Butcher Block Tables #1: Just getting to the finish Line

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Blog entry by Joe or Murph posted 12-25-2009 04:27 AM 1394 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Butcher Block Tables series no next part

It’s been a long haul and not without a few setbacks, but our first semi-production run is almost complete.

I have to say (and I have seen this mentioned before) these tops are the most labor intensive project I have ever experienced.

With that said, I still have to build 3 more. It’s official-I really am not that bright!!

Walnut and Chery Base and Cherry Base Clear Coated

Tiger Maple  and Walnut Base Tiger Maple and Walnut Base with Cherry Top

That Big chunk of Maple with the pine “CA-ed” to the edges is the setback.
After a couple of weeks of work I was sanding the top and kept hearing a cracking noise- like popcorn in a microwave. Turns out the Maple was case hardened and is splitting in every square across the grain.

(Just finished gluing the sides together to show my lumber supplier when we took the pics.)

My Favorite piece!!!
Lace wood and Cherry-(Goes together like butter and bread!!)

My Favorite Lace Wood and Cherry

Clear Tiger Maple and Cherry Shaker Style

Of course the best part about Xmas—— Scraps become gifts!!!!

Maple Walnut

Lessons Learned
The goal we set-was to build 4 bases and two tops- one Cherry and one Maple.
The problem with goals is-if you don’t define them they are to easy to reach. Next goal is to COMPLETE two tops-now that we have the build part down (LOL)

Next pics are drawers and Finish complete.

Not sure how to embed pictures so bear with me. I usually get the hang of things sooner or later!! (usually very later!!)

-- J.G.Murphy

9 comments so far

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 4040 days

#1 posted 12-25-2009 04:32 AM

Looking good. Some nice, heavy tables.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4130 days

#2 posted 12-25-2009 04:34 AM

impressive… definitely work intensive project. but looks like it set you guys with a good start!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4303 days

#3 posted 12-25-2009 05:08 AM

Joe, these are some nice looking tables. Out of curiosity I have wondered what the plugs in the sides were for?

Seeing how these are built would also make an interesting addition to the series if you have time to document some of the next ones.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Joe or Murph's profile

Joe or Murph

16 posts in 3570 days

#4 posted 12-25-2009 05:14 AM

Scott, I thru dowel them to help take some of the stress out out of the top.
Sounds old school I know but when gluing side to face grain every little bit can help.
It doesn’t really add to the strength of the top, but on old timer told me it will take the shock from a cleaver blow so the top doesn’t split… it could be an old wives tale or not I really don’t know but it looks good anyway so why not.

-- J.G.Murphy

View Joe or Murph's profile

Joe or Murph

16 posts in 3570 days

#5 posted 12-25-2009 05:16 AM

On the next set I will take them from start to finish.
Thanks for the tip.

-- J.G.Murphy

View Karson's profile


35197 posts in 4882 days

#6 posted 12-25-2009 06:11 AM

Some great looking tables.

Merry Christmas and A Happy and Blessed New Year

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4304 days

#7 posted 12-25-2009 06:17 AM

I’m sure they can handle a standing rib roast. Send one my way so I can put it though the stress test. Great looking tables and now I’m hungry again thanks…Blkcherry

View Joe or Murph's profile

Joe or Murph

16 posts in 3570 days

#8 posted 12-26-2009 04:05 AM

For rib roast, I would carry the table to you….
Thanks BLCY

-- J.G.Murphy

View nivek's profile


1 post in 2909 days

#9 posted 11-26-2011 02:00 AM

Great Job!

This may be a bit off topic Ive been hearing alot of thoughts on finishes. I really like the finishes you obtained.
I’m at that stage now on my BB Island. I’ve spot tested mineral oil alone, and for the blood sweat and greenbacks vested, I don’t think it produces the high end quality i’m looking for.
Any tips and pointers?

Oh Crap, my O.L. has seen your pics. There is no way I can get by with Mineral Oil now!


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