab from the BRANCH of a 200+ year old tree replacing a birch butcher block countertop. The LEDs in the split are connected to the under counter LED task lighting so one switch controls it all.  [cool]

Details: The entire slab, all sides, have been given 3-4 coats of General Finishes water based poly.
Then two separate pours of West 105/207 epoxy put on the top surface, each pour approximately 1mm thick.
The entire top was then sanded flat using a combination of a Rotex 125, a RS 2 and an ETS EC 125/6" pad.
Sanding started with 180 grit and went up to 2000 grit. I wanted a smooth flat surface but not a high gloss surface. You can see the light switch and some of the stainless tile reflected in the surface. It gives it some depth without that "plastic" look.
A final buff was done using the Rotex and some Meguiars sealer... [embarassed] that's all I had on hand.  [embarassed]

BEFORE:

AFTER

Some more shots:
Photo 1: Slab in-use.

Photo 2: Close-up. Again, you can barely see the stainless tile and the stainless pot on the range reflected in the surface of the slab.

Photo 3: The lit split

Photo 4: Close-up

Photo 5: The worm hole captured forever. It's easy to see the 2 mm epoxy thickness in this photo.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 10:13 AM by Cheese »

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2399
Re: Before & After 1...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2018, 03:08 PM »
Fantastic work!  That top is an excellent compliment to the rest of the job.

What time is dinner!?

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
Re: Before & After 1...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2018, 09:11 AM »
Cheese, first rate job, mate!  Since you brought it up I will say..... I really hate thumbnails.  You should upload to a free photo hosting service (like Flickr) then link the address like so:




Thanks for the complement @Jim Kirkpatrick...also, that image does seem to be a perfect size for posting. Do you know its size?

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4473
Re: Before & After 1...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2018, 09:25 AM »
Fantastic work!  That top is an excellent compliment to the rest of the job.

What time is dinner!?

Thanks for the kind words @neilc

I called several times yesterday but you never picked up.  [tongue]  So you missed enchiladas suizas, washed down with Modelo followed with shots of Reposada....just another Cinco de Mayo.    [big grin]   [poke] 

Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

  • Posts: 1039
    • Jim Kirkpatrick Woodworking
Re: Before & After 1...From butcher block to a white oak slab
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2018, 08:00 PM »
Cheese, first rate job, mate!  Since you brought it up I will say..... I really hate thumbnails.  You should upload to a free photo hosting service (like Flickr) then link the address like so:




Thanks for the complement @Jim Kirkpatrick...also, that image does seem to be a perfect size for posting. Do you know its size?

On Flickr, its the medium 800 choice