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Butcher Block Crack

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Forum topic by remsen posted 01-26-2010 03:23 AM 5653 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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remsen

21 posts in 1793 days


01-26-2010 03:23 AM

Hi all,
I have a butcher block that I salvaged out of a local dump. It must have come out of a restaurant or something because it is big 31”X31” and 1 foot thick (352 lbs!!!)

Here is a picture of the block on its side
butcherblock

-
Here is a picture of the crack
butcherblock

I tried to squeeze it together with a bar clamp, but no go. What is the general opinion? It really is a beautiful block and I’d like to restore it, but it will have that giant crack in it. Should I try to fill it with something, and if so what would be food safe. Or should I just leave the crack and chalk it up to character? I am planning on turning legs for it and making a skirt that goes around the bottom. Any insight is greatly appreciated.

Remsen

-- Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to


17 replies so far

View bayspt's profile

bayspt

292 posts in 2450 days


#1 posted 01-26-2010 03:31 AM

I would just fill it in with tinted epoxy then re-surface it. That would leave it as a character mark but make it so bacteria etc don’t pool in the crack. If it was in the dump, I might let it sit in the shop or house for a good long while to get out any moisture it aquired when outdoors. May have been what caused the crack.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View YoungestSon's profile

YoungestSon

93 posts in 1802 days


#2 posted 01-26-2010 03:36 AM

I’ve never tired to fix somethnig that large. Some off the wall ideas are to rig up a jig using a large jack ( several tons) and use the jack to sqeeze the crack shut. Or maybe something with hand winch so you have more leverage that the handles on the pipe clamps. Another would be to cut the block on both sides of the at the crack and then glue the rest back together.

How many people does it take to pick the thing up?

-- Don - Rochester, NY

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pommy

1697 posts in 2437 days


#3 posted 01-26-2010 03:40 AM

dovetail stitch it you will never move it to close

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View remsen's profile

remsen

21 posts in 1793 days


#4 posted 01-26-2010 04:06 AM

The block has actually been sitting in my shop for about a year now. As far as moving it goes, it takes a couple people and a lot of back ache to move it.

I think the dovetail stitch is a great idea and I will probably end up trying that.

As far as cutting it in half, I don’t think that is possible. I think (based on 4 doweled holes on opposite sides) that there are 4 threaded rods that run through it.

-- Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

680 posts in 1877 days


#5 posted 01-26-2010 04:26 AM

How far in does the crack go? Can you route away the crack and replace that area?

-- Gerry, http://g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

View SuperDave0002's profile

SuperDave0002

136 posts in 1977 days


#6 posted 01-26-2010 04:30 AM

Cutting it in two then re-gluing it back would sure seem to be the simplest approach

-- David South FLorida http://ahunkahunkaburninlove.blogspot.com/

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remsen

21 posts in 1793 days


#7 posted 01-26-2010 05:17 AM

I haven’t actually counted the pieces, but there are well over 200. They are individual pieces of hard maple and they are faced so that the end grain is up. What I mean by this is that the cutting surface is made up of end grain. Cutting it in two – especially with the threaded rods through it would be impossible. There would be no way to get a clean cut as it is too thick. I don’t think routing would work either as the cracks are probably several inches deep.
I think that Jimmy’s idea of the epoxy will work the best

-- Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to

View mdbohica's profile

mdbohica

26 posts in 1793 days


#8 posted 02-03-2010 04:12 AM

Ok…Here is a wild idea…

You could cut out the cracked section in the shape of a square or rectangular chunk to get rid of the crack and then make a custom sized cutlery block that will flush fit in the section you cut out.

Just a thought

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112828 posts in 2323 days


#9 posted 02-03-2010 04:31 AM

Cut it in half along the crack using a circular saw plus a sawzall or just a chainsaw smooth the two sides router out some pockets on both top and bottom to place some counter top hardware a couple on top and tom.
make them deep enough so you can inlay some Dutchman large enough to hide the hardware. Then glue both sides together and tighten the hardware top and bottom. after the glue is dry make and install the Dutchmen. Then bleach the daylights out of that thing IT’S BEEN IN THE DUMP LOL

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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remsen

21 posts in 1793 days


#10 posted 02-03-2010 08:33 PM

Thank you all very much for the ideas. mdbohica, I really like your “wild idea.” It does solve a few problems. I think what may work is for me to put in dovetail stitches where necessary, but maybe it would be wise to actually route the block and take off approximately 1 inch. I would then actually make a new cutting board about an inch thick and attach it to the current butcher block. This I think would get rid of any germ problem that may have developed at the dump.

Jim, I really want to avoid cutting the block in half. It’s just sooooo heavy and I actually think there are threaded rods running through it

-- Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to

View kimball's profile

kimball

323 posts in 2043 days


#11 posted 02-03-2010 11:27 PM

If it were me, I’d drive some wedges into the crack and split the wood. hen I would surface the teo mating surfaces. Next I would clean them with acetone (in case there is any oil seepage). Then I woul reglue and clamp.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15065 posts in 2422 days


#12 posted 02-04-2010 03:34 AM

What are you going to do with it if you get it fixed?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View remsen's profile

remsen

21 posts in 1793 days


#13 posted 02-04-2010 05:28 AM

I am actually planning to use it in my kitchen as a counter/cutting board/conversation piece. I’m in the process now of turning the legs and making the skirt underneath. I really hope it works out. Seems like a real shame to let that nice piece go to waste.

-- Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to

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TopamaxSurvivor

15065 posts in 2422 days


#14 posted 02-04-2010 06:15 AM

Good luck, I suppose the worst possible case is to route out the crack and fill with epoxy. Maybe add a little something there for more of a conversation piece ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View childress's profile

childress

841 posts in 2288 days


#15 posted 02-04-2010 05:23 PM

I would leave it. It gives it character. It will never come apart. Something like this should be left alone for nostalgic reasons! The block will continue to be functional regardless. My $.02

-- Childress Woodworks

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