A butcher block is a great addition to any kitchen, whether it's a standalone cutting board or even the bench top of your kitchen island. Building your own butcher block is easier than you thought and only requires a bit of DIY skill and determination. This is one of the easier projects you can undertake to improve your kitchen.
What you'll need
Firstly, a decent hardwood. Try and get it in square measurements, i.e. 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches, or 2 inches by 2 inches. The length will not be particularly important, as you will likely cut it to length at home. Also on the list are several long sash clamps, some good wood glue that is food safe when dry and power tools.
You'll need to hire a power sander, hand planer and a compound mitre saw. Don't forget your safety gear! To put all this together you'll need a level working surface, good lighting and a damp cloth.
Putting it all together
This really is an easy project, but your diligence at this point will make the difference between a good butcher block and one that you're really proud to show off. Firstly, cut all of your timber to length. What that length is will be determined by the pattern you choose. You may want to have your strips of wood run the whole course of the countertop, or you may prefer a staggered pattern.
If your wood is knotty, use your saw to trim your timber so that there are no knots on the surface of your board.
Assemble your cut lengths of wood into the shape you want - don't worry about lining up the ends perfectly. It's time to liberally apply your wood glue and join all of your pieces together. If you're building an especially large block, you may wish to work in sections. Use several sash clamps to secure the job from underneath and above (to prevent warping), wipe away any excess glue with your damp cloth and leave the wood glue to dry.
After 24 hours, use your sander and planer from Kennards Hire to smooth out your top, true up the ends and round off your corners if you desire. After carefully cleaning off all excess dust, use butcher block conditioner to treat the wood. If there are any small gaps or splits, apply liberally to fill them according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you can't find this product at your local hardware store, you can make your own using beeswax and mineral oils.
Congratulations - your DIY butcher block is complete! It's time to show it off to family and friends, or remove your old bench top and fit your stunning new masterpiece.