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markdublin 02-01-2011 06:36 AM

DIY Carpentry Newbie
Hey there!

I am planning on creating a wooden table top to sit on our kitchen island at home. I have lots of amateur DIY experience but not much dealing with wood or carpentry.

My hope is to order a large enough piece of hard wood that will overlap the kitchen island by 1 foot on each side. The underside of the wood will be plained down so that it sits on the island neatly without any fixings.

Can anybody recommend what type of wood I should be looking for? Also is plaining the center of the wood the best option for hard wood or should I use some type of power tool?



Jackofall1 02-01-2011 07:00 AM

Welcome Mark, to the best DIY'r site on the web.

Is the idea of this top to stay on all the time, or to be dropped on when needed?

Either way, you would be better served, at least on the edges to make it fit right over the existing top, to use a router in conjunction with a guide. I guess you could continue with the router to take all the material out of the center 3/4" of material wide at a time or a power planer.

Sounds like a good idea for a butcher block slab.


markdublin 02-01-2011 07:03 AM

Yeah, a butchers chopping block is how it might end up looking ;)

The idea is for the top to stay on for good, and become like a kitchen table. The island itself would work to eat at except it has no overhang so you have to lean really far forward to be over your food.

A power planer, I'll definitely have a look for one of those, save my power elbows. Thanks. Any ideas on what type of wood I would look for? Have found several local companies that source custom cuts of wood, I just have to pick the type I want.

Jackofall1 02-01-2011 07:06 AM

I am not sure what they make butcher block out of, but that is definately how I would go, or should I say have gone.

Why don't you remove the existing top and then you won't have to do any inset cutting.

markdublin 02-01-2011 08:13 AM

Well its a brand new kitchen and I don't really want to make any permanent changes to it. The butcher block idea seemed simple in theory (famous last words!). Thanks for the help.

Ron6519 02-01-2011 09:57 AM

I don't understand the concept of hollowing out the wood so it caps the cabinets. Why not just screw it down?
End grain maple is what they use as butcher block tops.

Termite 02-01-2011 11:21 AM

Butcher block is made from hard maple. The best deal on butcher blocks is through Ikea....Yeah, Ikea. I have a woodworking business and I can hardly make them for what they sell them for. And they have a lot of sizes.

proremodel 02-02-2011 01:13 AM

Also check your local high schools if they are reduing the woodshop rooms or art rooms they normally replace there wood tops and yup you guessed it they are end grain maple! Might be able to get a top for free and then you can build a end table for your wife too!

rditz 02-02-2011 08:19 AM


Originally Posted by markdublin (Post 582348)
Well its a brand new kitchen and I don't really want to make any permanent changes to it. The butcher block idea seemed simple in theory (famous last words!). Thanks for the help.

will you be removing the existing top?? that is what I would do and then you can fasten it down like the original from underneath.

How thick of a top are you thinking of adding?? you would be amazed at how drastic an inch of more will seem if you simply add it to the top of an existing top.

also, I would not route out any of you block top to fit it in, I would be more inclined to fasten trim around the underside to border the existing top (if that is what you are going to do, which will hide the existing top and give you a vertical screw surface if you want.


fixrite 02-02-2011 11:55 AM

instead of all that routing etc, why not just put a close fitted edge to the underside of the butcher block, voila there you go, keep it simple.

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