Maple & Walnut Butcher Block
Every year, I play in a four day golf tournament with a longtime family friend. Originally, I would barter my landscaping services in exchange for entry but once I started woodworking, furniture became the currency. Last year it was a small entertainment cabinet and this year he and his wife asked for a new butcher block.
I based the dimensions off of their current model, but was given creative license on the design. The first thought I had was to make a “floating” top. Aside from the aesthetic look, I thought it would provide a couple functional benefits. First, the cube construction of most butcher blocks make it difficult to sweep anything off of it into a pan or the trash. With a floating top, you can utilize the gap to get the edge of the pan or trash can underneath the board. Secondly, you could easily hang as many towels as you want over the aprons for easy access.
The legs are made out of 8/4 maple with a 4/4 mitered wrap on the outsides which terminates at the vertical point where the aprons start. This allows the apron box (also 4/4) to sit flush on top of the miter wrap. The aprons feature oversized finger joints with 1/2” walnut plugs. The sides with two plugs are screwed into the adjacent boards while the sides with one plug are fastened into the upper legs.
Originally the lower shelf was made with simple slats, but it now has a grid of pieces of maple, walnut and cherry 3/4” by 1/2”. As you can see in the second picture, it is made with half lap joints. This was pretty ambitious and I broke a couple of pieces trying to put it all together, but I think it contributes positively to the design.
The top measures 22” square and 1 3/4” thick, the aprons are just shy of 9” wide and the gap between the two is 1 3/4”. The lower part of the legs finished out at about 2 1/2” and the shelf is 8” up from the bottom of the legs. The height of the piece is 32” but casters will be added