Introduction: Butcher Block Counter Top

Project Overview:
This project requires basic woodworking skills and access to woodworking machines. Woodworking machines have sharp cutting edges and are NOT forgiving. You should be properly trained  in the use of these machines.

A step-by-step PDF document is attached to guide you through the process of making this project.

This project details the steps involved in making an end grain butcher block counter top.  The finished size of the counter top
26 1/2” wide and 37 ½” long. It is intended as a counter top for a kitchen island.

Producing flat and square board surfaces with parallel edges is the key to a successful project. The production process is time consuming and involves the repetition of many steps including:
glue-ups (glue provides the bond between all the joints. There are no mechanical fasteners).
flattening the boards
creating parallel surfaces.

The wood used in this project is hard maple, its grain is tight enough to limit the absorption of fluid, but not so tight that it will affect the stability of the product itself and cause cracks. Use hard maple that is knot free.

The hard maple end grain butcher block is much gentler on the knife’s cutting edge because, instead of grinding against the wood fibers, the blade will actually “squeeze” between them, thus wearing out much slower. For the same reason, the top itself wears out at a slower rate than a conventional edge-grain cutting board and does not show cut marks like an edge-grain cutting board.

After an initial seasoning with mineral oil, adding occasional applications will ensure a long life for the top.

Materials Needed:
Approximately 30 linear feet of hard maple.  2” thick and 6” to 8” wide.
Titebond 3 glue
150 grit sandpaper
Mineral oil

Tools & Equipment Needed:
8” jointer
Hand plane (preferably a low angle jointer plane).
16” flat bed drum sander (3”  or 4” belt sander is an alternative).
Table saw with a cross cut sled and a very sharp blade.
Bar clamps of various lengths.
Gluing jigs.