How to Build a Butcher Block Countertop Part 1 How to Build a Butcher Block Countertop Part 1

What You'll Need
Bench saw
Jointer, or hand plane
Measuring tape
Wood clamps
Wood glue
Clean cloth
Safety goggles

A butcher block countertop in your kitchen can be a movable, free standing countertop you can position practically anywhere in your kitchen. But, it is also versatile enough that you can make it to fit next to your oven. If you have previously made a butcher block cutting board, you'll find that the same method used to make it applies to the creation of a countertop. Practically, the only difference between the two is the size. To create your own butcher block countertop, refer to the information below:

Step 1 – Choose and Purchase your Material

Choose your wood from a variety of available hardwoods such as maple, oak, or mahogany. You'll find a good selection of hardwoods at your local lumber yard or home improvement center. To get a more interesting design in your countertop, alternate the wood strips with different wood grains and colors. You'll need to cut and plane the wood you purchase, so choose your wood accordingly.

Step 2 – Determine your Counter Dimensions

If you want your new countertop the same size as the existing counter, measure your counter and make a note of the measurements, both length and width. For possible mistakes you might make, add an extra half-inch. It will be far more efficient to cut the extra length off when you're ready to glue the pieces together, than to cut them too short and have to cut more pieces to replace those that are too short.

Step 3 – Cut your Wood Strips

Use the measurements you made to determine the number of wood strips you'll need and the width of the strips. Then, using your bench saw and jointer, cut and plane each strip. Be sure you cut the strips wide enough to allow for the amount your joiner will remove from them. If you don't have a bench saw, you should be able to have the strips cut from the merchant that sold the wood to you.

Step 4 – Glue your Wood Pieces Together

Arrange your wood strips in the pattern you've chosen, alternating color and wood grain. Apply wood glue to both sides of the strips that will be touching each other. Lay the glued pieces on a solid, flat surface and press the strips down onto the surface to create a flat, even countertop surface. This will help you avoid excessive sanding of the surface to even the pieces when your glue is dry. Now, apply the wood clamps to the glued strips and tighten them. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess glue that may have leaked from between the strips by the pressure of the clamps.

Step 5 Finish the Surface

When your glue has dried, remove the clamps and sand the surface to remove any glue that was not wiped from the wood. Remember, you to make your sanding strokes in the direction of the wood grain, not across the grain. When you have completed sanding, wipe away any dust or debris and apply oil to the surface, using a clean, absorbent cloth. Rub in the oil until you see that it is no longer being absorbed by the wood.

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