Kitchen Countertops in Sapele #2: Breadboards, final assembly and fitting

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Blog entry by edapp posted 08-28-2017 03:27 PM 2399 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Board selection, alignment and glue up Part 2 of Kitchen Countertops in Sapele series Part 3: Finshing process »

After the glue dried and the major sections were sanded, I was able to lay them out on the base cabinets and start cutting them to fit against the crooked, curved walls.

After scribing to the walls, I squared the ends and cut to width (including a 1.5” overhang) using a track saw. Part of the design of these countertops included using breadboards. One of the things that led to this decision was the lumber I was able to get was a little less thick than i wanted. My thinking was that using breadboards would make the counters look more like a table top than a traditional kitchen counter. I like the look, and think it just adds a unique feature that I have never seen before in a kitchen.

After laying out the breadboards, I used 10×50 dominos and glued them into the end-grain of the panels. Using a 3/8” forstner bit I drilled the holes for an oak dowel peg in the breadboards. I then installed the breadboards temporarily, and used the point of the bit to mark the Dominos. Using a router, straightedge, and 3/8” straight bit, I cut the holes into the domino’s, elongating the holes of the exterior domino’s.

Now I was ready to install the breadboards. When gluing the dominos into the endgrain panels, I wiped the squeeze-out into the end grain to try and seal the grain. Any grain that did not recieve glue got a light coat of poly. When installing the breadboards, I glued the center domino and dowel, and just used a dowel in the 4 outer dominos. This was my first time using this method, and I have to say that the installation was easy, the fit is great and they feel extremely secure for the relatively small size of the tenons. The base cabinets will support the two larger breadboards. Thanks to the youtubers who have taught this method, and in particular Charles Neil for the use of the router to do the slots for the dowel. I would not have thought of that!

Then came cutting the curve at one end of the counters. This needed to match the curved shelves underneath, and helped to open up the walkway into the den. This was a scary cut, but I was impressed what the cheap jigsaw and a minute or two sanding accomplished.

Then it was time to make the cutout for the sink. This is something I had been avoiding for some time…
The sink we are using is porcelain and is not perfectly square, straight, or consistent side to side. I used a piece of 3/4” plywood as a template and traced the inside edge all the way around with a pencil pressed against the wall of the sink. Using a jigsaw and oscillating spindle sander, I cut and sanded back to my lines. I carefully placed this template under the counter tops and used a flush trim bit in the router to cut the counters. This cut left the counters the correct shape, but over hanging the sink. I wanted the edge of the counters to sit on top of the sink, revealing the top edge by ~1/4” or so. By using an rabbeting bit from Whiteside with many different sized bearings, i was able to slowly move my way back until the fit was just right. This process took awhile, as a made a rabbeting cut, then a flush trim cut, change the bearing and make another rabbeting cut, flush cut etc. The results were better than I expected.

All that is left is a the edge profile, final sanding, and finish.

2 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3672 posts in 5204 days

#1 posted 08-29-2017 04:40 AM

Your countertop is looking terrific . . . but all that sawdust could really plug up your plumbing! :-)


-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View edapp's profile


347 posts in 2921 days

#2 posted 08-29-2017 11:51 AM

That’s what the disposal is for ;)

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