Butcher Block

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Project by Mary Anne posted 05-04-2010 01:08 AM 2043 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this as a thank you for some folks who gave me some free wood and this is what they wanted. So, it is an end grain butcher block made of oak. Dimensions are about 18” x 12” x 1-5/8 thick. It started out thicker, but I had a few “learning experiences” during the glue-up. Mineral oil finish. I think I’ll get some rubber feet to attach to the bottom before I give it to them.

Interesting thing: Everyone advised me that oak is not recommended for cutting boards and butcher blocks. Because it is too porous, right? I had a heck of a time getting this one to soak up the mineral oil. I don’t know why, but I’ll call it a good thing and not worry about it. :) I will, however, also advise them about keeping it clean with soap and water and sanitary with an occasional spritz of 1/2 & 1/2 water and vinegar or a bleach dilution. But NO soaking! Have I got that right?

I was thinking of telling them it is ‘good luck’ to invite the maker of a butcher block over for the first meal it was used to prepare. Maybe that would be pushing my luck…

Many thanks to all who offered advice and encouragement on this project!

14 comments so far

View ellen35's profile


2734 posts in 3365 days

#1 posted 05-04-2010 01:10 AM

Nice job, Mary Anne.
The grain is just exquisite!
And… the thickness is just right!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4018 days

#2 posted 05-04-2010 01:10 AM

It looks great, Mary Anne. All these cutting boards! The LJs creativity is getting to me.


View CharlieM1958's profile


16273 posts in 4151 days

#3 posted 05-04-2010 01:19 AM

Looks really good, May Anne.

I wouldn’t push that thing about the first meal…. just in case there is anything poisonous about that oak. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View DaveLeHardt's profile


48 posts in 2941 days

#4 posted 05-04-2010 04:02 AM

Beautiful cutting board Mary Anne. Hadn’t thought of doing an end grain one. Thanks for the inspiration!

-- What? Me worry?!

View lobro4's profile


203 posts in 3146 days

#5 posted 05-04-2010 05:41 AM

White oak is butcher block safe. Red oak would be a no-no. The variable size and grain pattern is good.

-- Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU!!

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3228 days

#6 posted 05-04-2010 11:23 AM

Nice job Mary Anne !!
Yes, You got the cleaning right.
I like the vinegar myself because it is a food product.
It has a good reduction of microorganisms- I read a study
done for cleaning cutting boards this works very well.
I have used end grain oak before with no problems.
Your friends are going to live this one…


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View michelletwo's profile


2717 posts in 2948 days

#7 posted 05-04-2010 12:50 PM

Hey gal, it’s a winner. I read a study awhile back that said wood cutting boards have a natural antibacterial something in them. Much more appropriate material than plastic. So surround yourself with wood and you’ll never get sick. LOL..I think a dinner would be appropriate too! Good first!

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 3017 days

#8 posted 05-04-2010 02:17 PM

Very nice and ya the time to work the meal is in conversation long before you start such a project. Planting mind seeds for later harvest.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3141 days

#9 posted 05-04-2010 03:44 PM

Thanks for the comments, y’all!

So it is white oak that makes the difference. Thanks for that info, lobo4.
The wood shows a lot grain on the end, but it is extremely tight. I made another board (oops, gotta post that) out of hard maple and walnut that was a lot more “thirsty” when I oiled it.

dustbunny, I often use vinegar and water when I am in cleaning the critter areas of my house. It does a better job than normal household cleaning products and I feel a lot safer using it. I also use peroxide from time to time for “organic” cleanup when I know it won’t harm the surface. I suppose it might work on cutting boards, too.

I definitely have to make some more boards so I can get that dinner invitation thing right. ;)

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 3675 days

#10 posted 05-04-2010 05:10 PM

Nice board. looks like you started with a pretty large chunk of oak to get started. I need to remember the whole good luck thing next time I give one of these away, ha ha.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View Diggerjacks's profile


2229 posts in 3072 days

#11 posted 05-04-2010 08:03 PM

Nice job Marie Anne

Beautiful cut

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 2969 days

#12 posted 05-05-2010 04:05 PM

Good work Marie Anne.

I’m thinking of making something like this myself after our meat carving board (wedding present, split in two, much angst from she who must be obeyed) went west.

I hear that Beech is a good wood for butcher’s blocks. Might try this.


-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View steiner's profile


284 posts in 3283 days

#13 posted 05-11-2010 03:38 AM

Nice board Mary Anne!

-- Scott

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117032 posts in 3510 days

#14 posted 05-11-2010 03:40 AM

Two thumbs up .very nice.

-- wood crafting & classes

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