Worktop - oak

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Established Member
30 Apr 2023
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Hi all

My first post here, I am looking for a advice on a few things if I may pick your collective brains.

I am fitting a new kitchen/utility and my next job is to fit 40mm oak worktops supplied by diy-kitchens. I haven't unwrapped them yet, but I assume they are finished to approx 150grit as their online advice says to oil with no mention of sanding first?
So first question is would you sand the entire top first before oiling/sealing?

I will have 3off butt joints to make with 3off dog bone clamps per joint. So the second question, is there a recommendation on a decent jig to cut the dog bones? I don't need anything special as won't be doing any mitre joints.

Onto the third question, how is best to join the butt joint? I have read of 2 ways so far that stand out.
1. Silicone along the joint and pull it up tight with dog bone clamps until it spews out.
2. Biscuit joint (I have bought a 1/2" router for this kitchen and will get a biscuit bit if needed) and wood glue the joint together.

Next question, if I require additional sanding of the tops prior to oiling, which orbital sander would you recommend? I see various mentions of the Metabo 450, there appear to be various versions of this so am unsure if they are all similar. Or is there a cheaper alternative that can do a decent job?

Last question hopefully, what would you recommend for sealing the worktops?
Research has me finding 2 general opinions.
First is to coat with danish oil, 4 to 6 coats and very frequently topping it up as required.
The second appears to be wax oil, such as Osmo Top oil. I have bought Fiddes Wax oil for when I sand my pine floors (another job on my growing to do list), is that similar to the Osmo?

I am aware this is a heavy first post. But any advice for any of these questions would be greatly appreciated. Especially if we have any kitchen maker/fitters in the forum.

Thanks all
I think you should use biscuits and dog bones. The biscuits really only help to keep the alignment. I can't advise on silicone versus wood glue, I'd use wood glue on real wood, and silicone on chipboard, but I'm no expert.
I certainly wouldn't use wood glue...!
You will have long grain to short grain where the joints in the 3 sections of worktop meet and the tops will expand & contract a bit over time.

As @John Brown said,...Dont forget to seal the underside before fitting and dont be tempted to scrimp by using less of your chosen finish underneath just because it wont have the same wear & tear as the top surface.

Also, make sure you allow for the potential movement in the tops by fixing them down via means of elongated brackets that will allow the tops to move freely. Alternatively, you could just use screws through the rails of the cabinets, but if you do, drill a 10mm dia hole and fit large washers over the screws before fixing the top down.

My own personal opinion of fiiting wooden worktops in my kitchen or utility room....?.....I'd never do it!.....I love working with wood and I love the idea of it, but over the 40 years I've been in the fitted kitchen business, I've seen some absolute horrors and people in general dont maintain them as they should and the deterioration can be shocking.
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Appreciate all of your replies, exactly what I was looking for, thank you.

I plan to leave 3 to 4mm gap all around the edges, and have read about leaving fixings with some wiggle room. I.e larger holes through cabinets, or slotted holes in brackets. So that's good to have that confirmed.

So to summarise the joints:
Butt joint with 3 dog bone clamps as planned.
Seal cut edges of worktop with the same finish as top and bottom of the worktop.
No glue or silicone on the joint.
Dry biscuits for alignment only.

In hindsight I perhaps would have steered away from wooden worktops had I known the preparation and maintenance requirements. But they are bought and here now... So I will do my best to get them looking good and hopefully so they stay that way.

Is Osmo top oil any different to the regular Osmo wax oil?
Osmo and Fiddes are generally similar, I have Fiddes to hand. Would have to order the Osmo Top oil seperate though if it is significantly more appropriate for work tops?

As I said earlier, .....I try and avoid installing wooden worktops if I can talk the Client out of them for the reasons I mentioned above.
However, if the Client is adamant, I finish their tops with Rubio Monocoat......It ain't cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but it has never let me down on the rare occasions I've fitted wooden tops in a kitchen.

I've always thought Danish Oil was a bit " heavy" looking when applied, whereas the Rubio seems to give a smoother, " lighter" look....👍
I've always thought Danish Oil was a bit " heavy" looking when applied,
I used Danish oil on our oak kitchen worktops and I have to agree with you. I would choose something different if I were to do the job again, but ignorance prevents me suggesting what that "something" should be.
I have oak block worktops bought 8y ago at Ikea - they don't seem to stock them now, however I finished them with Tung oil and even around the flush fitted induction hob where it gets more frequent wetting either from wiping up splashes or mopping up floods when I've had something boil over the surface is still intact and un-marked.
Tung oil once oxidised (i.e. dry) is very hard-wearing and resilient and is also food-safe and I guess the only downsides are the potentially long drying times if you attempt to put thick coats on.
I find it works best both inside and out by applying 2 initial coats diluted 50/50 with white spirit and paying special attention to any end-grain and then followed by 2-3 coats undiluted with a cloth mop and rubbing well in - the finish is semi-matt so it will hide any surface imperfections.
One thing to be aware of whatever finish you choose - make sure you apply at least one or 2 coats to the underside before fixing so as to minimise any potential for cupping,
Why not glue it at the joint ? I have always glued them with titebond 3.
My Iroko worktop has 2 90 degree joints, glued and zip bolted, rock solid after 6 years or so. Osmo top oil is good, I think its thinner than the regular Osmo and only seems to come in matt finish, the cut edges will drink it up.
Not sure I would choose wooden tops again they do need maintenance.

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Why not glue it at the joint ? I have always glued them with titebond 3.
I agree, also dries a dark brown, in my view a better glue when working with Oak, and it has a good open time.

I use Fiddes Hard Wax oil (satin clear) on all my interior Oak joinery including stairs, floor's, doors, worktops etc, I always have a tin around, (but it does skin over in the tin if left unused for a while), I have used Osmo Top oil in the past but seems to takes longer to touch dry and a couple of weeks to fully harden off.
Why not glue it at the joint ? I have always glued them with titebond 3.

....You can, of course, use a wood glue to glue the joints, but I certainly wouldn't do so in a Clients house.
The worktops will move to a degree due to their location to heat & moisture, so I'm not prepared to risk it on a Clients project......
Worktop jig
I use a solid laminate jig 30mm bush and 12.7 cutter ( replaceable tip ) follow the instructions to centralise the 30mm bush in ya router

google search for a jig , worktop express I think I bought mine from years ago , tool station screwfix should be ok

I think you can get a jig just for the connectors (dog bone)

I would silicone the joint with with biscuits to assist with alignment

Sand the whole top down and the oil once all fixed , underside prior to installing
Oil any cut edges

Some fitting still may be need on the but joints I would think due to the room not being square so either plane or use the router to trim to fit being carefull with the ends ( break out)

Defffo follow the worktop instructions also due to the Guarantee

Im considering DIY kitchens how are the units quality wise , thanks
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User / observer view......
Osmo definitely, and can be very quick. No glue. Few fitters will treat the underside other than how the tops are supplied. Messy to repeat on the underside after installation. Good point about treating the edges before pulling the joints together. Use grids for hot items of course. If the edges of the tops as supplied are square, consider very small rounding.

In use, wipe spills as soon as possible. Be especially careful around the sink where splashes occur easily. Choosing a deep and large sink will help to reduce. Consider any plumbing above the surface and how any leaks will be spotted quickly (this was my only bad experience when a boiler - which was in a cupboard - developed a leak and the drips fell behind the microwave and weren't spotted for a while). I sand gently before the periodic application of more Osmo and be careful to inspect the prepared surface from different angles.

Other than the one leak, no issues after 7 years, but depends on the entire household conforming to "good practice".