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Antique Michigan Maple Butcher Block Table

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Forum topic by Sanding2day posted 05-29-2014 12:25 PM 3697 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sanding2day

1001 posts in 1309 days


05-29-2014 12:25 PM

Hey there LJs, just wanted to share some pics of the great Michigan Maple Butcher Block I attained being handed down originally from my grandfather who used it in his grocery store.

The bottom is stamped with 05/36 and has a faded label indicating that the block is subject to abuse and therefore not guaranteed. Has a really neat dovetailed top as can be seen in the pic and appears to be finished with some form of lacquer. Would like to clean it up and fix some minor issues the most apparent being the front where a surface crack exist (Any better fix then gluing in another piece of Maple and sanding it down/refinishing?)

Would appreciate any advice on care/restoration doesn’t need much but want this to be 100% and certainly do not wish to do any harm to it in the process. Additionally I attempted to find this exact block online and was unable to do so if anyone has information about it. I’m not selling, but would be interested in a ballpark value etc. Thanks

Wife likes the stenciling that my mother did. I’m still debating, believe they will be removed during full restore.

Really like the dovetail construction!

-- Dan


15 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4451 posts in 3423 days


#1 posted 05-29-2014 01:33 PM

Just me, but I wouldn’t do ANYTHING to it.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Sanding2day

1001 posts in 1309 days


#2 posted 05-29-2014 01:44 PM

Was certainly in no rush Bill, had that thought but thinking the voids and the cut in the front are going to get to me at some point. Just wanting it to be 100% and not certain on the best method for doing this without making it look restored.

The company’s website http://www.butcherblock.com offers “Emmet’s Good Stuff” as the urethane gel coating for the top and I’m thinking at a minimum this could be a good option for filling the minor voids in the top.

-- Dan

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

6903 posts in 1593 days


#3 posted 05-29-2014 02:57 PM

I’d remove the stenciling, it’s just not my thing. I do find it a little odd that there is a hard sealer over it. I wouldn’t think that would be original, nor would it hold up well under actual use. Standard mineral oil is typically what these are treated with. There was a really good thread here awhile ago (maybe 6 months or so) where there was excellent advice on cleaning old butcher blocks, but again the film finish would need to be removed for that.

Regardless it’s awesome, and around these parts $500 would be a steal.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

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AnonymousRequest

861 posts in 1012 days


#4 posted 05-29-2014 03:37 PM

I wouldn’t do anything to it as Bill says. The stenciling is part of it’s history.

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Sanding2day

1001 posts in 1309 days


#5 posted 05-29-2014 03:43 PM

Thanks Todd, not sure if they were using the same finish in 1936 and find it unlikely that the finish is original but below is the excerpt from the company’s website regarding the finish they currently use on their blocks. I’d be happy to seal the top as I’m not going to be actually using it aside from counter space and perhaps a location to put the cutting board down.

DURAKRYL 102®
Our standard finish on countertops, islands, commercial foodservice tops, workbench tops and locker bench seats is DURAKRYL 102, a proprietary urethane-based satin finish. It is food-safe, resistant to stains and most solvents, and cleans up with warm soapy water. Stubborn spills or stains can be removed with nail polish remover.

DURAKRYL 102 resists marring, is moisture resistant, and meets the test requirements of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturing Association (KCMA).

The formulation, when cured, leaves an inert film. The constituents of the cured film have been tested by an independent university laboratory and found to be non-toxic.The film is approximately 95% cured during the manufacturing process and 100% cured within two weeks of manufacture. Only inert film is present on installed tops as manufactured.

DURAKRYL 102 has been tested against many common household and industrial products. The results are listed as passed or no effect (P) and failed or moderate to severe effect (F). A moderate effect would be a softening or discoloration of the finish.

-- Dan

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Sanding2day

1001 posts in 1309 days


#6 posted 05-29-2014 03:50 PM

Thanks Jeff… Will likely keep restoration to a minimum although I would like to fill the voids in the top and repair the front. Would I be off base getting some Maple sawdust and TitebondIII filling in the gaps and taking an ROS over the surface before using the company’s recommended “Emmerts Good Stuff”?

-- Dan

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

6903 posts in 1593 days


#7 posted 05-29-2014 03:55 PM

Interesting. I would have never guessed they would put a film finish on a butcher block. Seems counter (pun) productive.

But, if the block isn’t going to be used as a cutting surface than I would be inclined to leave it as well, minus the stenciling and anything that needs to be structurally fixed.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

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Sanding2day

1001 posts in 1309 days


#8 posted 05-29-2014 04:01 PM

Appears to be the consensus to do nothing… Thanks, will try to resist the urge to mess with it.

-- Dan

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ToddJB

6903 posts in 1593 days


#9 posted 05-29-2014 04:03 PM

Can you get some close ups of the areas you wanna fill?

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

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Sanding2day

1001 posts in 1309 days


#10 posted 05-29-2014 04:12 PM

Sure can but will be about 6 hours before I am home again.

-- Dan

View Tim's profile

Tim

3113 posts in 1424 days


#11 posted 05-29-2014 05:37 PM

Seems like you really want to fix it up and it’s yours so if you want to go ahead. But something that old will have some marks and issues with it gained during it’s lifetime. It’s extremely hard to make any fixes and not detract from the overall piece by making it an uncomfortable combination of old and new. That is in such good shape, I would count it’s few minor defects as part of it’s history and what makes it worth having.

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Sanding2day

1001 posts in 1309 days


#12 posted 05-29-2014 10:48 PM

Gotcha Tim this is certainly a concern of mine… Was hoping for some restoration advice which wouldn’t leave “uncomfortable combination of old and new. Anyone have a 12” strip of 84 year old Maple laying around? :)

This is the front, which is the most bothering to me

The one side which is the second biggest issue

And the top has misc gaps in the dovetails which I believe would be an easy fix and not be easily identifiable as a repair.

Really do like the end grain double dovetail construction would like to make the next cutting board using this method!

-- Dan

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Sanding2day

1001 posts in 1309 days


#13 posted 05-30-2014 02:49 AM

Thinking I will try a dry clamping just to see if it would be possible to square away the side just by gluing and clamping…

-- Dan

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ToddJB

6903 posts in 1593 days


#14 posted 05-30-2014 03:14 AM

Dan, I think that is about the only thing I might do. I don’t think you’re going to fix the first pic without it being obvious. And the third I wouldn’t worry about – That’s character at it’s finest. The other option is turn it around to that side faces the wall ;)

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

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Sanding2day

1001 posts in 1309 days


#15 posted 05-30-2014 03:21 AM

:) Thanks Todd, the latter has been denied by the wife as it apparently takes up too much real estate running out from the counters but will give it some thought and see what comes…

-- Dan

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