I found that to build your own butcher block is not all that complicated! With the wonderful resource of our barn to pull from (my grandparents’ old wood working shop) I just keep finding more and more material to work with. In this case I knew several years ago exactly what I planned on using for the butcher block on my island – I didn’t yet have an island in mind but that wasn’t the point! To see the finished island check it out here: A radio stand converted into a red kitchen island. You can see that this butcher block still needs the final finishing step which will either be me sanding it for many hours or Joe and I finding a hand held planer to borrow. A planer would absolutely be the best choice here (there is no doubt) because the pine I was using (as you can see) has rounded edges.
Building it took some time but was extremely easy. Most of the time people do not add brad nails (or any type of nails) to a butcher block, instead they either use biscuits or nothing at all. I wasn’t comfortable with that and don’t have the tools to do biscuits so I went ahead and put a couple of brads (here’s our brad nailer) in every board along with the glue (and here’s the glue I used). I put two 2x4s down for a flat surface, over a drop cloth in the middle of my kitchen. I took another 2×4 and used that as a flat edge to butt all of the boards up to so that I would remain as straight and flush as possible.
Because my material is a very odd choice for butcher block I knew this would be a rather “unconventional” butcher block counter top. However, I think it turned out nice and I didn’t have to cut anything down, I just used the length of the boards that I had on hand. (Why my grandpa had literally a pallet’s worth of these little pine boards in the barn I have no idea, I’m darned curious if he had some kind of plan for them). Once everything was nailed and glued together I took our two long clamps and clamped it as hard as I possibly could. I also had to do a little pounding on the whole thing to get it more straight as I didn’t do the best of jobs in making a perfect rectangle, however, the hammering on it worked and the whole thing turned out better then I thought it would. I left it clamped for over a day and then put it on top of our newly finished island (A radio stand converted into a red kitchen island) and attached it with a few brad nails from the underside. It’s not going anywhere.
Its going to be a messy long job if I’m going to sand this down so all the ridges are gone and its smooth but I do look forward to it (someday). I also really look forward to seeing it all oiled up, but, for now, we’re living with it as is until I have less pressing projects to work on – like, getting ourselves some inside doors! Make sure and see the final product here!