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Soft wood worktop

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Anonymous

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I would like to use some softwood to make some kitchen worktops, is this feasible? Would jointed and stained boards be ok if covered with polyurethane varnish. If so how long would they expect to last especially near to a sink.

John
 
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Anonymous

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Hi John

Welcome :)

polyurethane sounds dodgy near a sink to me. When chipped, the water will get underneath and lift it.
 

Keith Smith

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Hi John,

Tony is right softwood is too soft to take this finish. If you were to put anything on the worktop it would dinge the surface, let moisture penetrate, and you would get a growing mark underneath. If you have to use softwood I would use Danish oil or finishing oil, don't thin it like you would with hardwood, put on lots of thin coats and be prepared to give it a weekly oil. It will still mark a bit but would look much more natural.

Keith
 

Aragorn

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I wouldn't advice using softwood, though I have seen it once. It was finished with poly and it was a terrible mess. Water had penetrated wherever there was a dinge and it had peeled away in places leaving the bare wood to colour naturally.
Actually it suited the style of the house and kitchen quite well - if you want the rustic, well-beaten look, you'll get it in no time with a softwood worktop, otherwise it's bit the bullet time, and hardwood ahoy!
 

sawdustalley

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Again, I would go against softwood - it wont look as good as hardwood after a couple of years and will probably go "all manky" :(

If you ever use a knife on it, it will mark, drop a pan - it will dent etc...
 

smiffy

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If your decision to use softwood is based on cost, then you may be pleasantly suprised to know that a hardwood worktop may not cost as much as you think. At least it will not if you are prepared to put some extra work into it.

I recently just finished a kitchen where I made approx. 6 metres X 640mm X 40mm of solid ash worktop for just over £300. I sourced the ash from a local supplier http://www.scottishwood.co.uk/. As you will see in the site, it is part of a national woods conservation plan, so you may find one close enough to you.
The guy who sold it to me even said himself that it was some of the finest quality ash he had ever sold. Looking at the finished product, all I can say it was £300 and three days hard graft very well spent.

Each worktop was laminated from two boards and I then belt sanded them for about two days :shock: After forming a nice edge with a round over bit and finishing with finishing oil what I have is a worktop that far exceeds even the 30mm beech worktop which costs twice the price from the likes of Homebase. Or even the ash worktops here http://www.hardwoodfloorstore.co.uk/Worktops/ash_kitchen_worktops.htm As well as being half the price, making it from two boards lets you see one of the most beautiful features of ash, the heartwood.

I still had to make an ash chopping board though for preparing food to save the main top. Even the cutout section around a Belfast sink which gets wet frequently, looks as good as the day it was fitted.

I promise you, the extra expense and the effort is well justified.

Cheers,
Raymond.
 
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