Alright, third time’s the charm! Actually, no that’s not right, it should actually be, “All good things come in threes!” Yeah, that’s it. After all, this is the third article in the “Butcherblock Saga” We’ve told you the basics about butcher blocks and we’ve told you what you should consider when building one; now we’re going to tell you what you need to build a butcher block counter.

The Basics: What is It?

We’ll make this quick; butcher’s block is straight cuts of wood, attached together to make a cutting board or in this case a counter. Short, sweet, and to the point. If you weren’t able to find the other articles detailing what butcher’s block is, here you go.

What Do You Need To Build It?

Ok, we know what a butcher block counter is,but how do you build it? What do you need to put it together? To begin with, you’re going to need wood; Hard Maple, Appalachian Red Oak, whatever kind of butcher block wood you prefer, get some. You should also measure the length and width of your counters to make sure that you build your butcher’s block to the correct size before doing anything else.

Once you’ve got your measurements, you’ll need a saw to cut the wood into strips. From there, the thickness planer is pretty much your best friend. While you can smooth wooden slabs just fine with a sander, a thickness planer allows you to surface cut your wood to a flat, consistent thickness so that each piece is uniform. This isn’t impossible to pull off with a saw and sander but can be much harder to do if you don’t have enough proficiency with these tools.

Non-toxic, food-safe, and water-resistant glue is a must in order to attach the wooden strips to each other, however, in order to achieve actual cohesion, you’ll need clamps to hold them close together. Having a scraper on hand can be a big help for getting off the bits of glue that have oozed out from between the boards.

Alright, Now How Do I Maintain My New Counter?

Now that you know what you need to make a butcher block countertop, how do you take care of it? What is it that you have to do to keep it clean and in good condition? Before we get into all that, you should know that wood is pretty durable and the only way for it to go bad is moisture; or more specifically it getting in or out. To keep that from happening, your counter is going to need to be oiled.

It can’t be any kind of oil though. If you want your countertops to last, you’ll need to use food-grade mineral oil which can be found either in your local hardware or drug store. If neither location has the food-grade variety, do notuse it. You are going to be preparing food on your countertop, after all.

How to Clean and Oil Treat Your Countertops

To treat your butcher block counters, first, remove everything and wipe them down with a damp cloth. If there’s any leftover food crud on them, scrape it away with a dough scraper. Light surface and deep stains should be scraped away with a razor blade and 108 then 220 grit sandpaper respectively. Keep in mind that the sanded portions will look lighter than the surrounding wood.

The next step should be to wipe your counters clean with a cloth followed up by checking with your hand (just run your hand across the counter) to check that there’s no left on crud or gunk. At this point, you can pour the mineral oil directly onto the top of the counter and rub it across - not into - the counter’s surface.

Once you’ve done this, the oil will absorb into the butcher board; this process can take an entire night to do, so make sure to pick a time when you don’t need your countertops for meal prep. The next morning, all you need to do is wipe the counters down to get rid of any remaining oil and you’re done.

With this, part three of the Butcherblock Saga is done. We didn’t intend to give you a step by step instruction on how to build a butcher block countertop exactly, but rather just tell you what you’d need to get it done - and how to maintain it, of course.

Now that we’ve imparted our knowledge on to you, you’re welcome to add what you know about building a butcher block counter to the discussion down in the comments. Let us know about your experience with it. Aloha, all!

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