End grain sink cutout help

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Forum topic by 616jason616 posted 02-26-2020 04:05 PM 403 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 457 days

02-26-2020 04:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: endgrain end grain butcher block wood movement sink cutout tip question trick

After much help and investigation I have all the information I need to build and successfully mount my end grain butcher block counter top, but I do still have one main sticking point that I don’t quite understand. This would be the sink cutout. With all of the movement that is possible, I’m just not sure if there are any special considerations or methods I need to follow for the sink cutout.
I did plan to use our current top mount sink but am unsure if an under mount sink would be better. If anyone has some info it would help a great deal. Thanks.


-- Jason

4 replies so far

View CaptainKlutz's profile


4454 posts in 2580 days

#1 posted 02-26-2020 08:37 PM

End grain around a sink?

Q: What kind of counter finish is planned on the Hickory?

IME – end grain acts like a sponge. Also hard to completely seal without putting a thick ‘plastic like’ polyurethane film on top. If you are making end grain counter to cut/chop on, then you don’t want thick poly. So how do you seal & maintain the sink area? Major dilemma, maybe?

Have no experience with the sink/end grain combo; but use of under mount sink with porous end grain sounds like recipe for constant rework and repair.

If it were mine, would make separate counter top sections for my end grain cutting areas, and my sink base/area. In the sink area, would use exposed edge grain of flat sawn lumber, instead of end grain. The edge grain is easier to seal, and with couple of extra counter top bolts underneath, most will think it is one piece. Running the sink base section boards in parallel to the counter direction also removes the wood movement for the sink section?

That’s my thoughts. Thanks for reading. and Best Luck!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Aj2's profile


3844 posts in 2884 days

#2 posted 02-26-2020 09:03 PM

I also don’t think it’s a good idea. Any areas with short grain – front or back corners will most likely crack.
It could be that you have very unique design and your counter is extra thick.
So I will reserve my right to be proven wrong.

Good Luck

-- Aj

View PBWilson1970's profile


206 posts in 479 days

#3 posted 02-26-2020 10:54 PM

You could give the area around the sink cut out, top and bottom a soaking with a thin epoxy. You could sand it all off the surface but hopefully some would sink into the end grain and keep some of the ever-present moisture to a minimum.

An under mount sink could be placed with a larger countertop overhang so that movement wouldn’t be enough to expose the edge of the sink but the edges might take a beating. A heavy chamfer or round over would be best.

A top mounted sink with a large overhang could work too. Just keep in mind the season and humidity levels when you install it.

Wood can last a long time in and around water. My hickory tool handles have lasted decades with a hefty dose of neglect and possibly abuse. They look NOTHING like they did when new, but if that’s not an issue for you, go for it. Best of luck!

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Bob5103's profile


210 posts in 1919 days

#4 posted 02-27-2020 12:23 AM

I have never done an end grain counter top but I have done several butcher block counters with kitchen sinks. I use a product called Red Guard, to coat the cut out. It forms a water proof flexible.

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