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Thread: Bowling Lane Counter Top

  1. #1

    Exclamation Bowling Lane Counter Top

    Hello All First timer hear.

    I am making a kitchen counter top out of an old bowling ally, it is made of Rock Maple and is 2 inches thick, I have sanded it so for with 180 grit sandpaper and am going to 220 or so.
    May question is what finish should I use, I have been reading a lot about salad bowl and mineral oil.what is the best and most durable for a Kitchen couter top.

    Thanks for the help
    Marc
    Last edited by Marc Seaman; 11-28-2004 at 4:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Marc - Welcome to the Creek!

    Did you start with 180 grit? If so, you might want to go to a coarser grit and then work your way finer, if your intent is to remove all the finish that was there before.

    For a finish, you've a got a choice of an oiled finish that (mineral oil, for example) that's food-safe and won't go rancid or a harder finish like a catalyzed varnish that will last longer, but is harder to reapply. Oil won't protect the wood the way a harder finish would, but you can reoil the counter top pretty much any time.

    The finish partly you choose depends on how you use your counter top and how fussy you are about taking care of it.

    Rob

  3. #3
    Rob,
    I started at 80 grit and worked my way up,
    and like I stated before this is for my kitched counter top where the sinks is going to be, so it will be heavly used, any recomendations would be appricated

    Marc

  4. #4
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    Marc, a wood counter around a sink can be bad news, especially if you use a film finish. When (not if...) water gets under the finish, it will discolor noticably and is hard, if not impossible to fix. If you really want to use wood counters in that area, I'd suggest you stick with mineral oil or a mineral oil/parafin mixture and reapply it from time to time. You start out by applying it every other day for the first week, then twice a week for a month, then monthly to maintain. Do it at the end of the day before you go to bed and it will be ready to use the next morning. (This is the same regimen that we use for our soapstone as well as our maple top on the island)

    Some folks will also seal the end-grain around the sink opening with thinned epoxy before installation to help keep it from wicking up excess moisture that gets around/under the sink.
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

    If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep...

    Be safety conscious. 80% of people are caused by accidents.

    Equestrian Sports. The most fun you can have with your boots still on...


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Seaman
    Rob,
    I started at 80 grit and worked my way up,
    and like I stated before this is for my kitched counter top where the sinks is going to be, so it will be heavly used, any recomendations would be appricated

    Marc
    I probably didn't state my question clearly enough. Some people take a wood counter top and use it as a cutting surface, not bothering with cutting boards. That puts a whole different dimension into the demands on the countertop.

  6. #6
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    Good point, Rob...and in that case, a mineral oil or mineral oil/paraffin treatment is about the best thing since it's always renewable.

  7. #7
    Thanks Guys,
    I'll use mineral oil, is there any differences between any of the oils?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Seaman
    I'll use mineral oil, is there any differences between any of the oils?
    Yea. Price. You can buy the fancy stuff labeled for "cutting boards", etc...or...you can go to the drug store's laxative isle and buy it cheaply in a larger bottle. The latter is obviously the more economical choice and there is no difference in the product!

  9. #9
    Thanks Jim I Appreciate it.
    I guess I am on my way to the store to buy some
    laxatives, and what is the highest grit that you would go up to. I am at 180 and thinking on going to 220?

  10. #10
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    I went to 220 on my island top. BTW, before you do the oiling, raise the grain a few times and lightly sand off the whiskers. Even with the oil, moisture will raise grain for awhile, but you can minimize it this way.
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

    If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep...

    Be safety conscious. 80% of people are caused by accidents.

    Equestrian Sports. The most fun you can have with your boots still on...


  11. #11
    Ok now for the dumb question, How do you raise the grain, I am Fairly new to this and have never raisee grain or I did and had no idea I was

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Seaman
    Ok now for the dumb question, How do you raise the grain, I am Fairly new to this and have never raisee grain or I did and had no idea I was
    LOL! Good question...with a simple answer. Just put some water on the surface, let it dry and LIGHTLY sand off any fuzzies with 320 paper. Do not cut the wood...just the whiskers. Repeat again. Best results come from using distilled water since it is clear of minerals, but plain water will work just fine.
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

    If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep...

    Be safety conscious. 80% of people are caused by accidents.

    Equestrian Sports. The most fun you can have with your boots still on...


  13. #13
    I have sanded with 220 grit and raised the grain 3 times , lightly sanded with 320 grit and now just put the first coat of laxetive on waiting to see the results when it dries, looks great so far, thanks for the help,I'll post some pics when I am done.
    Before Christmas I hope.

  14. #14
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    Marc, how did you find the bowling alley wood? I'm sure one was being torn down, but how did you hear about it happening. I would love to have some of this for the work benches in my shop remodel, or even old gymnasium wood flooring. Looking forward to seeing some pictures of the finished product! Jim.

  15. #15
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    That will be an interesting countertop!! Are you planning on adding lane markers? Maybe gutters on both sides?

    Seriously tho.... Good luck with the project! Dont forget to post progress pics.

    Dan
    A flute without holes, is not a flute. A donut without a hole, is a Danish.

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