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Old 30-11-2010, 09:27   #1
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SS Counter Tops

I was originally going to use Corian (or a knock off) for my counters. I thought it was the perfect material. Then came the downfalls: 1) Cost -- Materials alone were going to run over $500, 2) Workability -- Special epoxies are required along with normal woodworking tools, and 3) Seeing Banyandah's SS counters with Rosewood fiddles. Cruisers & Sailing Forums - banyandah's Album: BANYANDAH - the rebuild - Picture Cruisers & Sailing Forums - banyandah's Album: BANYANDAH - the rebuild - Picture.

I am able to source SS from two different suppliers. 1) 24 gauge 4x10 sheet for $121 and 18 gauge 4x8 sheet for $274. I don't know which gauge would be best to use. Well to be more accurate is the 18 gauge twice as good as the 24 gauge. I will be adhering it to 3/4" plywood that is already in place. Here is a link to pictures of the existing tops with the formica removed. http://lh5.ggpht.com/_AFqdktJ4qKk/TP...ounterTops.jpg The other counter is a rectangle with a sink, a dry storage hatch, and back splashes.

The counter with the sink will require some welding. The sink will need to welded (or Epoxied) to the new counters and the backsplash will have two 6" welds to connect a couple of angles in the back.

Do you think that 24 gauge will be strong enough or should I go with 18 gauge?

Is 24 gauge to light to weld?

What would you use to attach the SS to the existing counters?

I am planning on using wood fiddles similar to the one's Banyandah used.
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Old 30-11-2010, 14:33   #2
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I certainly would not go with 24 gauge. The nominal thickness of 18 gauge is twice that of 24 (I used to be in the steel business). The lighter the gauge, the more likely it is to catch dents - which, even with 18 gauge, is going to be likely.

Being honest, we are looking at Corian types - and with a router, are relatively easy to fabricate AND much easier to repair. Welding ss for this purpose takes quite a bit of skill.
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Old 30-11-2010, 14:40   #3
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Bill:

I am going to have the SS attached to a 3/4" Plywood substrate. Will that help in preventing it from denting?
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Old 30-11-2010, 14:51   #4
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The drop of a pan would dent 24 gage (.024") even if it were backed up with wood. 18 gage = .048"
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Old 30-11-2010, 15:58   #5
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by all means go with 24g if it is glued onto 16g satin coat,
this is how it is done in the kitchen equipment trade.
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Old 30-11-2010, 16:02   #6
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you might want to check out a used restaurant supply place,,, friend of mine just redid his 35 foot boat with SS countertops, heavy duty,,, he built a template, took it with him,,, the guy at the store cut the countertop to fit,,, all for 150 dollars,,,, commercial grade
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Old 30-11-2010, 21:29   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
The drop of a pan would dent 24 gage (.024") even if it were backed up with wood. 18 gage = .048"
Absolutely. If you want dent-free counters, 24ga isn't it. Even commercial kitchen counters have dents - you want this to look good, right? 18ga would be much better - but certainly not dentproof.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:26   #8
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Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
I certainly would not go with 24 gauge. The nominal thickness of 18 gauge is twice that of 24 (I used to be in the steel business). The lighter the gauge, the more likely it is to catch dents - which, even with 18 gauge, is going to be likely.

Being honest, we are looking at Corian types - and with a router, are relatively easy to fabricate AND much easier to repair. Welding ss for this purpose takes quite a bit of skill.
The problem I am having is getting the material. Nobody local will sell me Corian and shipping it gets real expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
The drop of a pan would dent 24 gage (.024") even if it were backed up with wood. 18 gage = .048"
I knew the difference in thickness but was trying to figure out how dent resistant it would be. Thanks for the real world info.

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Originally Posted by TACK OFF View Post
by all means go with 24g if it is glued onto 16g satin coat,
this is how it is done in the kitchen equipment trade.

What is satin coat? There is already an existing substrate of 3/4 ply that I was going to apply the SS to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainKJ View Post
you might want to check out a used restaurant supply place,,, friend of mine just redid his 35 foot boat with SS countertops, heavy duty,,, he built a template, took it with him,,, the guy at the store cut the countertop to fit,,, all for 150 dollars,,,, commercial grade
That is a great idea. I'll see if I can find a store like that locally.

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Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
Absolutely. If you want dent-free counters, 24ga isn't it. Even commercial kitchen counters have dents - you want this to look good, right? 18ga would be much better - but certainly not dentproof.
I don't know that dent free is what I am looking for. I have some other uses for the SS so I guess I'll run a test on it to see how well it holds up to abuse. I need a back splash for my laundry sink and some other trim pieces around the house. I have a friend with a break and I'll see how it works. I'll glue a piece to some wood and drop a cast iron skillet on top of it. That should be a good test.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:47   #9
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Most “quality” S/S countertops and sinks are fabricated from 16 gauge (.062") for residential projects, and 14 gauge (.072") or 12 gauge (.102") for commercial applications.

I certainly wouldn’t recommend using 24 ga. (.025"), or even the thicker 18 ga. (.050").

Underlayments (substrate) are generally sized to achieve a standard overall counter thickness of 1.5".
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Old 01-12-2010, 17:24   #10
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satin coat is steel
what the restaurant kitchen manufactures do to save the customer money is use a thinner 24g ss and contact cement it to a 18g or 16g satin coat, this gives a greater overall strength against flexing or dents satin coat is alot cheaper than ss

good luck with your choice
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Old 01-12-2010, 19:49   #11
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I just checked with Solidsurface.com, and 1 sheet is $250 plus $100, and 3 sheets is $60 per sheet for shipping. Thinking you will be WAY happier this way...
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:55   #12
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Just got an email this am. Solidsurface is having a big sale, that might help you out.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:56   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Most “quality” S/S countertops and sinks are fabricated from 16 gauge (.062") for residential projects, and 14 gauge (.072") or 12 gauge (.102") for commercial applications.

I certainly wouldn’t recommend using 24 ga. (.025"), or even the thicker 18 ga. (.050").

Underlayments (substrate) are generally sized to achieve a standard overall counter thickness of 1.5".
Thanks Gord -- the range I have seen for residential sinks is 20 gauge and down. The 20 is too light. Given that this isn't a commercial application I figured I could go lighter then commercial grade. Sinks are made of a smaller gauge because they have no backing underneath and need to hang. I am going to run a test by contact cementing the 24 gauge to a piece of plywood and then dropping tools and a cast iron fry pan on them to see how they hold up.



Quote:
Originally Posted by TACK OFF View Post
satin coat is steel
what the restaurant kitchen manufactures do to save the customer money is use a thinner 24g ss and contact cement it to a 18g or 16g satin coat, this gives a greater overall strength against flexing or dents satin coat is alot cheaper than ss

good luck with your choice

Thanks. That is great info. I will test with plywood and then try using a 16 gauge satin coat under the SS and then the ply. My concern would be that the Satincoat might rust or cause a galvanic problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
I just checked with Solidsurface.com, and 1 sheet is $250 plus $100, and 3 sheets is $60 per sheet for shipping. Thinking you will be WAY happier this way...
I like the look of solidsurface way better but when I checked that site the sheet was going to be $434 + $200 for shipping. Then I had to buy the epoxy and the dispenser. What would work would be to use the solid surface and then put on wooden fiddles and back splashes. That would eliminate the epoxy costs and the more difficult solid surface work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
Just got an email this am. Solidsurface is having a big sale, that might help you out.
I just looked at the site and found that the shipping costs are $170 and the sheet is $196. $366 which isn't outrageous but


The admiral wants SS b/c she can put hot plates down on the counters so I guess it is a mute point.


I'll let everyone know how the tests go.
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Old 02-12-2010, 17:40   #14
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This quote is from OnlineMetals page on T-304, if you wanted to use T-316 it would still apply.

Order Stainless 304 Sheet in Small Quantities at OnlineMetals.com
"The T-304 #4 finish is the brushed finish you see in most restaurants and professional kitchens.
Here is a great idea: You can use our custom cut feature to design stainless sheet to fit as a wall decoration behind your stove or anywhere in your home or office. We also do this in Copper and Brass. Most customers find that .024" thick material works best for these applications."
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Old 02-12-2010, 18:01   #15
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I have a sheet of 10Ga 304 on top of a 3/4 plywood work bench; I have dented the bejesus out of it with little effort.... just saying. I know a galley ain't a workshop, but that cast iron skillet might equal a hammer!

What I have is fine for me in a shop as a ground to TIG weld on, but I wouldn't want it in my boat!
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