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Old 12-07-2022, 10:19 AM   #1
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Butcher Block Countertop

Does anyone have a butcher block counter top in their airstream and are there any issues or problems I should be aware of?

We are removing the range from our Ď77 safari and replacing it with a cabinet. The oven doesnít work and I havenít missed it in the 12 years Iíve owned this trailer. The oven is only does to store pots and pans.
We do most of our cooking outside but have a hot plate and butane burner we can use inside for the rare occasions we will need it. This summer I intentionally did not use the burners in the range to confirm we wonít miss them.

I will replace the range with a cabinet that will provide more storage and save some weight.
For the large hole in the countertop I had initially planned to replace the entire countertop but then thought of filling the space with a piece of butcher block type material.
It will certainly look better than the grubby old burner cover.

Are there any concerns or issues with a butcher block top in a trailer? Will temperature or humidity fluctuation affect it?
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Old 12-07-2022, 01:48 PM   #2
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I would be concerned about varying temperatures, but also weight.

You could have a nice cutting board without those issues.

Maggie
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Old 12-07-2022, 05:25 PM   #3
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I agree with Maggie on temperature concerns. Our custom wood table top developed a little crack when the weather got cold.
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Old 12-07-2022, 07:08 PM   #4
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Butcher Block Countertop

I built a custom standing desk/extra counter unit using part of my lounge space. I treated the butcher block (ordered custom size) unfinished and applied mineral oil and let it soak in. Still got a couple minor cracks where the pieces are glued together. Still fine for my use but for a countertop it would not be great.

For table tops I think people use resin sealants like shellac which might not be desirable for a countertop that gets wet or scratches.

For new counter Iíd look at corian or some other solid surface. Click image for larger version

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Old 12-07-2022, 11:19 PM   #5
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Solid wood expands and contracts with variations in moisture content and the expansion and contraction is much greater at right angles to the grain than parallel to the grain. The cracking mentioned above is, as a result, normal. Mounting needs to take the dimensional changes into account.

Butcher block or any other solid wood can stain quite easily and needs to be accepted if you use it as a countertop.

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Old 12-08-2022, 05:16 AM   #6
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counter top

I put this in 75 safari. Stained and sealed with Polyurethane. Worked well
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Old 12-08-2022, 05:39 AM   #7
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If you keep it oiled well it should be ok. Be prepared for it to take 100lbs off your carrying capacity.
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Old 12-08-2022, 07:09 AM   #8
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Awesome. I have something similar. Marine varnish. You can always router out the back to save weight while keeping the visible profile you desire. If you get cracks recoat.

If you don’t pack every crack and crevice with excess krap, these incremental weight changes really don’t matter.
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Old 12-08-2022, 08:37 AM   #9
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Hi Mark,
I assume you are planning on doing the butcher block as an insert to fill the void left by the range. I think it will do just fine. Make sure to leave a small gap all the way around for seasonal expansion of the butcher block. Maybe hold it in place with clips from below. The thickness of the block will obviously affect the weight. One possible source for a top is a portable dishwasher. I got one that way.
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Old 12-08-2022, 09:35 AM   #10
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Wow that’s beautiful!
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Old 12-08-2022, 09:35 AM   #11
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Love the idea of routering out the back to reduce weight! Thanks
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Old 12-08-2022, 09:36 AM   #12
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Thanks Al!
That’s pretty much my plan, I like the dishwasher idea.
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Old 12-08-2022, 09:37 AM   #13
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It will be interesting to weigh what I remove and what I add and see what the net weight savings is if any.
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Old 12-08-2022, 10:53 AM   #14
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Love the idea of routering out the back to reduce weight! Thanks
Common on solid surface countertops in rv applications too. Lot depends on the wood you use…ie dimensional stability varies wildly with wood.
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Old 12-08-2022, 11:03 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tim A. View Post
Solid wood expands and contracts with variations in moisture content and the expansion and contraction is much greater at right angles to the grain than parallel to the grain. The cracking mentioned above is, as a result, normal. Mounting needs to take the dimensional changes into account.

Butcher block or any other solid wood can stain quite easily and needs to be accepted if you use it as a countertop.

Tim
Real wood will move (expand/contract) 1/4" for every 12" of width. Could be more if you go from very dry weather to very humid, which pretty much defines the life of most RV owners.

Like mentioned by Tim, if you take this into account when mounting you'll be fine. Mount the rear edge rigidly so no gap develops between the countertop and the wall, and mount the outer edge in a way that permits enough movement.

Regarding finish, keep in mind that the finish needs to move with the wood. If you put a hard finish on it like epoxy, and the wood expands in humid weather, it will crack the finish as the wood expands. Choose a more flexible finish or just go with oil and rubbed wax like lots of handmade furniture has.

Our countertop at home is butcher block, and it just gets a coat of food-grade mineral oil once a year. We use it regularly and even cut on it. (It's a butcher block after all). It ages well and the wear and tear make it looked well loved.
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Old 12-08-2022, 12:04 PM   #16
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Thanks Al!
Thatís pretty much my plan, I like the dishwasher idea.
Another idea for where to get countertop, go to a place that cuts and sells them. The piece you need is fairly small, they probably have a bunch of small cut-offs you might be able to get at a discount.
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Old 12-08-2022, 01:22 PM   #17
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Another idea for where to get countertop, go to a place that cuts and sells them. The piece you need is fairly small, they probably have a bunch of small cut-offs you might be able to get at a discount.
Or make your own. Awesome little project.
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Old 12-11-2022, 03:34 PM   #18
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While Christmas shopping I found these at Costco $36!
I couldnít buy the wood for that price.
One isnít big enough but two will provide enough material to build what I need.

To deal with expansion, the butcher block will be floating in the old stove opening and not actually attached to the counter top.
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Old 01-22-2023, 12:15 PM   #19
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Project is done!
We have fought the large tambour door under the sink for 11 years so while I was building the doors to close in the oven area I made matching doors to eliminate that problem.

So far Iím vary happy with how it came out but the real test will come when we actually use it this summer.
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Old 01-22-2023, 01:38 PM   #20
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Job well done. I like it
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