Reuse Project – Butcher Block Table

Reuse Project – Butcher Block Table

America Recycles Day is November 15th. In honor of this day, and in the spirit of doing whatever we can every day to help our earth, we have embarked on a project to reuse some damaged butcher block.

Reuse is the practice of using something again, whether for its original purpose or to fulfill a different function.

We acquired some large commercial butcher block tops that were damaged in shipping. When they were returned to us they were extremely beat up and would have been destined for scrap. But not in this house! I would say we have great vision and can see value in many things other folks discard. This 8′ x 4′ x 2.25” Edge Grain Maple Butcher Block had gouges, cracks and scuff marks, yet we knew it could be given new life.

butcher block countertop

Concept – Butcher Block Bar Height Table

My son, Ben, is now in his senior year at ASU majoring in Industrial Design. One of his projects this summer was to research and design kitchen islands. He came up with a unique design for a bar height kitchen island made with angle iron, rebar and butcher block. He calls this industrial style island the “Truss Table.” We knew we could reuse this damaged butcher block to serve as the top and base of his new table.

Butcher Block Truss Table

Step One – Prep the butcher block.

The first step was to repair the cracked butcher block. Using gorilla glue and bar clamps we successfully pulled the laminated rails back together. Then using the table saw, we cut the large butcher block down to the desired size for the 72″ x 36″ table top and the beams to make the base. Given the damage on the top was significant, we ran the butcher block through a surface sander. Then we finished sanding by hand with an orbital sander using 80 grit to 150 grit paper. All edges were then eased.

Butcher Block cut

Step Two – Build the frame and base.

This was the first time Ben welded and he taught himself while welding the frame together. He cut the angle iron legs to size and all metal was sent to be powder coated in black matte.  While that was being done, he then built the wood foot rest/base of the table. To create the “truss design” with the rebar, a special jig was made to make certain the angles drilled into the base and table top lined up correctly.

Butcher Block Pieces

Step Three – Stain and Finish the wood.

Hard Rock Maple has a very tight grain and is difficult, if not impossible, to stain…or so I thought. However, we discovered a product called a “dye stain” that works extremely well. This product is water based and only required one coat to give this blonde maple top a rich cherry color. The only thing we noticed was that it raised the grain a bit, which we dealt with during finishing. Our new favorite top coat is General Finishes brand Arm-R-Seal Oil and Urethane Top Coat.  We applied a coat and let it dry. Then we used 0000 steel wool over it to help smooth the raised grain. We repeated this 2 more times, with finish and steel wool. The final coat (4th top coat) was then applied (do not steel wool over the last coat). The resulting top was as smooth as glass!

Butcher Block stain

Dye Stain and finish

Step Four – Assemble the table.

Given the table was designed to spec in Solid Works, prior to building, when it came to assembly, it was straightforward and only took one hour to assemble completely!  Ben would agree, that designing and building your own table may not pay much given all the hours it takes, but the satisfaction in creating a one-of-a-kind table is well worth it.  And we reused butcher block that would have been wasted and reused angle iron and rebar from the scrap yard. A job well done!

Maple Butcher Block Kitchen Island

BONUS – Maple Butcher Block Work Bench.

A second butcher block arrived totally broken in half down its length. We were able to reuse the smaller piece and transform it into a workbench 8′ x 2′. A chamfer edge and urethane top coat made this workbench good enough to eat off of!

Butcher Block Workbench

Read our other Creative Reuse/Recycling Blogs:

https://butcherblockco.com/blog/creative-reuse-projects/

https://butcherblockco.com/blog/upcycling-creative-reuse/

https://butcherblockco.com/blog/creative-uses-butcher-block/

https://butcherblockco.com/blog/reduce-reuse-recycle-everyday/

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