Worktops: Part 1

After learning a thing or two about working with beech block worktops i've decided to take apart my kitchen and refinish the worktops. This kitchen is around 4 years old and was installed before we bought this place. The worktops were finished in a shitty water based "oil" finish which doesn't seal the worktops properly nor was it applied with great care as the cut edges at the sink or the cooker top were never sealed and therefore were allowed to dry out and soak up moisture quicker than the rest of it. This has caused them to warp and crack quite a bit.

Beginning to flatten the first one.  

Beginning to flatten the first one.  

There are 2 worktops joined with a masons mitre: one contains the sink area and the other the cooking area. Im going to tackle the cooking one first to keep the sink in use for as long as possible.

Spaced away from the wall for planing.  

Spaced away from the wall for planing.  

Some light cracks at the end grain.  

Some light cracks at the end grain.  

First step was to quickly sand with 60 grit to remove the tile grout and silicone before i think about putting my nice planes near it. Scrubbing across the grain to level the whole thing out. This section wasn't actually too bad.

After one full pass with the plane.  

After one full pass with the plane.  

Damage at the far end that needs fixed.  

Damage at the far end that needs fixed.  

There was a section at the end that needed looked at, to me it looks like damage done during installation, probably tear out that wasn't glued down properly and this allowed water in. 

Quick jig I made + bonus lime. 

Quick jig I made + bonus lime. 

Jig in place.  

Jig in place.  

After routing.  

After routing.  

Showing the slope and slight dovetailing.  

Showing the slope and slight dovetailing.  

Squared up, ready for glue. 

Squared up, ready for glue. 

Driven in from the end.  

Driven in from the end.  

I dimensioned a block of beech in such a way that it was a tight fit that wedged itself in harder the further in it was driven. This meant as soon as it was in I could cut it to fit and plane it. No need to wait for the glue to dry.  

Japanese saw coming in handy again.  

Japanese saw coming in handy again.  

After planing.  

After planing.  

After a light sanding, not noticeable now.

After a light sanding, not noticeable now.

Now that the repair is complete I can get on with the next step. 

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