Monday, 4 March 2013

Butcher Block Refurbished

  Let me begin by saying that this block is big, really big. It's all maple and measures two feet by two feet and is about 10" thick.

  This block has been in my shop for about five months now and after stubbing my toe on it for the hundredth time I went directly to the wood shed and wrangled up some maple to make legs for it.

  Making the legs themselves and the notches in the block to receive them was pretty straight forward.

The owner of the block wanted the legs to be affixed to the sides of the block and must have big square bolt heads visible on them.

  I searched for a week trying to find square head bolts that would have enough girth and length to keep these new stilts attached to the block. I needed very large diameter bolts.
  I finally came up with the idea of hiding the regular hex head bolt behind square headed caps that are used for capping steel pipe.

  Being concerned that racking forces would loosen the legs during proper or improper use of the butcher block (most likely the latter knowing my friend all too well) I added some piping stretchers to the legs just for peace of mind and it looks kind of cool.

  For a finish I used Watco Butcher Block finish on the legs and sides of the block. The Watco finish hardens quite well and should stand some abuse. I like to use only mineral oil for a surface treatment on the block's top. When the item is to come in contact with raw meats I believe mineral oil to be the best choice. I know my friend prefers to use a concoction of mineral oil and beeswax so it will be ready to go.


  I've been using a lot of steel pipe lately in my projects. Different lengths, all types and size of fittings. It must be pretty obvious to the hardware stores that I am not a typical pipe fitter. I must look like a nut to them, down on my hands and knees in the fitting aisle, parts strewn all around me feverishly screwing together pipes and fittings, taking them apart trying another order of fittings and pipe, mixing sizes, saying "no thanks" when they ask if I need any help. I wouldn't be surprised if they mistook me for a bomber and called Homeland Security on me.

Oh well, I hope they have a good chuckle watching the mad fitter in aisle four.

Again, thanks for reading.

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