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I'm planning on building a kitchen countertop made out of joined wood, and I would like to build the sink out of the same type of configuration. So far, I have built the top (see picture below), and I am still struggling whether to continue with the plan to build the wooden sink or just put the metal one that I already have, which would make it way easier. I'm not sure that the wooden sink would last, that's why I would like to know other people's opinion on this.

So here are my thoughts. If I build the sink out of wood, I'm planning on applying some layers of Epoxy (Table Top Epoxy from ProMarine) to protect the wood and make its surface stronger, but what worries me is that the hot water from the tap or from draining pasta or whatever hot would destroy the layer in time. There is no information about the temperature on the Epoxy containers. Another concern that I have is that the drain hole will have garbage disposal attach at the end. That thing vibrates a lot and is attached to a wooden hole, which would make that hole larger in time (the thickness of the wood is 5/8"), I assume. Also, I would need to bevel the hole's circumferential edge to make some room, which would make the wood even thinner (see sketch below).

enter image description here

I'm not sure if my worries are realistic or not, but I would like to know if any of you have experience with this and

  1. How to make the hole resistant to vibrations or how to glue the metal drain to the wood to make it very strong
  2. Is epoxy enough to seal the wood and protect it even at high temperatures? (I read somewhere that the epoxy deteriorates with temperature in time)
  3. Is there something else I would need to consider when having wood close to water, soap, and vibrations?

Any advice and suggestion would help a lot!

enter image description here

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  • As a general rule epoxies are softened by heat so there is a definite concern here. What temp exactly is the 'glass transition temperature' varies from product to product, however, in many cases it is below 100°C. Best plan: contact ProMarine and ask them. FWIW I think using a stainless sink is the way to go here.... there's a reason we don't see many wooden sinks :-)
    – Graphus
    Dec 18 '20 at 8:02
  • Nice looking counter top!
    – gnicko
    Dec 21 '20 at 14:27
  • I built a 10 foot long darkroom sink from cabinet grade plywood. I took it to a truck bed liner place and had the inside sprayed with bed liner. I did not want the texture that bed liner normally has so i had them smooth it before it set. It is bomb proof.
    – Alaska Man
    Dec 27 '20 at 19:21
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Epoxy is really an entire class of materials — there are lots of different types with different properties. If you can’t find information about the thermal resistance of the product you plan to use, you may need to test it yourself. You could coat a create some test samples by coating pieces of wood and then immersing them in boiling water for different periods to see how they hold up. There are high temperature epoxies, but I don’t know if there are any that are suitable for coating a sink.

If you’re worried about vibration, choose a disposal that’s designed to be quiet; those generally have a rubber connector that reduces vibration (and therefore noise). I doubt the vibration would enlarge the drain hole in any case. But do make sure that the epoxy coats not just the inside surface of the sink, but also the entire surface of the drain hole. The drain should be sealed completely with plumber’s putty, but you don’t want to risk any water contacting the bare wood. In fact, the whole bottom surface of the sink should also be sealed with epoxy to prevent seasonal movement — you never want to seal just one side of a piece of wood.

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  • This is a good Answer except you spoiled it with your closing sentence ;-) You often do want to 'seal' just one side of a piece of wood. This is absolutely routine for drawer fronts and tabletops as perhaps the most obvious examples, but there are numerous other instanced in furniture and other types of woodworking, as well as in trimwork, siding and other carpentry.
    – Graphus
    Dec 27 '20 at 18:21
  • @Graphus As noted in my answer, most finishes don't really seal the wood against seasonal humidity changes. The concern with coating one side with a heavy layer of epoxy and leaving the other bare is that uneven movement will cause the sink to deform in the same way that a canoe coated only on one side did. Table tops and panels are typically finished on both sides for the same reason. Drawer fronts are attached to drawers on the back side, and that extra thickness will slow down moisture absorption. Quibble all you like, I'm not wrong.
    – Caleb
    Dec 27 '20 at 20:58
  • But table tops are not typically finished on both sides. They have commonly been finished top side only for centuries. This is simply a fact, it's not a mere quibble to point this out, as well as the dozens of other examples I refer to. Can you literally not bring to mind any other examples where wood is routinely finished on only one face?
    – Graphus
    Dec 28 '20 at 10:18
  • Incidentally I'm not arguing against encapsulating this entirely with epoxy, if the OP insists on making a sink from softwood I'd consider it highly advisable for a number of reasons (and even at that I would be dubious as to its long-term prospects). But the potential for confusion of that one sentence is great, given Answers here are for posterity.
    – Graphus
    Dec 28 '20 at 10:19

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