Chop on This

A few weeks back Krys and Matty headed to OWS’s favorite wood supplier, Bohnhoff Lumber, to pick up a few sticks of 8/4 walnut.

The Mission:  To create a 42″ by 102″ end grain butcherblock kitchen island.  To put this into meat eating perspective, that’s enough space to put 3 whole hogs side by side or 16 average size bratts from end to end.  End grain is desirable for a cutting surface as it helps preserve the knifes edge when chopping.  It also looks pretty damn cool.

The first step was to mill the rough walnut timber into smaller lengths.

Ours were a little over two inches square.  Once Lee did the math on how many lengths were needed Matty went to work on the endless glue-ups.

In order to keep it manageable we glued them up in lengths of 5.  There were plenty of clamps and cauls involved to insure the glue joint was tight and the walnut was as level as possible.

Once they dried we put the sets together in another glue-up.

And then we put that glue-up with another glue-up and glued it up.  Its a lot of glue-ups!  How many times can we say glue-up?

At this point we cross cut on the table saw our new strips at 2 1/2″ to create the end grain lengths.

A sharp blade and plenty of Dri-Cote makes short order of the job.

And then guess what? More glue-ups.  This time with the end grain facing up.

Again, we started with smaller sets and built them up from there.

Fortunately Matty has hands of leather so the clamping all day isn’t a problem.

After more and more glue ups…

We finally have our final dimension butcher block.

But we aren’t done.  Oh no!  Not even close.

Lee designed the outer edge of the piece to be wrapped in reclaimed oak with the original rough sawn patina on the outer perimeter.  So once again, with tears in his eyes, Matty got out the glue.

It only took a few clamps.

Stay tuned for more on this project as we begin to build the base.