Monday, March 4, 2013

Adventures in DIY: Joining Two IKEA Numerar Butcher Blocks Into One Large Countertop

Let me start by calling shenanigans on this nonsense online that makes the average homeowner think they can't do anything without calling a contractor first. If you're not handy, then sure, call someone. But if you are a generally intelligent person with the ability to use basic tools...then seriously, try doing things yourself. It's not rocket science.
With that said, my Numerar butcher block countertop is lovely. I have no experience installing butcher block, but I installed it myself anyway and for the last five years it has held up without issue. You can read all about my install back in 2008 here. The problem was, it was just too narrow for me. I like to spread out when I cook and I simply needed more room.
So I decided that my bff's jerkoff ex-boyfriend/construction worker was an idiot. Why can't I cut two IKEA Numerar Butcher block countertops down the middle and attach them together to make a much wider one? I started doing some research. Apparently, a lot of people have done it successfully. I thought the explanation on Our Big Yellow House was really good. 
 We ran two 96 7/8' pieces of IKEA Numerar lengthwise down the table saw we set up outside. Not fun. It wasn't perfectly straight, but close enough with a little sanding. Certainly, it would have been perfect with the Kreg Rip Guide, which I wound up buying halfway through the project.  Who knew this existed!  It's awesome. Live and learn.

Then we set everything up on the cabinets. I read that using biscuits only helps to align stuff, so we didn't bother. Instead, we clamped it together and cut off the parts we didn't need on the end. Then I brushed on Titebond III glue with a foam brush and we clamped it all together with Jorgensen Parallel Jaw Bar Clamps we borrowed from a friend.  We let it sit and cure, then carefully removed the clamps. Everything held together nicely. (For the record, this was not the shape I originally intended.  The piece cut out was supposed to be simply curved on the end.  Explanation to follow...)

The Hubby bought wood filler that was not even close to the right color...yeesh. But it was okay because I came across a tutorial on Beneath My Hearth on seaming together butcher block counters. She made her own wood filler with glue and saw dust. So following her lead, and the advice on some woodworking sites, I mixed some sawdust we saved with the Titebond III and filled in the seem.

Can't even see the seam, can you?
 The Hubby had a slight mismeasurement issue when cutting the hole for the new stove. Yes, I got a new stove, that's what started all this. We'll talk about it later. So after I sat there wanting to throw up and he sat there feeling horrible, we rallied and came up with a new plan. Instead of a curve in the length of the counter that ran in front of the basement door, we flipped the whole thing over and cut a rectangle piece out of the basement door side. Not exactly what I envisioned, but more practical spacewise and I still like it. I'm sure people will have something to say about using the underside of the butcher block, but I like the inconsistent colors. It gives it character.

Accidents will always happen. Take a deep breath and roll with it.

Then we measured again and cut the hole or the stove. You don't need special, super power anything. I used my trusty old Dewalt circular saw and a new blade. A lot of people have questions about cutting butcher block so let me say it again, it's not rocket science, just cut it. 

A little sanding. Some HVAC tape around the stove opening as a heat barrier. We screwed it down onto the cabinets the same way I did last time. And voila! A larger, more effective for my cooking and baking needs, butcher block countertop.

I'm still debating on no doors, glass doors, regular doors...and if I get doors, do I can Adel Medium Brown or do I get something different....?  Those chairs are from Freecycle.  I know they are kinda dated but they are so comfy!  I'm going to paint them, I'm just not sure what color yet.  I also need to finish up the toe kicks... 

That big L cut out, like I said, not part of the original plan, but it does give you a full 36 inches all around the island and has made getting stuff down through the basement door easier than if it was rounded.  Sometimes being practical is more important that anything else. 

Plus, the Hubby learned his lesson, and now actually double checks before he cuts anything.  Let me add as a sidebar, you see those DIY shows on TV and the women are always screaming or whining about something.  That's not how you work as a team.  That's being a douche.  Things happen.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Making him feel worse wouldn't help anything.  Just saying.

Okay, off my soap box.  I was going to build in a dog feeding station, but all the salvaged table legs I have are either a little too tall or a little to short and I'm not willing to cut any of them.  Until I figure out how exactly I want to build it, his old feeding station will have to do. 

You can't really see it but that orange on the cabinet is self stick shelf liner from an estate sale.  Such a pretty old school design you never see anymore.  Looks pretty and way cheaper than the more Adel Medium Brown cover panels. 
This is already a very long post...I'll talk about the cabinets next time...
If you want to see an updated picture of the dog feeding station, click here!