Untitled Document


How to Build a Butcher Block Table

There are a number of different ways to go about building a butcher block. This project was created by Paul Hilgedick, VanDyke's Restorers staff member. This method will produce a block that will provide good service over many years of use.

    In this project, the following items were used:
  1. (1) 18" x 18" x 4" thick end grain butcher block. Or Shop All Butcher Blocks
  2. (4) 36" x 3 1/2" maple legs Or Shop All Island Legs
  3. (1) Stain for Island Legs: Shop all Stains and Varnishes
  4. (1) 1/8" thick hard maple boards for apron (purchased separately)
  5. (1) Oil for Butcher Block Top: Mineral Oil, Salad Bowl Finish or Butcher Block Oil (purchased separately)

STEP 1: CUT THE LEGS TO THE DESIRED HEIGHT

STEP 2: NOTCH THE LEGS TO FIT THE APRON

 

The butcher block insert is 4" high, so cut the legs to 32" overall height. The legs attach to the apron and the top will rest on the top of the legs.

 

The maple lumber used for the apron is 1 1/8" thick. The legs will sit on the apron, but not come flush with the outside of the apron. Using a band saw, notch 7/8" x 7 ¼" out of two adjacent sides of each leg.


STEP 3: FLATTEN/SQUARE THE SHANK OF THE LEG

  STEP 4: CONSTRUCT THE APRON

 

Use a jig with a router to finish the shank of the leg so the cutout is flat and square.

 

Hard maple used in this project was obtained from a local lumber dealer. After the four panels are glued up, rip two (2) panels to 18" to match the width of the block and square one end. Leave these approximately 3/8" longer than finished height. Glue and screw the two pieces to opposite sides of the block. Rip the remaining two sides to 20 5/16" width and square one end. Glue and screw these to the block and apron. After the tops and edges of the apron are planed flush, clamp a straight edge to each side of the apron and use a router to trim the bottom of the apron to final length. Glue and screw legs to each corner of the apron.


STEP 5: SCREW HOLE PLUGS

  STEP 6: FINISHING THE BUTCHER BLOCK

 

Counter-bore screw holes using a 3/4" bit. Use a plug cutter to make plugs to cover the screw heads. If this is not available to you, plugs can be cut from dowel rod.

 

Stain the legs, and then finish with a polyurethane varnish. Seal the inside of the apron and bottom of the block with polyurethane. Finish the top of the block and outside of the apron with H. Behlen Salad Bowl Finish.




****The completed project will stand 36" high.