Wooden Kitchen Countertops?

BauBuche is a laminated veneer lumber made from locally sourced beech manufactured exclusively by Pollmeier. BauBuche is produced in a completely new, yet highly economical process. Peeled veneer layers of 3mm in thickness are parallel- or cross-laminated and turned into beams, boards, panels and flooring elements.

I recently decided to try a new product I had seen at my hardwood supplier.  BauBuche is a laminated Beach with the end grain oriented up.  This gives it a unique and appealing look.  The product is sold in Kansas City in slabs 27 inches wide by just over 13 feet long. At just over $230.00 a slab it is affordable.  I did the kitchen above with two slabs and have enough left for some end tables.  These pieces are heavy and awkward to maneuver.  Cutting the 45 degree angles was challenging.  But once the pieces were reduced a bit I could accomplish the necessary cuts.  The sink and cooktop cutouts were performed easily with my Bosch jig saw.  I did all the edge routing with a small Bosch trimming router.  Sanding went well, though I had some trouble with my belt sander leaving marks.  The product, ultimately, sanded up nicely.  There was a little chip out going across the grain, and some burning running with the grain with a circular saw.  I ended up purchasing a rather expensive blade by Freud that is meant for laminate.  It worked very well. 

I decided to go with a pure Tung oil for the finish.  The option was to do a polyurethane or an acrylic finish.  But I wanted it to be more of a butcher-block surface.  Something that could be used and possibly abused, sanded down, refinished with more Tung oil, and restored.  I am not completely sold on this option yet.  I think I will do a poly on the end tables and see what I think.  The product is beautiful.  As a wood worker, how could I not love it?  I used pocket screws and glue join the corners.   It made a strong joint.  The large counter top actually fell over on me when I was loading it and survived a pretty good jolt.  Install on the cabinets was also very easy.  I made cleats on the cabinets where I needed them and just screwed in to the countertop from the underside. 

This product comes in different thicknesses.  I used 1 3/8” inch thick slab.  My supplier has thicker slabs.  I know the manufacturer also makes a variety of dimensions.  It would make beautiful dining room or boardroom tables.  End tables.  I have seen it used as wall panels and even structural exposed beams.  I like the product a lot and look forward to using it again.  I am tempted to get a slab just to have on hand.  You never know what applications might come up born of pure necessity and inspiration.   

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