How to make a zinc island counter (part 1)

Full size sheet of plywood on island counter
The sheet of plywood makes the island look tiny (but it's really not)

Measure your island and add a bit – enough for a lip. We added an inch one way and three inches the other, allowing for a half-inch gap on three sides and a 2/12 inch overhang on the fourth side (where the walnut bar will attach).


Checking the measure of the guide

Measure, mark, and cut your plywood. If you’re cutting plywood with a skill saw, as we were, it really helps to use clamps and either a long ruler or a piece of wood to create a guide for the saw.

Screwing on the edge




The edge


Create an edge with a lip to fold the zinc over. We used 1 x 2 trim. Measure, cut, glue, and screw. Don’t forget to sand the top edge where the plywood meets the trim!




Measure, mark, and make any cut outs you need. We’re putting in a sink with a single hole faucet, so we needed a sink cut out and then a hole for the faucet.

Sink cut out template on counter
Our sink came with a handy template - thanks!
Steve cut the hole with a jigsaw


Next step: the zinc

Note: We were a little scared about this part. We ordered the sheet of zinc from Rotometals weeks ago. When it arrived it had this big sticker on the box:

Warning sticker telling us to unroll the zinc immediately
We didn't, but it was OK!

Thing was, we didn’t have anywhere to put it. It’s raining outside; the basement’s dirty and filled with tools and other supplies, and the floors upstairs were still being worked on. So, we left it in the box for a month and hoped against hope we hadn’t ruined it.

Steve lifts the zinc out of the roll
Unsheathing the zinc...

Last weekend, after we built the counter it will go on (and after the floors were done!) we carefully eased it out of the box and unrolled it. It was absolutely fine – by the next morning it was totally flat.

zinc sheet, unrolled but curled at the ends
Out of the roll, finally!


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