Introduction: DIY Butchers Block Chest

About: I love coming up with cool ways of using wood! Furniture is my specialty. Getting ideas from all my fellow wood lovers out there. Wood is Good!

This was a lot of fun to make. I've had this idea for quite some time and finally had the motivation to build it! Please note, if I was to build it again, I would build my side walls 6 boards tall and add the 7/8 boards at the very end when capping it. This project is made with 14, 93" 2x4's with some scrap left over. You'll need some hairpin legs or something of your choice, and some hinges. Pretty simple and looks awesome. Enjoy!

Step 1: Plan & Supplies

  • Plan out your design
  • This chest was made from 14, 93" 2x4's
  • 14, 93" 2x4's cut in half at 46.5"
  • 1, 2x4 cut for 2" blocks
  • 2 Hinges (2.5" - 3" wide)
  • Hairpin Legs
  • Screws for Legs and Hinges
  • Stain (I used classic grey)
  • Polyurethane or Danish Oil


  • Glue
  • Drill
  • Nail Gun
  • Circular Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Sander
  • Planer
  • Sawzall or Hand Saw
  • Clamps

Step 2: Cut Your Wood

  • You need to end up with 24, 2x4's at 46.5"
  • Measure each one or use one cut 2x4 as a stencil
  • Square off rounded edges on table saw

Step 3: Cut End Wall Blocks

  • Square off another 2x4 for blocks
  • Cut 2" to 3" blocks from 2x4
  • You will need 48 blocks (24 per side)

Step 4: Glue Block Walls

  • Decide block layout
  • Make sure walls are 4 blocks wide by 6 blocks tall
  • Glue on all sides that touch each other
  • Clamp using ratchet strap and or clamps
  • Wait to dry

Step 5: Assemble Side Walls

  • Side walls are 8 boards tall however, you can also do 6 boards tall and add final layer later (might be easier)
  • Assemble side walls using glue and a nail gun (Nail gun not necessary but adds strength)
  • Make sure its nice and straight and boards are flush
  • Clamp together to let dry
  • Repeat on the second wall

Step 6: Fill Cracks

  • Use two-part epoxy or wood filler to fill any obvious gaps in walls
  • Mix epoxy to suggested ratio
  • Mix in Sawdust to toothpaste-like consistency
  • Apply mix to cracks and voids with popsicle stick or similar

Step 7: Finish End Walls

  • Square off end walls if not yet square
  • Double check they are the same size
  • Smoothen side wall ends where end walls will make contact
  • Use planer or sander
  • Smoothen inside surface of end walls prior to glue-up

Step 8: Glue Walls Together

  • Assemble your side walls, end walls, and bottom boards (4, 46.5" squared 2x4's)
  • Glue all contacting sides on wall ends, side walls and bottom boards
  • Clamp together using clamps (pipe clamps, ratchet straps)
  • Drill and screw 4" screws through side walls into end walls
  • Two screws on every side
  • Let the glue dry

Step 9: Glue Final Side

  • Unclamp after letting glue dry
  • Assemble top boards
  • Square top opening if un-square
  • Use circular saw to square-up
  • You won't have to do this if you simply build your side walls 6 boards high and add top and bottom boards later (recommended)
  • Glue & clamp it all together when tight and flush
  • Let the glue cure

Step 10: Destress, Plane, Sand

  • Destress the wood (if you'd like) using whatever you want (hammer, steel wool, crowbar etc)
  • Remove excess glue with chisel or sharp tool
  • Plane and sand all sides
  • If you want to add some more texture to your wood, try using a steel bristle drill bit
  • Plug up screw holes with wood plugs and glue (3/8" Oak Plugs off Amazon)
  • Sand down wood plugs

Step 11: Cut Lid

  • Cut a 3" lid using a table saw, or you could use a circular saw
  • If the saw doesn't cut all the way through, use a Sawzall or similar

Step 12: Bevel Inside Walls (optional)

  • Bevel inside side walls (optional) using a circular saw and or a Sawzall
  • Sand down lid and cut edges

Step 13: Stain Chest

  • Pick the stain color of your choice
  • I used black spray paint to add dark streaks
  • Then stain chest using a rag
  • Wipe off excess stain with dry rag
  • Let stain dry
  • Sand entire surface with 220 grit or higher for smooth surface

Step 14: Attach Lid

  • Measure out your hinges at 8" from either end of a side wall
  • Choose your favorite front facing wall and put hinges on opposite wall
  • Trace out hinges on lid
  • Cut out hinge depth using a chisel
  • Repeat and chisel on chest with exact same measurements as lid
  • Put chest on flat even surface on its side
  • Assemble lid to chest using hinges/screws (predrill screws for easier assembly)

Step 15: Final Touches

  • Purchase some nice 8" hairpin legs (you could also put wheels on this)
  • I purchased mine from Garden Gizmos on Amazon. Very affordable and great quality!

  • Make sure all the legs are square to the chest and even with each other
  • Predrill holes and screw the legs into chest
  • Finish the chest using a Polyurethane or Danish Oil (I used Danish Oil, Medium Walnut)

Step 16: Enjoy!

  • Place this bad boy in a room or space of your choice!
  • It might need some time to air out as the stain can sometimes smell
  • Fill it up with some books, clothes, blankets or whatever you want!
  • Thanks for reading!

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