Sep 15, 2010

New Countertops

Our new butcher block countertops are from Ikea.  We picked them up over Labor Day weekend and getting them home was a challenge.  Not only did they weigh a thousand pounds, but the 97 inch length plus box and padding almost didn't fit in my small SUV.  In fact the two boxes were wedged between the windshield and the trunk door, with all the seats down, and me squished into the back seat (don't worry I managed a seat belt). I t was interesting to say the least.

Before cutting the pieces down to fit our cabinets, we measured once - twice - three times to be safe. And we discovered a new FUN FACT about our house - the lower kitchen cabinets were built at an angle.  As in the side with the sink is 25" deep and the side in the other corner is 23.25" deep and the whole front is slanted.  This was much more obvious with the countertops off - but boy for something that's held up for 50 years, it was sure built wonky. Luckily straight countertops hide wonky cabinets underneath.

Once the 2 countertop pieces were cut down to size with the circular saw, we measured the first piece to fit our new sink.  We drew the lines according to the diagram in the sink directions and then cut it out with a jigsaw.  This was a lot more work that in sounds like because butcher block is very dense (which is why it weighs so much).  It took a lot of muscle to push things along and it took a while to cut through it.  The blade on the jigsaw (and the drill bit to make the pilot holes) get so hot working through the wood that it actually burned the wood and smoked the whole way around.

After we cut the sink hole, we were disappointed to find out that the diagram we followed was a complete FAILURE.  As in completely inaccurate and imaginary.  Totally impossible to make the shape they illustrated and fit the sink basin.  Luckily the hole was too small instead of too big - we only had to cut the whole thing again instead of buying a new piece.  But I am thinking about writing the sink manufacturer an angry email over the gross inaccuracy.

As seasoned jigsaw pros at that point, cutting the stove hole was much easier and went much faster.  We were no longer afraid that the hot burning jigsaw blade was going to set the whole wooden countertop on fire so we forged confidently ahead.  Once we double-checked that both holes fit the sink and stove top, we moved on to countertop installation.

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