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I'm very handy in general, but I'm new to wood working. We're installing butcher block countertop. we've pre-ordered sections that are 8' x 25" x 1.5" thick.

I've done tons of research, and I'm basically all ready to start. Overall I'm feeling confident, but I just have one concern:

On one section i'd like to widen it to 45". Is it best to join this section together with a few pocket hole screws using my Kreg jig (plus glue)? Or would it be better to use miter bolts, which is the same thing I'll be using to join together my corner cuts.

Any other advise would also be great. Thanks in advance!

  • Is this section going to be supported, or is it an overhang? If it's well supported and this won't be visible from below, I'd use the dogbones / miter bolts. – TX Turner Jun 15 '15 at 16:07
  • it will be 100% supported – Bryan Jun 15 '15 at 16:13
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Is it best to join this section together with a few pocket hole screws using my Kreg jig (plus glue)?

There's no best here, but there is definitely a good enough and that is using glue only. Just glued together the joint should be as strong as any joint in the existing material.

With the following assumptions:

  • the surfaces are prepared properly — flat, very smooth (also see Note bottom);
  • sufficient glue is applied — there must be squeeze-out and ideally it should be over the entire span of the joint;
  • firm clamp pressure is used — high clamping pressure is vital for a proper glue joint to form using conventional woodworking adhesives.

Note: if the material has good square edges it might be tempting to glue them directly but if there is finish on them it must be removed beforehand. Even if the edges are unfinished you shouldn't attempt to glue them as-is. For a good glue joint to form mating surfaces should be freshly worked (ideally less than two hours prior to the glue-up for maximum joint strength). So at minimum scrape or finely sand them, although a pass with a finely-set plane would be ideal here.

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    Since you're ordering the counter tops, I'm assuming they're coming pre-finished. I would think that prior to gluing, any finish should be removed from the surfaces that are to be glued. Especially important if you're using wood glue. I would think that a 2-part epoxy should be able to handle most finished surfaces, but I would personally remove the finish anyway. – FreeMan Jun 15 '15 at 19:21
  • @FreeMan, 100% if there is finish on the edges it should be removed, I would expect that prepping edges for joining would naturally do this but it should be spelled out so I'll edit accordingly. But your comment should be on the Question, not on this Answer. – Graphus Jun 16 '15 at 9:13
  • countertops are just the raw butcherblock, no sealant/finsih to them, I'll do that once I am done with mineral oil/beeswax conditioner. Another question. since it is just 1 seam to be glued, will cupping be a major issue? I have bar clamps, I want the easiest method to having a nice flat finish. Is the key to successful seam to have one that uses good amount of glue, and allow substantial drying time? does over tightening cause cupping? or should I be relatively safe with only 1 joint being done, and 1.5" thick? thanks for everyone's help – Bryan Jun 16 '15 at 17:13
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    @Bryan, "I'll do that once I am done with mineral oil/beeswax conditioner", you should ask a question about finish for countertops. Mineral oil and finishes based on mineral oil are very much not ideal for working surfaces in the kitchen. "will cupping be a major issue?", not if you clamp across the joint (i.e. use a caul). – Graphus Jun 16 '15 at 18:32
  • @Bryan, "Is the key to successful seam to have one that uses good amount of glue, and allow substantial drying time?" sufficient glue to wet both joint surfaces is the guideline amount. Drying time, all conventional wood glues can be considered fully dried after 24 hours, but usually nearly at full strength in 6-8 hours. "does over tightening cause cupping?" It can, but it depends on a few things. Alternating clamps top and bottom tends to prevent it but using cauls guarantees it doesn't occur. Firm clamp pressure is important for a good glue joint — you're aiming to squeeze out all excess – Graphus Jun 16 '15 at 18:36

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