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kitchen worktop idea?

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by artylarry, 28 Jan 2015.

  1. artylarry

    artylarry

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    Hello,
    having always wanted oak worktops but never being able to afford them i have crazy idea i would liketo try, im going to enquire at local reclaim yard if they can slit oak sleepers in two to make worktops...
    they would come out at 65 x 220 x 1800mm, £25 per pair plus whatever charge for cut. Approx £150 _ £200 for whole kitchen!
    Now my problem is would this work as would require 2 3/4 lengths to make the 600mm width? And would there be a problem with warping at that thickness?
    Thank you peeps 👍
    Keven
    [/img]
     
  2. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    It's not the thickness that's the issue, but the moisture gradient within the oak and the fact that sleepers are frequently only dried to around 14 or 16% MC (moisture content). After all, why go drier when they'll spend their service life outside? When you rip-down the sleepers you may find that one face (the one nearest the outside) has an MC of say 12% because it's been somewhere dry and that's the original outside face, whilst the other face, which was originally on the inside of the sleeper might be 25% or more. To get consistent thick timber it has to be stickered and air dried for 1 year for every inch of thickness. It's difficult to tell what you'll get because moisture meters can't measure the core MC of thick timber, and even if kilned instead of air drying after sawing they might still exhibit that sort of MC gradient. When you consider that manufactured worktops are generally kilned down to about 7 or 8% before final machining, you might see the issue more clearly.

    You do know that you are also going to lose 3mm off each face for planing, but at 65mm thick to start with? That shouldn't be a problem, but the weight of a 60mm thick worktop might be (normal thickness is 35 to 40mm), so eat plenty of Shredded Wheat when it comes to shifting that stuff.

    Finally how do you intend to assemble these worktops? On thick oak I'd expect to have to use a heavy T-bar sash cramp every 200 to 300mm along the length for the glue-up with loose tenins or biscuits for alignment. Have you got enough clamps? Or can the supplier do this for you?

    I'm not saying this is impossible - just pointing out what you are getting into
     
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  3. big-all

    big-all

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    would also expect at least a 50% warp/twist split rate
     
  4. artylarry

    artylarry

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    Thanks job, the one thing I have in my favour is knowing my nievety hence why i am here.
    I hoped moisture would not be a problem, but if it is high like you state how would that affect the outcome, Is it still warping potential?
    And glue and biscuit was my plan although i hadnt thought of clamp problems just yet? Planing and the centre cut will take them down a little but as you say will still be heavy, one is 2.8m long!
    i dont suppose screwing them underside with braces in situ would be goer? 😏

    The knackered laminate chipboard at the moment is so bad anything woukd be better...
     
  5. artylarry

    artylarry

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    B A, 50% ? 😭

    If i rule out 'dont be tight and buy worktops'😊 have you any other sugestions for wood that may work Please guys?
     
  6. big-all

    big-all

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    you mention 2.8m what length are the sleepers ??
    i should know this as i was a train driver for many years :D
    track 4ft 8.5" :cool:
     
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  7. artylarry

    artylarry

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    2.8m is longest length, was thjnking about stagering 1m with 1.8. As need cut out for belfast sink in middle.
    sorry, 1.8m length for sleepers...
     
  8. big-all

    big-all

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    not ideal to have wide staves[bits ] as you get weak areas
    if you cut the staves say 44mm x44mm then you can randomly stagger the joints and get close to full strength with minimum twist or split
     
  9. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Two possibilities, or both: warping (most probably cupping) and/or the joints might also start to pull apart. It might be worth getting hold of a cheap moisture meter and checking all the surfaces just after they've been cut. If you get big difference between surfaces/points on the resawn boards then it will all need drying out some more until it stabilises. BTW the thinner it is, the faster it will dry

    Not really. The only way to get an acceptably tight joint is to cramp it all together. Screws will achieve SFA IMHO. And make sure that you have a sharp jack plane and a belt sander to deal with the inevitable joint issues

    I'd sincerely recommend (again) going down to 35 to 40mm for the top thickness; thinner material will dry quicker if there is an MC gradient surface to core, it will be a lot lighter (have you checked if your cabs will stand the weight?) and will be easier to man-handle (can you lift it?). Your hob clips, etc will also work with it (I doubt they'll work on 65mm stuff). Oak has an approximate density of 590~930kg/m3 (with a median value of 750kg/m3) so your 2800mm worktop at 615mm wide x 65mm thick (0.112 m3) would weigh between 66kg and around 105kg (84kg avg) - a 40mm top would weigh 41 to 64kg (52kg avg). I've installed my fair share of oak counters in pub/restaurants and if they are needed at 60 to 90mm deep they come with planted-on skirts, but the main part of the top is generally around 35 to 30mm thick - partly the weight, partly stability, partly the problems of handling the heavier pieces. The thought of humping 84kg chunks of oak about without damaging anything, or myself, makes me blanch somewhat

    I agree with B-A that narrow staves are more stable, but they're also more work. IMHO they don't look as nice as wide stave, but that's just personal choice. If you go that way you really will need to make sure that all your staves all have the same MC. You'll also find it mighty difficult/time consuming to deal with the inevitable joint issues you'll get, especially if any time elapses between planing and glue-up. It's worth noting that a worktop manufacturer deals with these by running everything through a large wide belt sander several times - I mean one of these:


    (about 8ft high and £25k and upwards)
     
  10. big-all

    big-all

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    yes i much prefer 6 to 9" boards far more carricter but as you say wider and thicker equals a year or two i suspect a week or two is what we have here :D
     
  11. cjard

    cjard

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    By your reckoning £200 worth of sleepers at £12.50 a sleeper is 16 sleepers, times 200 times 1800 is 5.76 square metres

    You'd need 3 of these to cover that area: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/311266882870

    That's a grand total of £390 (seller sells other lengths, maybe he can just cut your exact requirements and do you a deal on the postage)

    Is your £200, two years work still worth it to save £190? ps; keep the Belfast sink cutout for a chopping block
     
  12. artylarry

    artylarry

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    Thanks for imput cjard, im confused by your measurments (6 sleepers cut in 2). But see your point. However i would have to pay fitter if i bought ready made ones so would add to cost plus buying the cheapest does not always a saving make?
    I can see so many potential problems with this idea which is why i asked here for advice from the years of experience you all have.

    I am now thinking of old plan of plywood, with oak t&g floorboard glued n nailed on. I like the idea of rustic not so perfect finish as opossed to a 'showroom' finish, old country kitchen well used.
    I am worried a little of what treatments the flooring would have in terms of chemicals for kitchen, but would seal somehow anyway.

    I havent costed this yet as would need 2 8x4 ply, glue, flooring and oil/ some kinda seal?
    I have got belfast sink n tap already, dont think cutout would work so well with this aproach thou...

    Again, any advice would be very greatfully recieved from all.
     
  13. artylarry

    artylarry

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    These are homemade shelve, spicerack for kitchen, old styles instead of modern clean lines. If that makes sence?
    (Sorry bout angle, couldnt figure out how to rotate!)
     
  14. FrogParty

    FrogParty

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    Larry, not sure how much worktop you need. Would oak at £120 for 25 x 630 x 2400mm be reasonable?
     
  15. artylarry

    artylarry

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    no frog, thanks for thought though.
    Need at least 2.8 and thicker. 👍
     
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