Butcher Block Table

Not long ago I moved into a new place with the worst case of big-kitchen/no-counterspace problem I’ve ever seen. I’m still waiting for the landlord to give me the go-ahead to build cabinets, but that’s been three months now and I’ve grown weary of chopping veggies on the pergo flooring. Maybe it wasn’t that bad, but it was enough motivation to build a butcher block table.

It wasn’t but a few days after preliminary sketches for the table that my girlfriend, Staj, noticed an old butcher block countertop leaning against the front porch (under cover, thankfully) of a neighbors home. Eyeing the construction dumpster out front, I recognized a perfect opportunity to board the reclaimed material train. What you notice about the block is the feathered lamination on the front corner. This accent was not of original intention, but the result of  reclamation. The counter had obviously been cut to fit a wall or island and after long deliberating an approach to the missing section, I chased the rising sun. Later, I inlaid to another angled accent to balance the corner.

Being fairly new to furniture building, it’s become a goal of mine to incorporate a new joinery method with each new piece I design and build. Staj planted the seed about a slatted shelf on the bottom and the ball began rolling. This was my opportunity to approach through tenons.  A through tenon is an ornamental twist on the long-standing mortise-and-tenon joining technique. A hole is bored completely through the mortised piece, allowing the tenon to slide entirely through and protrude out the opposite side. The tenoned shelf slats are floating, meaning no glue, nails or screws are holding them in place. Confusing, right? I still can’t properly explain it to Staj, but at least there’s some mystery behind it.

Any good carpenter will tell you the wood will often times tell you where it should be incorporated into a piece. A piece of cherry sapwood has been sitting like a black swan in the lumber stack for a while; not clear enough to meet the demands of close-minded clients. The sharp contrast in grain color lends itself nicely to this table made from a combination of cherry and maple. Not only that, but it was perfect in length to construct all three rails and the drawer front, adding a cool wrapped look.

No more sweeping the floor before mincing garlic. Plus, new low profile kniferack fits in drawer, clearing up precious counter space for the compost bin. 

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