How to Build a Butcher Block Countertop Part 2 How to Build a Butcher Block Countertop Part 2

One of the key elements to building a butcher block countertop is in gluing the individual wood strips together and finishing the countertop made from gluing these strips. The surface of the countertops, when the glue has dried and all the strips are made into one solid piece of wood, must be even, with no gaps or spaces between the strips. A second key element is to finish the countertop's surface so that it is not only usable but that it will not stain and become unsightly from foods that are processed on it. To successfully glue and finish your butcherblock countertop, check out the materials, tools, and instructions below.

Things you'll need:

  • Jointer, or hand plane
  • Pipe clamps
  • Clean rag
  • Wood glue
  • Water
  • Fine Sandpaper
  • Oil

Step 1 – How to Prepare Your Strips for Gluing

Collect and arrange all the wood strips you will be gluing together to make your countertop. If your strips have been made from various woods whose grain and colors are different from others of the strips, arrange these strips into patterns you want. Lay them together on a flat surface, then examine the top surface to be sure there are no gaps between these strips when they are pressed together. If you find spaces or gaps, run the strips that are not completely flat through the jointer until they are flat, then check them again.

Step 2 – Glue Your Wood Strips

When you know your wood strips are all flat, smooth, and even, examine each strip for dust, wood chips, or other debris that is left on the surface that could interfere with a good tight bond by the glue. Use a clean rag to wipe off any dust or debris, then apply glue to each side of the strips that will be glued. Don't worry about applying too much glue. Any excess glue between the strips will be forced out by pressure applied to the strips by the clamps you'll be using.

Step 3 – Clamp Your Glued Strips

Lay the strips on a flat, hard surface with all strips arranged to form the pattern you wish. Push all the strips down onto the surface to make sure there is an even, flat surface. Apply your clamps, twelve to fifteen inches apart. When you're sure your strip surface is flat and even, begin tightening your clamps. One at a time, tighten each clamp a small amount to avoid placing too much pressure on a single clamp.

Step 4 – Wipe Away All Excess Glue

With a damp rag, wipe off all excess glue that has been squeezed out. Keep glue picked up by the rag to be rinsed out of the rag. When you have all the excess glue wiped off, rinse your rag and wipe the surface once more to keep any glue from drying on the wood surface.

Step 5 – Sand and Oil the Dry Surface

When the surface of glued strips has dried, use a find grade of sandpaper to remove any dried glue.  Use a clean, damp cloth to remove wood dust from the surface, apply a light coat of oil treatment. This will help waterproof the wood and keep it from absorbing liquid stains.

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