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Forum topic by Obsidian_Angel posted 03-19-2008 03:50 AM 1247 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 3746 days

03-19-2008 03:50 AM

Greetings all,
I am in the midst of building a handcrafted log cabin, from a company in Montana, for my new family home. I have no woodworking skills to speak of. I have plenty of space to set up a small shop in one of the existing garages that are on my mom and dad’s farm. I would like to start into the world of woodworking by building a butcher block island for the kitchen. I have a friend that is a woodworker, but he is arguing with me about the way I want the grain on the butcher block. He insists on sidegrain, I want end grain. I have looked around on the internet and it seems like a task that I can handle. As most of my money is pouring into the house, I will only be able to afford hand tools for this project. I have a table saw, router, belt sander, orbital sander and a mish mash of power tools. I will need advice in the hand tool area as I do not have the time to research what I should look for. I have a few local saw mills that I believe I can pick up the hardwood stock that I will need. I was thinking of mixing red oak, white oak and maple for the butcher block. I would like the butcher block to compliment the lodgepole/engleman spruce logs along with the red oak 6×6 support posts. Thanks in advance for any advice. Have a good one!!

-- Josh, Working On A Log Cabin In Indiana

8 replies so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3793 days

#1 posted 03-19-2008 04:08 AM

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3793 days

#2 posted 03-19-2008 04:14 AM

Welcome Josh! After reading your post, you have come to the right place for the help you are looking for. A great group of woodworkers willing to help. Take some photo’s as you go along and keep us informed as to your progress on the log home. Have fun and work safe.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View Justin's profile


36 posts in 3782 days

#3 posted 03-19-2008 04:16 AM

First let me say welcome to LJ,
This is my .02 here so others may say different. Not to long ago I priced a job with a 6” think Butcher block end grain top. The price I got for the top was $2000.00 for a 72”x30” top. So then I started thinking what it would take to make the top my self and make some of the 2k for my self to sell it to the customer. Well I figured how many blocks would be in the top (2×2 squares) and figured how much wood I would need. And let me tell you. For what I was getting the wood for and what they were selling it for I was not going to make anything. I had about 1800.00 in just material for that top.

If you ask me this would be the best way to make one. Go the the Look for episode 7 in his videos and just do the same steps but on a bigger scale.

Remember Oak has a tendinitises to turn black when it gets wet. So if your Butcher block top oil wears off and you get it wet you may see it turn on you.

Here is a website with different tops made with different woods

Good Luck

View Pretzel's profile


93 posts in 3771 days

#4 posted 03-19-2008 04:56 AM

Welcome to LJ’s, End grain is hardest, looks great, but edge grain works fine

-- Pretzel L8agn

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4014 days

#5 posted 03-19-2008 04:57 AM

The hardest part is getting started!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Hutch's profile


106 posts in 3923 days

#6 posted 03-19-2008 08:19 AM

Congratulations Josh. Who did your log package? There are about 20 log home builders here in the Bitterroot Valley, not all of which are handcrafted log home manufacturers of course.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3988 days

#7 posted 03-19-2008 05:47 PM

Welcome to Lumber Jocks. I might add that I think I would use Hard Maple for the block. Oak smells bad and will turn black with age. It is also what we use to tan leather so it is full of tannin. On the other hand we all know what maple syrup tastes like.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 3891 days

#8 posted 03-19-2008 07:03 PM

Welcome, welcome! I’m voting for the end grain. I remember reading or being told (can’t remember that part) that oak wasn’t good for butcher blocks or cutting board surfaces. I’m probably wrong.

Make sure to send us pictures!!!


-- He said wood...

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