Taking the house my mom grew up in, the farm my grandparents shared for over fifty years and making it a home for us to grow old in.

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

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 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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24 Comments

  1. March 6, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Nice! Is that fir, pine or?

  2. March 7, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Lovely job – tell him well done!!

  3. March 7, 2017 at 2:15 pm

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

  4. March 8, 2017 at 4:07 pm

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

  5. Jann Olson
    March 10, 2017 at 12:45 am

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

  6. March 10, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    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.

    • March 13, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Sylvia, he definitely got his workout that day but it was so worth it!

  7. March 11, 2017 at 2:30 am

    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.

    • March 13, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      Hi Nadia, we initially used a butcher block oil too! But, after talking about it we decided (because we don’t do food prep here) that we wanted it to be fully sealed, figured we could keep it cleaner then! Thank you so much for coming by and commenting 🙂

  8. March 12, 2017 at 1:37 pm

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

  9. Patrice
    March 12, 2017 at 2:02 pm

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

  10. March 12, 2017 at 9:33 pm

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

  11. March 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    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!

    • March 13, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Yup, he found out really quickly why I hadn’t tackled it before and had been putting it off lol it was quite the upper body work out! Thanks for coming by Christine!

  12. March 16, 2017 at 3:27 am

    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.

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Making a shoe rack and closet storage out an old ladder

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