I’m building a counter top and I had to join two pieces of boards with some glue in between. The countertop looks pretty okay, but the joint is very obvious and when I clean it with a bit a water, it jumps straight in your eyes. I’m planning to add epoxy on it, which will make it very obvious. The wood has some pattern therefore it is a bit hard to make it fit, so I added a filler, but this did not solve the problem. I’m thinking that it might be useful to artificially add a know there, since that’s the pattern, but I don’t know how to do that or even if it is a good idea. I really need some advice to solve this.
A butt joint is is not very strong and is likely to break if any wood movement occurs. There are many other ways to handle joints like this that will improve their integrity and diminish their appearance.
- The simple butt joint such as in your photo could be improved first by making sure that the pieces meet square throughout the cross section or better yet, providing a slight bevel with the pieces being longer on the top and a 32nd less long at the bottom. If the pieces are forced together the top grain will fully meet.
- Better yet the connection should have a lap joint such that the two sides are held by a fully glued lap of 1" or more. IF properly prepared with square corners the two pieces can be finessed to fully contact.
- The individual boards do not have to meet in one line. IF you stagger the pieces the joint appearance will not be as obvious. Think of wood flooring.
- You can emphasize the joint by providing a contrasting wood piece at the intersection running perpendicular to the counter top. While wood expands and contracts differently in width and length the overall joint length is too small to be a problem. Making a contrasting wood as a design feature may require you to make more than one such joint to provide some design symmetry. Such a feature piece would have a spline connection to the end grain pieces on both sides.
Thank you all for your advice. It was very helpful to think about it, especially because I’m planning to do one more. To answer some questions, I have added two pieces of wood that go under the joint and at the end of the counter top, so it became a sturdy one-piece counter top. The board is 5/8” thick. In addition to this, I have a screw under (15 degrees angle) that keeps them connected. I should keep it there for many years to come.
Anyhow, I was inspired by the previous answer regarding adding a different material to compensate, so I thought that I can take advantage of the pattern. For this reason, I carved some shapes along the joint (1/8” depth) and added some dark bark in the joint direction. I fixed the bark with some glue in the middle of the hole and then I added wood filler around. I then took a soldering iron and burnt some non-uniform shapes to look like the knot extends in all directions and it looks way better now. With epoxy on it (not sanded yet), looks like this:
Thanks again for all the help.