Amateur Woodworkers Build Live Edge Butcher Block Countertops from Tree for Tiny Home/ Bus Conversion – S04E38

In our last episode we showed you how we cut our wood down into planks to help with the warping.  This week we could finally glue the planks together in a butcher block type style with wood glue, biscuits and A LOT of clamps.

Having all the tools necessary at our friend Richard’s workshop was key!  Don’s favorite tool (that we don’t have) very quickly became the track saw.  Using the track saw we were able to get a very clean miter cut for the L-shape part of our kitchen countertop.  Definitely something I think we will invest in in the future.  To glue the miter joint together we screwed and glued some bracing along the angle on either side of the joint and the underneath side.  Keeping the underneath side face up we could then use this bracing to clamp the miter joint together as the glue dried. We used painter's tape on the front side along the joint, to ensure we didn’t get any glue onto the face of the wood as it was not possible to wipe the glue off with this piece needing to stay face down.

We kept our countertop in 3 pieces - main countertop, behind the sink centerpiece and the L-shape counter on the other side of the sink.  We left the ends a little longer so that we could dry fit everything in the bus before cutting down to size as we have learned that not everything in the bus is perfectly square, so this way we can fit it to our cabinets and walls.

We sanded our countertops first with 80 grit, then 100 and finally 120 grit.

We then began to add the bracing underneath our countertops. Because our wood was so warped (and in order to have enough wood) we cut our planks down to 1 inch thick, but by adding bracing underneath it makes them look 2 inches thick.  We screwed the bracing in around the circumference of the countertop plus where it will sit on the countertops, these will be the places we will secure the countertop down to the cabinets.

While we had to cut our wood down into planks to deal with how warped the wood was, we did keep our live edges (still at 2 inches thick) so we could add them back on once the countertops were all put together.  We used the jointer to square our sides so they could attach seamlessly on the countertop and then just used the drum sander on the top side to get the height exactly the same as the countertop and used the miter saw to cut the joints between our live edge pieces. We prepped all our biscuit holes for these, again waiting to dry fit it all in the bus before we glued these on, just to make sure they weren’t going to conflict in any way with the cabinets.

Other than our sink, mounted under the counter, the only other cut out we needed to make was for our TV lift.  We wanted to make this door as seamless as possible with the countertop so the door will lift as the TV rises on the TV lift.

We used SOSS Invisible hinges , which are hidden inside the wood to create this effect.  We used the track saw to make the cut out, cutting almost to the corners and then using a hand saw for the last little bit to ensure we didn’t go too far.  Using the SOSS router template we were able to cut out the holes for these hinges.

At this point we were ready to bring our countertops home to the bus, along with a few of Richard’s tools so we could do the finishing touches and join the 3 sections of countertop in the bus.


Up Next
The countertop really comes alive once we stain it.

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SOSS Invisible hinges
Fully mortised in the door and frame so hinge cannot be seen from either side when closed. For use with 3/4" to 1" thick material.

SOSS Router Template
This Invisible hinge router guide template is for a 3/8" router bit. The guide pins locate the deep mortise.

By Mela & Don

Mela and Don are sharing their journey as they make conscious decisions to live a more healthy, environmentally friendly life together.

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