Note: I added another page under the "Projects" page that should allow smart phone and iPad users to access the separate projects via hyperlinks. I don't know why but it seems that smart phones can't access the drop down menus.
I have spend the last few days building the counter top for the galley. I am moving forward cautiously as I try to understand how the wood will move and how best to mitigate it. The gist of the issues are how to make a solid ash top with two panels to be joined perpendicularly to one another. That is one issue. Another is how to incorporate a raised "frame" to cover the end grain and capture spilled liquids, crumbs, or whatever. Overlaying these issues is how to accommodate the movement of the wood as it expands and contracts. Wood expands little to none lengthwise as the majority of movement is across it's width. The long panel top will expand and contract 'twartship. The short panel, under the sink, will expand and contract fore and aft. If I glue the frame to the panels and there is significant movement then something will have to give . . . most likely the panels will crack along the grain and the joints in the frame will open up. So, I have been thinking that I could make 1/2" deep dados in the frame and install the panels like a panel door. That way, the panels can expand and contract to their heart's content. Of course, if I do that, I can't use bedding compound or glue between the frame and the panels to keep liquids from seeping under the edge of the frame. I am not going to rush this project. Until I have a feel for the best way to achieve what I want I'll work around this project and move on to some others. I may even look into a stainless top for the small section under the sink or perhaps even some corian. The small section is 16"x23" so this should not be a big expense. But, there is no running down those options till after the New Year as all the shops around here are closed. Contrary to what some people think, varnish will not keep the wood from moving, only slow down the time it takes to move.
23 Dec 12 Ash CountertopsToday I ripped, edge jointed, and glued up the main part of the counter top for the galley. I will build a frame around the edge that is raised about 1/4" to help keep spilled liquids from seeping over the edge of the counter top. I'll also install a fiddle along the inboard edge. I have designed the top to fit up to the edge of the cabinetry so the whole thing can be removed and replaced or repaired without removing the cabinetry. I jointed the edges with a router using the same technique I described in the 16 December 2012 post. I thought about ripping the flat sawn part of the 8"wide ash planks out then gluing up all edge grain wood. It would take twice as much wood with a lot of waste. I chose not to do that because I am not sure it is necessary. To ensure a flat surface I clamped both horizontally and then vertically as depicted in the picture. I applied packing tape over the edge of the wood clamps so they don't end up getting glued to the wood top.
Gluing up the ash countertop for the galley.The plan is to leave them bare and just scrub them with bleach water and a scrubby pad as required which sounds a little unusual at first blush. However, if they are varnished you are stuck with keeping them varnished and varnish is not very durable when it comes to the abuse counter tops endure. I have mixed feelings about bare ash counter tops. There are other options but Lin Pardey swears by bare ash and I have discussed it with her on several occasions. The countertops on Taleisin have lasted a long time. Left bare, they should remain light colored which is a nice contrast in an all varnished wood interior (the chart table is varnished however). We have a maple top work table I built in 2004 in the center of out kitchen. I have oiled the top once. It gets used many times every day. It has held up beautifully. So, I have high hopes for the ash counter tops. Oh, one more thing. This is a very inexpensive solution. I will have about $50.00 in the counter top. No other solution even close to that.
"On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date many thousands of men have borne the name Marine. In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the Birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history."
The above is an excerpt from General John A. Lejuene's birthday message to the Marine Corps in 1921 and is republished annually on the birthday of the Corps. On this day, all around the world, wherever Marines are gathered, from ball rooms filled with Marines in dress blues, to mud filled fighting holes and dusty outposts manned by steely eyed Devil Dogs protecting us from those that would do us harm, Marines raise a glass or canteen cup in toast to the Corps. Happy 237th Birthday Marines. It was an honor to serve by your side in every clime and place.
4 Nov 12The last couple of day have been spent on the icebox and on the head compartment. I applied two coats of epoxy to the back side of the icebox vertical inboard panel. After it cured I washed off the amine blush and sanded it with some 320 grit to make it smooth. The next step was to install the insulation on the front and the top. It was tedious work. I made templates with doorskin and a hot glue gun for a tight fit. I staggered all the joints to reduce the chance for air leaks. All the panels fit very tight and I only added a little bit of caulk here and there . . . basically it did not need any. I applied a layer of aluminum foil to each layer of blueboard, shiny side out. This time I did not use contact cement. Instead, I just laid the foil on the panel and trimmed it very carefully. There is 3 1/2" of foam on the font (as there is on the sides) and 2 3/4" foam on top. I screwed the vertical panel in place, but I just set the top on as I will varnish it then drill for the bronze oval head screws. Once I have three coats of varnish on the top, I will apply some brown colored Life Caulk around the edges. I am very glad to have this behind me. In between work on the ice box I also worked on the head compartment. I finished up the design work a couple of days ago. Yesterday, I cut the panels for the toilet box and pump up shower unit and applied the staving as well. Tomorrow, I will install the panels and post some pictures then.