Dish drainboard

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Project by daltxguy posted 01-31-2010 02:27 AM 3912 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was born out of necessity. Since we have an older house, our sink does not have a built in drainboard. We actually looked and looked for one and none could be found. Apparently everyone either already has one built in or they don’t use one anymore because they have a dishwasher.

We had neither and didn’t want to add a dishwasher. We’ve moved away from using one quite a long time ago as we prepare for the day when we will live ( again by necessity) off-grid on our forest property. Reducing our dependence on convenience appliances is part of our training for the next transition.

Finding designs for these is also difficult.Not many people make them. I did finally find one and this is an adaptation.

The challenges in a drainboard are
1) it will stay wet for extended periods of time and only on one side
2) wood movement and warpage
3) drainage and spillage
4) effective drainage off of the edge and not to the underneath of the board.

To address these design issues, I used edge glued strips of NZ red beech for the main board, which is water resistant. The front of the board has a breadboard end, pegged. Underneath there is a “drip edge”, a shallow groove to channel the dripping water into the sink instead of underneath the board. Around the perimeter there is a NZ Rimu edging to contain the water and keep it from spilling off the edge. Finally down the center there is a series of grooves and the whole thing is tilted at a slight angle.

So far, it seems to holding up though time will tell whether the design works completely.

Finished with multiple applications of linseed oil and the top surface is waxed. As someone noted, this is hardly a finish to last. In that regards, a polyurethane would be better, however red beech is sufficiently weather resistant to survive decades staying completely wet and the finish was more for looks than anything functional.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

12 comments so far

View AJJ's profile


75 posts in 3658 days

#1 posted 01-31-2010 03:33 AM

Looks good, and we all might be off the grid before long.

-- AJJ, Eugene OR

View woodworm's profile


14475 posts in 4100 days

#2 posted 01-31-2010 04:38 AM

Very nice work.
But I’m a bit unsure linseed oil is the answer for protection.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4424 days

#3 posted 01-31-2010 05:45 AM

Agreed woodworm- linseed oil will not make it last. It was more for initial looks. The NZ red beech is weather resistant enough to survive with no finish.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4424 days

#4 posted 01-31-2010 05:50 AM

AJJ, you might be right and I hope to ready before then!

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4087 days

#5 posted 01-31-2010 06:26 AM

Very cool idea well done.

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 4193 days

#6 posted 01-31-2010 09:12 AM

its very pretty… thats something as well…
Thanks for the blackwood samples that popped up in front of my garage.

out of curiousity to follow your design flow:
1. why did you use breadboard end instead of leaving the ends? this would probably save one place the water can get into
2. how is the board connected to the sides?
3. what kind of glue did you use?

as for finish, i would, as always, use tung oil. I have a chair finished in tung oil that stands in my shower for over 18 months. NOTHING happened to it. there is a layer of poly over the tung, but its only for look as it does not sink deep into the wood so if it dents or chipped its protection is gone.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4424 days

#7 posted 01-31-2010 11:26 AM

Hi moshe – the blackwood is the sample as we discussed. Use whatever you don’t give away.

Breadboard – I used the breadboard end on the drain end to control any cupping. There shouldn’t be too much expansion as it is mostly quarter sawn pieces glued together. However, our cutting board which is made the same way, can curl about 2 cm when it gets wet unevenly.

The boards on the sides are simply glued with Titebond II glue. i considered biscuits or pegs but in the end because the board was tilted, I decided that was too hard to lay out and so I just glued.

As for your shower chair, I totally believe in the power of tung oil, but since you have poly over it, I wonder how much is due to the poly and how much the tung oil? I have some end tables I made 25 years ago to which I applied poly only and they still look like the day I finished them but of course they sit in a dry environment. The poly finish seems impenetrable and reasonably flexible as I have a few dings in the table but it has never flaked off.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Craig Ambrose's profile

Craig Ambrose

47 posts in 4082 days

#8 posted 01-31-2010 09:02 PM

Nice work Steve, I love it. I’ve only just started playing with nz beech, and I wasn’t aware of the water resistance that you mentioned, so very good to know.

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4424 days

#9 posted 02-02-2010 04:08 AM

Hi Craig – only the Red Beech, however. Silver beech is excellent for turning, bending and it spalts very nicely and very easily but is not very weather resistant. There are some red beech trees in my forest which have 80 year old trees growing out of them already and the log is still rock hard!

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3999 days

#10 posted 02-02-2010 04:21 AM

That is soooo cool!!!

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3625 days

#11 posted 02-03-2010 12:12 PM

great looking work
have only seen them
in plastic


View patron's profile


13654 posts in 3851 days

#12 posted 02-03-2010 12:38 PM

sweet board steve ,
and you covered my worry just fine ,
the under drip .
that sure is some beautiful wood !

great board .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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