Picture of Make adjustable feet for a butcher block - Made at Techshop
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Someone I know recently commisioned a cutting board from me - as described in my earlier instructable how to make an end grain cutting board. But instead of making a normal size cutting board, they wanted a full-on butcher block, and I decided that instead of just being a solid block, it needed some feet. I'm going to show you how I made a set of individually adjustable feet for this butcher block.

The feet aren't just aesthetic, in this case they were necessary. Unfortunately I chose to make this butcher block during a period of rapid weather change in San Francisco. In just one week the weather changed from cold, dry and wintery weather to warm, somewhat humid, spring weather - with several days of heavy rain thrown in for good measure.

I can only assume all these atmospheric hijinks wreaked havoc with this project. I started out with what seemed like very straight lumber, but after it was cut and glued, to my dismay the entire butcher block curled up like a potato chip (okay, slight exaggeration - but that's how it felt). The opposite corners on both sides of the board were twisted between 1/16" - 1/8" high, making the board rock from side to side.  

With some serious hand-planing and sanding, I was able to get the board mostly flat, but I was worried it might not stay that way forever - especially since the customer will be taking it home to a very different climate. By adding some adjustable feet, I hope to future-proof this butcher block, allowing each foot to be adjusted to compensate for any future (hopefully small) warping.
cfox282 years ago
First off, I just wanted to say beautiful cutting board! what woods did you use? walnut and ash? I like the idea of the legs as a design consideration. If I end up making mine I was thinking of extending some of the blocks that make up the corners, to become the legs. I suppose what i'm saying, is that since it's endgrain, the corners could be cut longer to accommodate leg height.

Also I could be wrong, but I feel like alot of your points are more applicable to long grain cutting boards, and or wooden slab cutting boards. End grain cutting boards are really hearty and don't warp as easily as other types. So those making long-grain cutting boards---head his advise it will help

workislove (author)  cfox282 years ago
Thank you, I used walnut, maple and purple-heart. And I definitely like your idea about extending the corner blocks to make the legs - I would probably do something like that if I had planned to make the legs from the start.

I definitely agree, all my warnings are more important for long grain than end grain, but then again, the whole reason I made these legs for this board is that it already warped once. I got it all flattened, but wanted some extra insurance against future problems.

I've made over a dozen of these, and never had any problems - they were all rock solid after gluing and planing. But this time I glued it up one day, and everything seemed alright, but I came back the next day and the whole thing was twisted. I don't know why it happened exactly, but there it is.

Under the right conditions end grain can bend even more dramatically - here's a guy who left his brand new cutting board out in the rain.