Kitchen Island with Butcher Block Top... Finally!

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Project by Brianthesawdustmaker posted 06-23-2014 01:03 AM 3953 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been working for the past several months on a kitchen island. We have a limited amount of kitchen countertop space so this project will really help with that problem. Motivated by some of the elaborate cutting boards I’ve seen on this site, I wanted to make the top something ‘interesting’ and also utilize a couple of species of wood in doing so. I drew up the pattern and chose walnut and hard maple as good contrasting woods which are cutting board friendly. After pieceing together the top, I have a lot of respect for all you cutting board makers. To get it flat and everything fitting snugly takes quite a bit of work. I did quite a bit of sanding to smooth out the imperfections. Time to get a planer, I guess.

The base is red oak. The drawers are solid wood with machined dovetail joints (PorterCable dovetail jig). I have always used wood guides for the drawers in my projects. On this project, those guides also serve as support for the cutting board hidden underneath the top. This board can be pulled out either side and goes the full length of the project. The base was put together with Kreg’s pocket screws and the back/sides are 1/4” oak plywood. Doors are solid wood.

I finished the cabinet portion of the project using Minwax stain-a 50:50 mixture of 210b and 211 (Golden Oak and Provincial). I have used this on other furniture and really like the darker hue versus Golden Oak by itself. Oil based polyurethane (2 coats and 3 in a couple places) brushed on. Putting on poly is always time consuming, but I did get it all done to my own satisfaction. The top and cutting board were both finished with mineral oil. The castors are screwed directly into the legs.

Thanks for looking!

-- Brian, Omaha, NE... So many projects, so little time!

13 comments so far

View lyden's profile


3 posts in 2793 days

#1 posted 06-23-2014 02:19 AM

Great work!

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

519 posts in 3677 days

#2 posted 06-23-2014 02:49 AM

A functional work of art. Nice looking dovetails and well built. Probably last for generations

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3667 posts in 5054 days

#3 posted 06-23-2014 05:14 AM


That looks extremely well built! The design is very functional and the top is really striking.


-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30662 posts in 3680 days

#4 posted 06-23-2014 08:27 AM

Very nice work. Beautiful top.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View gsimon's profile


1334 posts in 3455 days

#5 posted 06-23-2014 01:17 PM

That’s no ordinary cutting board! Looks great and very practical
I like the thin shelf choice as well – maybe reminds me of an antique cabinet choice

-- Greg Simon

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3956 days

#6 posted 06-23-2014 11:49 PM

beautiful build ,that stain mixture addes a good look too

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Holdem's profile


43 posts in 2998 days

#7 posted 06-24-2014 11:44 AM

This is an amazing piece!

View Mike_from_Buffalo's profile


101 posts in 3227 days

#8 posted 06-24-2014 02:08 PM

This is one of the nicest kitchen islands I have ever seen, great job!

-- Mike from Buffalo "A man spends the first half of his life learning habits that shorten the other half of his life."

View Brianthesawdustmaker's profile


31 posts in 2850 days

#9 posted 06-25-2014 03:13 AM

Thanks for all the encouraging words everyone. I really enjoy the LJ’s community. Great place to see what other folks are up, get advice, and to and expand your horizons. My project list has sure grown after perusing projects here more frequently. A good thing to be sure!

-- Brian, Omaha, NE... So many projects, so little time!

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 4303 days

#10 posted 06-25-2014 06:19 PM

Brian, that is outstanding. You must have put a lot of time cutting and fitting the top plus the pull-out cutting board. Congrats and thanks for sharing.

View Slavisa Nesic's profile

Slavisa Nesic

11 posts in 2774 days

#11 posted 06-26-2014 08:21 AM

The top especially striking. Real beauty. Thank you for pleasing our eyes with this.

-- This land is not mine, not yours, this land is given to all of us, to come, to meet, and leave with no return.

View Wayno1's profile


12 posts in 2764 days

#12 posted 07-14-2014 02:08 AM

I really like the design. Great concept with beautiful lines

View Chris's profile


457 posts in 5428 days

#13 posted 06-26-2015 07:56 PM

That is one sweet cart! Love your design thought on that top. Great vision.

-- Chris Harrell - custom callmaker ---

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