Unfinished Tops - Pre Order Disclaimer

Please read this carefully BEFORE ordering an unfinished top

Ordering a top unfinished is an economical way to enjoy the benefits of our custom-made wood tops by taking on the finishing work yourself.  Our finishing services include final sanding, applying an edge treatment and application of finish.  This is work you will need to do yourself.  Before ordering an unfinished top, we want to make sure you are aware of the work you will need to do to complete the job.  Keep in mind that finishing is one of the most important parts of making a beautiful and lasting wood top!

Your top will come either planed or sanded to 120 grit on our wide belt sander - it is not finish readyWe do not do any edge treatments on unfinished tops.  The edges will be square.  Any edge treatment should be done after final sanding otherwise you may sand off a portion of the edge detail.

There are 4 steps required to properly finish and install your top:

1.  Fill any knots or other visible defects.

  • While we do our best to pick flawless pieces of wood for your top, occasionally there may be a minor knot or defect in the wood that you may want to fill with either epoxy or CA glue.

2.  Finish sand and apply an edge treatment.

  • Sand all faces (top, bottom and edges) with a random orbit sander.  We suggest using 2 grits - 100 grit to start, removing any tooling or track marks from the planer or sander, then 120 grit to finish.  Be patient when finish sanding as you don’t want any swirly marks on the surface that may only be seen after applying a finish.  It is fine to finish sand only the visible faces.

  • Apply an edge treatment on the finished edges (if desired).  This may be a simple “broken” edge, which can be done by hand sanding or a more pronounced roundover or detailed edge can be done with a router.

3.  Once the final sanding is completed, you will need to apply a finish to all faces of the top.  It is very important that you apply the same amount of finish to the top, bottom and edges of your top.  This will help prevent cupping by allowing moisture to move in and out of the wood on all surfaces at the same rate as seasons and humidity levels change.  Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and care.  We take no responsibility for your choice of finish or how you apply it.

4. Lastly, you will need to properly install your top.  Instructions on how to do this can be found on our website at https://www.vermontbutcherblock.com/pages/installation.  It is critical that you install your top so that it is able to move with seasonal changes in temperature and humidity, otherwise it may cup or create other issues.

Other things to keep in mind:  If your top is going to extend over a base more than 8” perpendicular to the grain or more than 12” in the direction of the grain, your top will require support brackets to keep it flat.  These brackets should be placed every 24-30”.  We are able to mill your top to accept, and fabricate, hidden support brackets, but we will need to know the exact size and location of the brackets.