Build Your Own Butcher Block Island

Build Your Own Butcher Block Island – About: I am a DIYer and creator who loves to build, capture and share my creations. More about workshop edits »

I was quoted ~$3,000 for a custom kitchen island with a butcher block top. No thanks…I’ll get my own for around $850 🙂

Build Your Own Butcher Block Island

This is by far the most ambitious project I have ever tackled. I am grateful to have completed this, very proud of the end result and happy to share my process. The full video is below, followed by all the tools and materials I used, and the full steps in the article.

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Thanks to Purebond for supporting this project! Purebond is a no-added formaldehyde product sourced and manufactured in North America and is the highest quality plywood material I have ever worked with.

Initially, I designed this entire piece in Illustrator, followed by some hand-drawn sketches. It was fun going back a year after learning SketchUp and modeling it properly. Have fun!

The main structure of this is built from 3/4″ plywood – 2 sheets to be exact. Photos 1-3 show me breaking it down into different parts for my build. My island design has three drawers and cabinets on one side, and the other side for two tables with a 12″ internal area, and measures 3′ x 5′. Picture 4 shows my final cuts for the structure.

In terms of construction everything in this project is held together with pocket holes. I drilled about 200 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws for this build. I use pocket holes for almost every project I work on and highly recommend the tool!

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Pictures 1-4 show me drilling, gluing, setting in place and using my impact driver to assemble. I was careful to keep everything as square as possible at this stage – this really isn’t a rush project! Pic 5 shows one of the two legs to help create the space for the two tables – I used a scrap block to help keep the space even and not “cup in”. Pic 6 shows me cutting the horizontal stretchers (to keep them all level at once) that go across the top and bottom to properly space each side and add structural support.

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Photos 7-9 show me using more glue and screws to assemble the final pieces of framing. It wasn’t hard – just took some time and some careful measuring to get everything perfect and in place!

After putting the framing together, I divided the piece into three even quadrants (Pic 1) and sliced ​​an additional 3/4″ into the plywood on the table saw (Pic 2). Pic 3 shows those two pieces after I used glue and screws to attach evenly. I used the cabinets and I’m also attaching some horizontal stretchers that will serve as dividers between the drawers.

Pictures 4-6 show me using small strips of 3/4″ plywood and pocket holes to glue and screw at the base so that the bottom shelves attach to the top.

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The next step was simple – I took the 1/4″ plywood and ripped it to length and width on the table saw (pics 1-2) and then attached it in place – the relative sizes of each piece of plywood are relative. The size of your bottom shelves – mine are 18″ x 20″ each. ” I think. Next, I attached everything using brad nails (Pic 3).

My fiance wanted one of the cabinets to store really large cooking sheets – something not readily available in most kitchens. Part of me also thought it could store a custom cutting board I might build down the road, so I’m all for it. To make these, I split the 1/4″ plywood on the table into two sets of lumber (pic 1).

The first set serves as the base and roof dividers (pic 2), the second set serves as the actual dividers (not shown, but featured in pics 6-7). I applied the glue and then started placing them (pics 3-4). I did so by using another scrap piece to space them out properly. I used brad nails to hold them in place (pic 5).

You can see how I used a spacer like this after the floor and ceiling dividers were attached so I could slide in my larger pieces (Pic 6). These are held together in their final form (pic 7) using only glue. This method allowed me to do this quickly and efficiently without having to worry about cutting even rabbets in thin plywood, and it’s cleaner in design (at least in my opinion!).

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Look – drawers are pretty boring, so I’ll spare you. In pic 1, I used 3/4″ plywood from construction to split two sets of drawers that are 4.5″ long. Then, in pic 2, I lowered my table saw blade and made two separate passes to cut the rabbets that would later make up the bottom shelf. To illustrate – my blade is 1/8″ thick, so I made one pass with the blade 3/8″ high (half the thickness of the plywood), then moved the fence over 1/8″ inch and made another pass. I had 1 to insert the bottom drawer shelf later. /4″ rabbit.

I drilled and used pocket holes to assemble the shelf (pic 3). After cutting my bottom shelf (1/4″ plywood) to length, I inserted it into the rabbet joints (pic 4), then attached the fourth side of the drawer (pic 5) and sealed it with pocket holes.

Finally, I added drawer slides on each side, using a spacer block to keep things parallel and even on each side (Pics 6-7). I hated this part, but it was necessary (obviously!). Pictures 8-9 show me installing the next drawer mounts (not fun, but necessary!).

Most cabinet furniture has what are called “face frames”, which are really good hardwoods used to give your cabinets a face frame and cover layers of plywood. I had always planned on painting my island, so using four-quarter poplar was perfect for my needs. I started by ripping all of my material into 1 1/4″ strips (Pic 1), then cut all my pieces to length on the miter saw (Pic 2). This is all about my own island, so no need to fuss with measurements, but just how much material I need. , I took my sweet time figuring out the exact lengths I needed and how it would all come together.

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Pic 3 shows that I placed it to make sure I had everything for the front side of the island (the side with the cabinets). Pic 4 shows me using pocket holes to start assembly, Pic 5 shows me using glue and pocket hole screws to assemble the pieces. These screws are all on the back of the material, so they are completely hidden. A lot of YouTube research tells me that this is the most common way to assemble face frames. It is imperative to have a large flat even surface to work on and clamp them (again Pic 5).

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Pic 6 shows me checking to make sure things are even. This step is very important to the construction – basically, if you start with one side that’s basically perfect, you can do all the subsequent sides one after the other, and things will be perfect and in place because you can do them inside each other. time

Note – I don’t recommend using broad nails to keep them in place unless you plan on painting them while you can see your island. Since I plan to paint it, I know I can use wood filler to fill all the holes and cover it later.

As I mentioned before, once I had the faces in front of me, then every part was easy, because I could use my front part as a reference point and move around the island. By doing things for each other, each party falls into place and actually ends up being somehow very accurate.

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Pictures 1-2 show me on the back side of the island (interior area), using clamps, glue, and then brad nails to get things perfect.

I went back with food filler in Pic 3 to fill about 80 broad nail holes, then sanded with 120 grit sandpaper against a block of wood to flatten everything (Pic 4). The result is accurate.

Beyond the hardwood face framing, I wanted our island to have additional accents – mainly – in the form of “x’s” going through the plywood but not up to the hardwood framing.

To do this, I cut my remaining 1/4″ plywood on a miter saw and table saw (picks 1-2) to 1″ width and length needed for the structure. Then, in Figs 3-5, I

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