Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bowling Alley Counter Tops

My in laws have been remodeling their kitchen and ask me to help by taking care of the counter tops. They found a section of bowling alley for sale and we decided that would make a neat counter top. My father in law cut the pieces to the size needed so my job was to prep and refinish them.

each section was originally 42" wide and 2.5" thick and VERY heavy

It turns out the pieces aren't glued together but held together with a lot of nails. Figuring out how would be best to keep it together added a lot of time to this project. I ended up using some 10" screws offset and counter sunk to try and hold it all together.

The first step was to get as much of the old finish off as possible. I thought using a card scraper would be a good choice for this and it did work good, but when I started sanding it still acted like there was finish there.

 Since that didn't work as good as I had hoped I tried hand planing the top. The pine planed very nicely and this quickly got to unfinished wood.
 The maple edge board had some damage/holes where it had been bolted down, so I patched those spots.

 Ready for finish.

 I've never had a good experience staining pine, even using pre-stain products, so I tired some Medium walnut Danish Oil on a scrap and was pleased with the color. I put two coats on the Danish Oil as per the directions on the can. The color wasn't as dark as the sample so I had my in-laws come out to see it in person before I went any further. They were happy with the color so I will be top coating this piece of counter top in the next few day.

This is the smaller counter top and there is another one I still have to start on. I am going to be disassembling it and putting it all back together with glue. The sink will be in the next section and it will be the main food prep area also. I am more worried about cracks opening on that section. Hopefully in the next post about the counter tops the smaller one will be finished and installed and the larger one will be well on its way to being done.

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