I found that to build your own butcher block is not all that complicated! With the wonderful resource of our barn to pull from (my grandparents’ old wood working shop) I just keep finding more and more material to work with. In this case I knew several years ago exactly what I planned on using for the butcher block on my island – I didn’t yet have an island in mind but that wasn’t the point! To see the finished island check it out here: A radio stand converted into a red kitchen island. You can see that this butcher block still needs the final finishing step which will either be me sanding it for many hours or Joe and I finding a hand held planer to borrow. A planer would absolutely be the best choice here (there is no doubt) because the pine I was using (as you can see) has rounded edges.
Step 1: How To: Butcher Block
Building it took some time but was extremely easy. Most of the time people do not add brad nails (or any type of nails) to a butcher block, instead they either use biscuits or nothing at all. I wasn’t comfortable with that and don’t have thetools to do biscuits so I went ahead and put a couple of brads (here’s our brad nailer) in every board along with the glue (and here’s the glue I used). I put two 2x4s down for a flat surface, over a drop cloth in the middle of my kitchen. I took another 2×4 and used that as a flat edge to butt all of the boards up to so that I would remain as straight and flush as possible.
Step 2: Getting It Straight...
Because my material is a very odd choice for butcher block I knew this would be a rather “unconventional” butcher block counter top. However, I think it turned out nice and I didn’t have to cut anything down, I just used the length of the boards that I had on hand. (Why my grandpa had literally a pallet’s worth of these little pine boards in the barn I have no idea, I’m darned curious if he had some kind of plan for them). Once everything was nailed and glued together I took our two long clamps and clamped it as hard as I possibly could. I also had to do a little pounding on the whole thing to get it more straight as I didn’t do the best of jobs in making a perfect rectangle, however, the hammering on it worked and the whole thing turned out better then I thought it would. I left it clamped for over a day and then put it on top of our newly finished island (A radio stand converted into a red kitchen island) and attached it with a few brad nails from the underside. It’s not going anywhere.
Step 3: How to Butcher Block
Its going to be a messy long job if I’m going to sand this down so all the ridges are gone and its smooth but I do look forward to it (someday). I also really look forward to seeing it all oiled up, but, for now, we’re living with it as is until I have less pressing projects to work on – like, getting ourselves some inside doors! Make sure and see the final product here!