Belfast sinks and wooden worktops- advice.. - - Subaru Enthusiast Forum

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Belfast sinks and wooden worktops- advice..

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Old 16 September 2002, 02:55 PM   #1
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As per the title, I will be fitting a new kitchen soon and fancied this type of thing.

I am also cosidering planeing a fall and routing grooves into the worktop alongside the sink to try and create a drainer.

Has anyone got one of these, and in particular the worktops-what kind of maintenance/oils/sealants are required. There is a place in Oldham near me selling 3000mmx600mmx40mm solid wood worktops at 80 a chuck, and at that price it must be worth a look. I did look at granite, but the 2K+ asking price put me off, besides I'll never use it.


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Old 16 September 2002, 03:56 PM   #2
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dont know much but I will tell you off my experiences with belfast sinks.

Because the bottom is lower all the stuff in it is lower, now I am just over 6 foot and found that washing up in it gave me back ache from leaning over.

in the world of dishwashers that does not matter so much but just my pennies worth really
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Old 16 September 2002, 03:57 PM   #3
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Thumbs up

The other thing that's worth bearing in mind is that you'll smash much more of your crockery and crystal in it 'cos it's harder and deeper than a normal sink.

That said, we'll almost certainly be going for a butler/belfast sink when we build/buy our house in Scotland next year, 'cos they look the bee's knees.
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Old 16 September 2002, 04:01 PM   #4
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dont worry, she's only 5'4", so it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 16 September 2002, 04:53 PM   #5
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You will need a decent router and a jigsaw.

Firstly position the sink into the carcass in the correct place. You will almost certainly need to modify or add some strength to the carcass, as a belfast sink full of water is a heavy devil. Few companies make a base carcasse to suit a belfast thanks to the irregularities in the sizes, although a modified 600 or 800 base unit with a fixed shelf added should do the job. Strengthen the carcass with some PAR 3x2, and sit the sink so it is almost flush with the carcasse top edge, never proud. You may need to wedge the sink to stop it moving: there are no fixings.

Fit the top. When happy with the position, mark the position for the sink by drawing around the inside of the bowl with a pencil. I always let the top overhang the bowl around 3/4". Form a template to a U shape (as per above picture) out of 9mm MDF, making sure the cut edges are smooth and straight. Round the inside and outside corners on the template, do not cut to a 90 degree point as per the photo, this is wrong. Remove the top, mark the cut, cut the majority of waste out with the jigsaw and rout the edge using your template. REMEMBER to allow for any discrepancy in your template depending on which router cutter you use: I always use a 16mm guide bush and a 1/2" straight shank cutter. The radius of the bush (not diamater) is approx. 2mm bigger than the cutter, therefore the template has to allow for this. Clean up with some 100, and then 240 grit.

Now turn the top over, and rout a shallow drip groove underneath the overhang to form a drip: do this with a 1/8" or a 1/4" straight cutter in the router and a straight edge. Finish the underside of the top as well as the top: a couple of coats does no harm and prevents cupping. Apply plenty of finish around the underside of the sink area.

On final fitting, lay a bead of silicone on the top of the sink, and lay in place. Seal again on the sink/top joint once the top is fixed. Then plumb in the sink.

Do not attempt to form a fall in the top. Just form 4 or 5 tapered grooves, you can do this with the router and a bit of clever jigging. They look great when done. I will explain how later if you like? Bit busy now.

Hope this helps mate.
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Old 16 September 2002, 05:01 PM   #6
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Hope this helps mate
Just a bit!

I get the general jist of how it's done, I take it your in the business.

It's not for a few weeks yet, if you don't mind I'll mail you nearer the time for more details.


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Old 16 September 2002, 05:47 PM   #7
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Her:What are we going to do with that butler sink that we didn't use in the utility room?
Me:I'll stick it in the For Sale section of Scoobynet, someone's bound to want one.
Her: Don't be daft, who'd be talking about sinks on a scooby website?

And so on, and so on..............

Do I win 5

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Old 16 September 2002, 09:47 PM   #8
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No problem. Mail me with pleasure if you need advice.

Forgot to mention finishings. You can treat beech block tops with a lot of things, but we find Danish oil the best. Maintainence is high compared to granite: you need 4-5 coats applied with a brush and wiping off, with de-knibbing in between with some 240 grit or a Scotchbrite pad. The resuling finish is superb, but you need to apply a coat of oil once every 2-4 months depending how particular you are to keep the things looking great. Nothing looks worse than a badly looked after timber top. We use LOTS of granite, but timber is the current thing at the mo. Good luck with the job

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Old 16 September 2002, 09:56 PM   #9
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I have just such a sink/drainer.

First of all, think read hard and make sure you can't afford just a little granite around the sink!

If it has to be cheap, then wood is good. Best bet is Teak or Iroko, as these are much more moisture resistant. I have beech, as it was a colour thing, it's okay if oiled properly, and hard as nails, but you do need to take some time to oil it.

I find I get a lot of standing water in on the top, and you are forever wiping down.

Personally, I would hire a carpenter for the day to do it, as 40mm beech is hard work on you and your tools. Also, allow plenty of space for expansion, so if you tile above, leave a 3mm gap under the bottom tile (I tiled on top of some hardboard which I later removed) and cover with decent silicone.

The other problem is, you need to silicone before you oil it, but you really need to oil it before you fit it, including inside the tap holes, underneath round the sink edge. You will also need a foil vapour barrier over a dishwasher if it goes under the work top.

I does look nice, and you can sand it and oil it to look like new once and a while.

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Old 16 September 2002, 10:11 PM   #10
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I aint ever seen one of them sinks in belfast???
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Old 16 September 2002, 11:40 PM   #11
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I have exactly the worktop shown in the picture and a similar belfast sink. I would second the comments about the sink being much lower and causing back problems, I am 6'7" so it is a complete nightmare for me!

Mind you, it's a great excuse to never do any washing up

The worktop I have is unsealed wood that you have to oil regularly. The oil is special stuff, extra virgin won't do , and is probably quite expensive, I'm still using the two cans the previous owner left me (they fitted it). Right pain as you have to clear all the worktops, cover with oil, remove excess and leave clear for 24 hrs before putting all the stuff back, needs to be done annually.

You also have to be VERY careful as the worktop is pretty unprotected, we've had two accidents, one with a hot pan and one with a knife, and they are almost impossible to remove.

In view of this, I'd never fit it myself, but as we're kinda stuck with it, it does look great.

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