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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 10-24-2012 12:27 PM 933 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1753 days


10-24-2012 12:27 PM

I got a call from a local restaurant yesterday to come out an give a quote on some butcher blocks.
The dimensions are; 26”x48” and 10”x72.5”. He made no mention of the thickness, so I’m going to take a look today at 1:00. Lets suppose the thickness is between 2 and 6 inches.
I have access to 5/4 red oak, walnut, maybe maple.

How would you go about making these, one inch strips glued up, or just a single board?

What about any special tools I may need. I have a 6” joiner and a 12” planer. Lots of hand planers too.

How about protection and food safe finish?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.


29 replies so far

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Bagtown

1738 posts in 3196 days


#1 posted 10-24-2012 12:41 PM

Definitley strips glued up.
Finish would be mineral oil.
Make sure you use a waterproof glue like titebond 3.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

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Bagtown

1738 posts in 3196 days


#2 posted 10-24-2012 12:45 PM

I would guess thickness to be in the 1.5” – 2.0” range.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

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jap

1251 posts in 1520 days


#3 posted 10-24-2012 12:49 PM

don’t use red oak, the grain is too open. finish with mineral oil. don’t forget to factor in the cost of the base. and remember that a 6’’ thick top will be 3 times as much wood/cost. heavier and harder to make.

-- Joel

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Bagtown

1738 posts in 3196 days


#4 posted 10-24-2012 12:51 PM

maple is pretty common for this application.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

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waho6o9

7179 posts in 2043 days


#5 posted 10-24-2012 12:53 PM

+1 for Bagtown

Mineral oil in the pharmacy is more cost effective as well.
A router with a quarter round to break the edges is probably
something you might use also.

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1753 days


#6 posted 10-24-2012 12:53 PM

Bagtown, I hope my wood guy has some maple that will fit those dimensions. The guy says he doesn’t want anything fancy like two different kinds of wood, so is a glue up even necessary with just Maple. I mean if I can do that long one with one slab, should I?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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Bagtown

1738 posts in 3196 days


#7 posted 10-24-2012 01:07 PM

I wouldnt do it in one piece.
It will warp and move over time and the chef will not be happy.
In our cafe, all the boards and some are ten feet long, everything is done in strips. As they wear every 2 or 3 years I flatten them.
A warped board will not get you any repeat business.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

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dhazelton

2326 posts in 1763 days


#8 posted 10-24-2012 01:57 PM

I would buy them already made from Woodcrafters (on sale now) and charge a bit of mark up for the material and then charge for installation.

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2624 days


#9 posted 10-24-2012 02:00 PM

Laminated strips of maple. Glue up in 10” sections so that you can use the planer to even out the boards. Then, laminate the sections together, making sure they are well registered and aligned. At that point, I would either use a No.7 plane to get the entire surface flat, or I’d be tempted to outsource it to somebody with a big thickness sander…I’m looking forward to using my own thickness sander for when I do my workbenches in similar fashion.

Time is money. Outsourcing the last step can be very cheap compared to your time.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2624 days


#10 posted 10-24-2012 02:04 PM

BTW, think of a way to make a signature with it. A laminated butcher block is boring. But run a strip or two of different colored wood between the sections and you’ll get all sorts of complements…not to mention referrals. It’s no extra work or expense with a ton of client satisfaction.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1753 days


#11 posted 10-24-2012 02:29 PM

Cosmic, If I run the boards through a joiner, it should minimize my hand planing. Plane the surface and join the ends. Should come together nicely. It’s having a place that is absolutely flat for the glue up that might be an issue, but I always have the TS and some plastic wrap to keep the glue off the TS. I have a 4×4 MDF but I’d have to see if it’s still flat, it’s been leaning against a wall a few months.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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jap

1251 posts in 1520 days


#12 posted 10-24-2012 03:19 PM

I would make a router planing jig instead of running end-grain through a planer(search lumberjocks why), then sand, i would not bother going to a high grit, because it will get knife marks in it imediataly.

-- Joel

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2624 days


#13 posted 10-24-2012 04:38 PM

@Jap – It wouldn’t be end grain. The boards should run side by side…at least that’s the impression I get from the description of what is needed. If these are like huge end grain cutting boards, then I’d turn down the project before it starts. The router jig is a good idea though.

@Russell: The jointer just flattens one face of the individual boards and one edge perpendicular to it. The planer assures the boards are uniformly thick, which is most important here. You wouldn’t use the jointer on the sections because of the jointer’s small size. So, joint the boards on those two sides, thickness the boards to 1” (if the stock is 5/4) on the planer and then rip the boards to the right width on the TS (make this width wider than your finished dimension because you’ll need to have some room for the flattening steps).

I would glue up sections small enough to fit in the planer. The problem is that those boards will NEVER glue up level. The section will need to be flattened afterwards…and again, I would use light passes on the planer for this. Because of the nature of these glue ups (flatness issues are not longitudinal, but rather lateral), you won’t have to joint a flat side first. As long as the section goes through without rocking, you will get a flat side…any rocking you get is averaged out after a few passes anyway if you flip the board between passes (especially true if your planer has extended tables). I’ve always considered the jointer an overrated tool in that regard and never use it except to flatten the individual boards.

Once one side of the section is flat, glue up the sections, flat side down on a known flat surface. There shouldn’t be much left to do except for some glue cleanup, but you might have to flatten the sections relative to each other. I would find a thickness sander for that, but a hand plane and some winding sticks would also work.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#14 posted 10-24-2012 04:40 PM

Flatness isn’t likely to be as critical as with bench tops so
you may find using face grain is the way to go. Fewer
glue joints that way and less jointing.

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2624 days


#15 posted 10-24-2012 04:45 PM

Good point, Loren.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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