Despite the piles of snow we got last night and this morning, the temps have slowly been going up, and much of it has already melted. Mother Nature shouldn't be irking me as much as it has, but with active Waterloxing going on, being able to open up a door would have been a nice option.
Luckily, after doing all the floors on the second floor I've killed enough brain cells that those volatile organic compounds smell downright delicious to me now (actually the bad stuff evaporates after the first couple of hours, the rest is just smelly, but not dangerous, tung oil). As far as finishing the counter tops, two of the three surfaces are done. We sanded them by hand at 80, 150 and 220 - raising the grain after the first two sandings. The oak had some odd voids and chips, smoothing those out was the only reason we didn't stop at the 150 (Waterlox does best when it can soak into the grain). We then put two coasts of the Waterlox/stain mix on over 48 hours, two more coats of straight Waterlox over 48 hours, sanded with 0000 steel wool, then a final coat of Waterlox. They look lovely, and look good with our floors and what will be our trim. The only difficulty will be actually using them - I'm almost ashamed to admit I tiptoed on the floors for months after I finished them, hopefully I'm not that overprotective of the counter tops or we'll be eating out much more frequently.
I also finished putting a coat of poly on the underside of the counter that will sit above the dishwasher (which we still need to buy). This corner piece is the only section waiting to be finished, we still haven't decided whether we need to biscuit join/dowel the miter together. We did figure out that we can caulk on top of the Waterlox, we just need to wait a week first. The only truly aggravating part of this process is that I'm incapable of applying Waterlox both neatly AND thoroughly, thus the tedious touch up painting that I need to do.