Old tools: Planing/finishing a do it yourself butcher block counter top!

Mar 06 2017
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Oh my goodness how time flies! Back in September of 2015 I posted about how I built/created my own butcher block for our red kitchen island I had upcycled out of an old radio stand. Finishing said butcher block has been on my list of to-dos ever since: over a year and a half ago! I created my counter top out of 1x2s I found out in the barn, a leftover from my grandparent’s days as wood workers who threw nothing away. Here’s a few pictures of how I built it:

How to build a butcher block counter topHow to build a butcher block counter top

Click here to view the entire post about how I created it. Lots of glue, clamps and brad nails! It was one of those projects that actually turned out as well as I had hoped! Its been good to us all these months but without a flat surface it finally annoyed my husband enough that he grabbed my Grandpa’s hand planers from the barn one morning and got to work!

How to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorialsHow to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorials
How to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorialsHow to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorialsHow to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorials

Hand planing anything is no small task, it takes a ton of upper body strength and watching Joe (my now ex husband) work I was reminded why I’ve been procrastinating on this job for nearly two years. He trimmed the “butt” edges with a skill saw to make the entire top more square and planed and planed and planed. It took quite awhile and it is by no means perfect which is something that I absolutely love. (You can see slight changes in the surface in the after pictures.)

How to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorialsHow to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorials
How to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorialsHow to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorialsHow to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorialsHow to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorialsHow to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorialsHow to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorials

With the planing complete Joe tackled the top with my orbital palm sander working his way down from 40 grit to 220. By the time I got home that night he had also put on two coats of a satin poly acrylic I had left over from another project and OH MY GOSH, isn’t it lovely? I mentioned in some of my past blog posts how bored Joe has been waiting for a big job to start (that kept getting delayed) and this was one of the projects he knew had been on my list for a LONG time. He did most of the work when I was at my day job one day and surprised me with a smooth as glass butcher block counter top when I got home!

How to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorials

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48 Comments on "Old tools: Planing/finishing a do it yourself butcher block counter top!"

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Nancy
Guest

Nice! Is that fir, pine or?

susan maclean
Guest

Lovely job – tell him well done!!

STEPHANIE ABBOTT
Guest

Good for him. That is a such a work out! Looks beautiful too.

Gentle Joy Homemaker
Guest

What a lot of work…. but it is beautiful! 🙂

Jann Olson
Guest

It really is gorgeous and I love how the wood came out of the barn! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Sylvia D.
Guest

Tarah, The butcher block looks great. Pine is one of my favorites. My upper body is suffering from tackling a restoration of a cast iron frypan so I understand taking on handmade projects. Sylvia D.

Nadia
Guest

Tarah! I love it! I love that you used thin planks. My husband also built butcher block top for our kitchen island, he used some other wood than pine (I don’t remember what) and wider planks. It still looks beautiful, but I am in love with yours! Also, we finished it with a special butcher block oil (safe for food), which you need to re-apply every once in a while.

Helen at Pleasures of the NW
Guest

Beautifully done!! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY Party!

Patrice
Guest

He did a wonderful job, and you are so lucky to have a husband who can do these things.

Patricia
Guest

Such a beautiful board! And on top of that red….Wow.
I wish I had the skills.
Great job!

Christine
Guest

Wow, that looks great. I admit to being a pretty good DIY’er, but hand planing…don’t know if I would take that project on. Good job hubby!

Sharon@BlueWillowHouse
Guest

Your butcher block table top is gorgeous. Looks like a lot of work went into this project. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Vintage Charm.

Linda
Guest

Pretty awesome the way the project turned out. Love your hands on approach. Thanks for sharing at DI&DI.

Sandra L Garth
Guest

It’s beautiful, high five Joe!!

Cindy
Guest

Gorgeous! I can’t believe you made that…I am amazed!
Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!
Blessings,
Cindy

Debrashoppeno5
Guest

Yes this was hard work but worth it.

Leslie
Guest

Wow, your countertop is gorgeous! My brother likes to do woodworking, and I’ve seen him using a hand plane, and it’s definitely a LOT of work. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

Beverly
Guest

What a labor of love. So beautiful and loving memory of your grand parents.
Thanks for sharing at Over The Moon Party.
Hugs,
Bev

Jess
Guest

Wow…this turned out SO great!

I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

Susan
Guest

What a beautiful job! I am new to your blog and will be back again and again. Wishing you a blessed Easter.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sherry
Guest

How beautiful! Great project! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

Natalie A
Guest

It looks perfectly made! So beautiful! It makes me want a counter top like that now!

Ann @ Live The Old Way
Guest

That is absolutely stunning! Thanks for sharing it with us at the Homestead Blog Hop!

Iris Nacole
Making a shoe rack and closet storage out an old ladder

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