Easy step-by-step to build a butcher’s block

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Wonderful Wood -

Gather your sup­plies

• Legs 95 x 70 x 730mm (4)

• Side rails 95 x 50 x 765mm (2)

• End rails 95 x 50 x 380mm (2)

• Leg cross rails 60 x 30 x 355mm (2)

• Blocks 95 x 50 x 100mm (90)

• Shelf 195 x 45 x 780mm (1)

You’ll also need

Belt san­der; ran­dom or­bital san­der and sand­pa­per; cir­cu­lar saw with fence at­tach­ment; ham­mer; chisel; square; drill and long 5mm bit; 85, 100, and 150mm bat­ten screws; Sik­abond PVA glue; power plane; mitre saw; plas­tic sheet; paint­brush; scrap tim­ber; clamps; alu­minium swivel cas­tors (4); vac­uum; kitchen tim­ber oil; matt black robe hooks (3)

Here’s how BUILD THE FRAME

STEP 1 Use san­der to re­move rough­ness and splin­ters off tim­ber for frame. Start with a belt san­der to quickly re­move rough­est ma­te­rial, then switch to a ran­dom or­bital san­der.

STEP 2 At one end of 1 leg, mark out for 90mm high and 30mm deep re­bate for rails on 2 ad­ja­cent faces. With cir­cu­lar saw set to cut 30mm deep, make mul­ti­ple passes through area of re­bate to be re­moved. Re­set saw to cut full depth and run down sides of re­bate.

STEP 3 Use ham­mer to knock out waste tim­ber, then smooth bot­tom of re­bate with a sharp chisel.

STEP 4 At other end of leg and on nar­row face that has the re­bate cut into it, mark for a 30mm deep and 60mm high notch for leg cross rail. Make bot­tom of notch 70mm from this end of leg. Cut notch us­ing cir­cu­lar saw and chisel as you did for re­bates at other end of leg.

STEP 5 Re­peat Steps 2–4 to make 3 more legs. Po­si­tion re­bates to get 2 pairs of legs the mir­ror image of each other.

STEP 6 Cut side and end rails to length. Cut ends on a 45° an­gle, en­sur­ing it goes through tim­ber in op­po­site di­rec­tions.

STEP 7 Lay side rail on bench so an­gled end cuts face up. Sit re­bate on wide face of leg over rail, mak­ing sure re­bate at other end of the leg is on same side as the an­gled cut. So side and end rails will be neatly mitred at cor­ners, make cor­ner on in­side of re­bate meet the an­gled cut on the rail. Use a square to make leg per­pen­dic­u­lar to rail, then predrill and screw through leg into rail us­ing 85mm bat­ten screws. Re­peat to at­tach sec­ond leg to other end of rail.

STEP 8 Sit leg and side rail assem­bly on edge. Spread PVA glue on 1 an­gled cut of 1 end rail and butt into an­gled cut on side rail. Make mitred join tight then predrill and screw through leg into end rail with 100mm bat­ten screws. Re­peat to at­tach sec­ond end rail to other an­gled end of this assem­bly.

STEP 9 Re­peat Steps 7 and 8 to cre­ate sec­ond leg assem­bly and at­tach it to end rails.

STEP 10 Use cir­cu­lar saw with fence at­tach­ment to cut tim­ber for leg cross rails to width, then cut to length. Place in re­bates at bot­tom of legs so ends of rail pro­trude past out­side faces of legs evenly. Predrill and screw through legs into leg cross rail. Re­peat to at­tach sec­ond cross rail to legs at other end of bench.

MAKE THE TOP

STEP 11 Dress lengths of tim­ber for blocks with the power plane then smooth with a san­der. Use mitre saw to cut lengths into 100mm blocks.

STEP 12 With a sheet of plas­tic on your bench, start lay­ing out blocks on their end. Use a paint­brush to spread PVA glue on the blocks where they meet ad­ja­cent blocks. Check the width of the tim­ber you are us­ing to make sure the blocks line up in a sym­met­ri­cal pat­tern.

STEP 13 Fold the plas­tic up the sides of the blocks and put lengths of scrap tim­ber along each side. Place clamps over the scrap tim­ber and tighten. Leave for at least 24 hours to al­low glue to set.

STEP 14 Re­move clamps, scrap tim­ber and plas­tic. Use belt san­der to re­move ex­cess glue and smooth vari­a­tions be­tween blocks. Run san­der along di­rec­tion of blocks and also di­ag­o­nally across them. Do sides and un­der­side of blocks too.

STEP 15 Use ran­dom or­bital san­der to fur­ther smooth blocks. Start with a medium grit pa­per then move to finer grades for a smooth fin­ish.

FIN­ISH IT OFF

STEP 16 Lay blocks up­side down on bench and sit frame on top so it is cen­tred. Predrill through mid­dle of rails into block us­ing a long 5mm drill bit. Screw through rails with 150mm bat­ten screws to at­tach block.

STEP 17 Screw cas­tors to bot­tom of each leg.

STEP 18 Lay unit on its side and place shelf on top edge of cross rails. Make ends of shelf over­hang cross rails evenly. Predrill and screw up through cross rails into shelf.

STEP 19 Vac­uum to re­move dust then ap­ply kitchen tim­ber oil to en­tire unit. Leave to dry for 24 hours then ap­ply a sec­ond coat.

STEP 20 Screw the 3 black robe hooks to 1 end rail.

STEPS STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 STEP 6 STEP 7 STEP 8 STEP 9 STEP 10

STEPS STEP 11 STEP 12 STEP 13 STEP 14 STEP 15 STEP 16 STEP 17 STEP 19 STEP 20

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