It’s time to finish the kitchen area of the van and that also means a new hardwood countertop!
As always, I start rough-sawn hardwood and I chose Mahogany again, to stay consistent with the other countertop at the sliding door. It’s easy to work with and has usually an attractive pattern.
I had one piece of Mahogany, about 2in thick, 6in wide and 8ft long, just sufficient for this project. The process starts by jointing and planing the wood and slicing it into two boards on the tablesaw.
After this, much time is spent on sorting the boards on color and pattern, which should result in a visually attractive countertop. I made it myself more difficult by pre-positioning the location of the sink, to save some wood. Now it’s time for the glue-up!
The countertop is now in its rough form and it becomes a matter of repeatedly fitting and adjusting the size of the countertop. I rip off a larger piece from which the edge is made, that doubles the thickness at the front of the countertop. On the right side, I cut off a piece that will be hinged; lifting this part will reveal the induction cooktop below.
To keep the two parts of the countertop level, the hinge will be embedded into the wood. I chisel out part of the edge and preposition the hinge with a few screws. After more fitting, I continue with the gas strut.
A gas strut will make opening and closing of the cooktop cover easier and will hopefully eliminate any noise while driving.
This completes the rough setup of the kitchen countertop. I still have to make a few adjustments and create a few attachment points for the fixed part of the countertop. Then it is a matter of a lot of sanding and applying a combination of several coats of Shellac and perhaps a top layer of Poly-Urethane.
TOOLS & MATERIALS*
Jellas Orbit Sander
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