Making Butcher Block Countertops
Butcher block countertops provide a solid surface for chopping. You can also use them to keep utensils, pans or dishes. Instead of buying a costly countertop, building one at home will help you save a lot of expenses.
Step 1: Measurements
Mark the area on the wall with a pencil where you want to attach the counter top. Using the measuring tape, take down the length. Decide how wide you want the countertop to be. Get the required measurement by placing the tape on the wall towards the outside. Since the countertops need to be very hardy, maple is the most popular choice. Never use any softwood like pine, as they do not last long. Purchase a block of maple that it is at least 4 to 5 inches more than the dimensions noted. The extra inches are required, as the top needs to be sanded and sized up before final installation.
Step 2: Cutting
Now use a table saw to cut the wood block into two plank-like pieces that are 1 by 2 inches each. The butcher counter top is made by joining two pieces of identical measure to each other. Make sure that both the pieces are of the exact dimension. Now align these two cut pieces by placing the 2 inch surfaces against each other vertically. Use a high quality wood adhesive to glue them together. Attach the other pieces if you need more than one countertop.
Step 3: Clamping and Caulking
At either end of the glued piece, attach metal clamps so that the pieces are secured snugly. You may also clamp at the middle part. Metal is a better option than clamps of wood since it has a firmer grip. Put the clamp in place and screw them at the points of the pre drilled holes. Check to see if the adhesive is seeping at any place. Using a piece of cloth, rub it off and leave the wood top undisturbed in a place to let the adhesive dry. Make sure that any dust does not settle on the countertop. Check if there are any holes or gaps on the surface to be caulked up. Use silicon-based caulk filled in a gun and evenly apply it to seal the gaps.
Step 4: Final Steps
Once the top is set firmly, unscrew the clamps and use medium grit sandpaper to smooth up the rough areas or edges of the countertop. Finish by sanding again using high grit sandpaper. Brush some oil, like linseed, evenly on the surface of the butcher countertop. Wipe off the excess oil after application. You can also buy a finish meant for countertops. Apply this evenly on the countertop surface. Let it dry. This will take 5 hours, after which you can sand the surface again before re-coating the finish. Leave the countertop undisturbed for a day so that the finish sets up perfectly. Now scrub with a metal wire mesh and again leave it for a day. Finally, wash the top before setting it up against the wall and using it.