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Help with butchers block

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Forum topic by Lotzasugar13 posted 01-16-2017 01:54 PM 452 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lotzasugar13

4 posts in 336 days


01-16-2017 01:54 PM

I’m not at all skilled or knowledgeable about wood working so please bear with me. I have an old butcher’s block that belonged to my great grandmother. I’m not sure exactly how old it is, but I know it was purchased sometime during the 40’s. I’m in the process of refinishing it. I did some reading and thought it would be no problem. But honestly I have been sanding for days and the burn marks don’t seem to be fading at all. The top is totally smooth and has no nicks or dents. The marks are just discoloration on the wood itself. Do I just keep on sanding? Are they ever going to go away. Or are they just there forever? They couldn’t possibly be all the way through it right? I’ve tried 60, 80, and 120 grit paper with a 5 inch round random orbit sander. Please help because I’m pretty sure my arm is actually going to fall off.


13 replies so far

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

1705 posts in 1062 days


#1 posted 01-16-2017 03:18 PM

End grain is a bear to sand. You will need something way more aggressive to make progress.

I’d start with a belt sander and some 36 or 60 grit to clean away the marks, then proceed with your ROS. If you had a sharp hand plane, that might make a dent, or use a router and sled. A lot of work!

View Ub1chris's profile

Ub1chris

114 posts in 1220 days


#2 posted 01-16-2017 03:30 PM

Belt sander with 36 is the way to go. I did this on a board I made 10 yrs ago and it only took a few minutes. It may take a bit longer, but easily doable.

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Ted78

325 posts in 1840 days


#3 posted 01-16-2017 04:18 PM

If you haven’t use a belt sander before, practice on some scrap first to get the feel of it. And remember any good butcher block needs to maintain at least some ‘character’ Anyone can glue some end grain together, not everyone can inherit a butcher block from their great grandmother.

-- Ted

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

208 posts in 459 days


#4 posted 01-16-2017 04:24 PM

I would try a card scraper or a cabinet scraper. Remember, no matter how smooth or flat you get it, as soon as it goes into use it will be cut up. Also, the character marks from it’s long life add to the beauty.

-- Sawdust Maker

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dhazelton

2612 posts in 2136 days


#5 posted 01-16-2017 04:49 PM

I like character but someone put down hot pans on that which is a no no – maybe she used it in canning or something. What they said – belt sander and or coarser grit paper.

Other option – how are the legs attached – can you flip the top over?

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sras

4666 posts in 2969 days


#6 posted 01-16-2017 05:17 PM

It’s a personal choice, but why would you want to remove marks left by your great grandmother? Anyone can have a nice end grain board, but there is only one with those marks. If you have a smooth surface you could declare the sanding complete. Again – it’s a personal choice (and not the advice you were asking for).

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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Lotzasugar13

4 posts in 336 days


#7 posted 01-16-2017 06:26 PM



It s a personal choice, but why would you want to remove marks left by your great grandmother? Anyone can have a nice end grain board, but there is only one with those marks. If you have a smooth surface you could declare the sanding complete. Again – it s a personal choice (and not the advice you were asking for).

I believe you are right. I have gotten all the dents abs scratches out of it. I think I’ll just oil it really well and leave it as it is. It’s been in continuous use since my great grandmother bought it. Passed through the women in my family. I really like the look of it right now. I’m going to use the fine grit paper one last time and then oil it. Is mineral oil the best thing to use?

- sras


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Lotzasugar13

4 posts in 336 days


#8 posted 01-16-2017 06:43 PM


I like character but someone put down hot pans on that which is a no no – maybe she used it in canning or something. What they said – belt sander and or coarser grit paper.

Other option – how are the legs attached – can you flip the top over?

- dhazelton

The legs fit into brackets that close with those butterfly looking knut things. I have already taken it all the way apart. The bottom has slats that go across two boards that attached to the legs by screws.

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sras

4666 posts in 2969 days


#9 posted 01-16-2017 08:00 PM

Mineral oil is a good choice. There are products such as Clark’s Cutting Board Finish that have beeswax added. Or you can mix your own if you want.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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dhazelton

2612 posts in 2136 days


#10 posted 01-16-2017 10:00 PM

Ah – if it uses that type of hardware it’s not an antique (unless the base was replaced at some point) and I say go to town on the top and make it functional for YOU today. A few knife marks from grandma is cool, but all those blackened marks are not.

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Lotzasugar13

4 posts in 336 days


#11 posted 01-17-2017 06:49 AM



Ah – if it uses that type of hardware it s not an antique (unless the base was replaced at some point) and I say go to town on the top and make it functional for YOU today. A few knife marks from grandma is cool, but all those blackened marks are not.

- dhazelton

My grandfather added new legs, the slats, and casters in the late 60’s . The top is still original.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3662 posts in 2149 days


#12 posted 01-17-2017 07:55 AM

Perhaps a router sled would help. Looks like some of the defects are fairly deep. Clean it up with a router sled and them go to scraping and sanding.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmX7vM8UJ1M

Go to the 0:48 mark if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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AlaskaGuy

3662 posts in 2149 days


#13 posted 01-17-2017 08:56 AM

Duplicate post

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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