Sunday, April 13, 2014

Building a tiny Kitchen Counter Top

Here are the first posted pics of the interior of the Leafspring!  The counter top and back splash are ready to go in.

The front of the trailer features three windows that offer great light and a view for cooking. The picture above is before the counter top was installed.

I received several boards of big leaf maple that have been drying for the last 5 years under the cover of a friend's wood shed.  With material in hand, I had the impetus to build a countertop.  All this material came from a single tree that fell in their yard.  Lots of it is spalted (i.e. has fungal rot, which causes the black lines in the wood you can see below).  The spalted material is not as hard or strong, but by laminating pieces that do not have spalt together with pieces that do have spalt I was able to strengthen the counter top and keep the aesthetic appeal of the spalted lumber.

A special thanks goes out to a friend Tanner who helped me with the use of Evergreen State College's wood shop.  After processing the material in the shop, which included joining and planing boards, ripping them into 2" strips, and cutting grooves for biscuits, I returned home to laminate.  Thanks to Rama Lash for his advice on how to laminate.  I alternated the grain pattern of the 2" strips and glued them together with Tite Bond III, 3 boards at a time.

I made lots of sketches then we cut cardboard templates and held them in place to feel out what the counter top would be like.  I call this technique CAD (cardboard aided design)... 

I traced onto the laminated boards and cut out the counter top shapes.  I returned to Evergreen one last time and planed the counter top then used the time saver to belt sand to 100 grit.  Upon arriving at my house, I used an orbital palm sander to sand to 220 grit.    

After the finishing process the counter top looked like this.  I have another post coming soon that will go into detail on the process of using Tung Oil to finish the counter top and back splash.

Rama Lash commissioned me to build these brackets, but they were not used on the building project, so they have been sitting for almost a year.  I saw the counter top as a great opportunity to utilize the brackets to keep space available underneath and avoid the use of too many posts.

Two cedar posts were used (excess from the kitty ladder project).  I used a draw knife to shape the cedar pieces and supported either side of the Magic Chef  RV oven/range with the posts.  

The kitchen awaits plumbing, propane and some finish work, but it is well on it's way to providing meals and snacks during construction!  

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