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Butcher Block Table

A Handful of Things to Know While Picking a Butcher Block Table

A butcher block table is a piece of furniture that combines utility with aesthetics. This post provides you some more information about this table.
Rimlee Bhuyan
Last Updated: Feb 22, 2019
A table for cutting vegetables and meat comes in handy in the kitchen. However, many homeowners overlook this essential piece of furniture.
Butchers old vintage antique table block
Instead of cutting vegetables on a chopping board, which tends to slip and is cumbersome to work with, opt for a butcher block table.
It is a kitchen table that consists of a thick block of wood assembled on four table legs. It has been used by butchers since long for cutting and chopping meat, and hence the name. It is now used extensively by home owners and cooks due to its versatility.
How to Choose One
There is a large variety to choose from when it comes to these tables. However, before zeroing in on a particular piece, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. The kind of wood that is used in making this table is very important.
You need to make sure it is durable, as well as non-porous and non-toxic. The surface of the wood should be hard enough that it does not break or splinter after being subjected to repeated blows from a chopping knife. Wood like oak are quite porous and do not make good material for this table.
Cutting and chopping on such types of porous wood enables the juices from the vegetables and meat to get absorbed into it. This makes it impossible to clean, and it also begins to rot after a few months. The best wood for such tables would be hard wood like cherry wood and walnut wood. You can also opt for beechwood and hard maple wood.
How to Make One
Purchasing this table from the store turns out to be quite costly. So, if you are looking for something inexpensive and custom-made to suit your needs, you can make it at home. To do this, you will need to choose the right kind of wood, and know about the grain orientation.
As mentioned earlier, the best wood for making such a table is beechwood or hard maple wood. These are durable, non porous, and easy to clean. The table top consists of boards of wood that are glued together to form a smooth surface of relative thickness and width.
Butcher's Block Knife
Make sure that the width of the table is sufficient to cut vegetables and meat and keep them to one side, while you continue chopping the rest of them. The thickness of the table top should be such that it is sturdy, and does not splinter when you chop meat with a cleaver.
The grain orientation of the wood used for making the table will have a bearing on its strength and durability. The wood blocks can be glued together in two ways. Aligning the wooden strips along its axis, so that the end grain is used as the surface for the table, is the most durable option.
The other option is to glue the strips of wood horizontally, end-to-end. This is called as an edge grain table top. You need to attach the glued wood strips to the table legs. Finally, give a coating of mineral oil over the table top to keep it in good condition.
Antique butcher block tables are hard to find, and if you have one, you should definitely use it. Many homeowners prefer to have countertops installed instead of a separate butcher block table.
Caring for these countertops is very essential for them to last a long time without warping or splintering. Wiping the countertop or table with vinegar, or a mild solution of liquid detergent, will keep it in the best condition. These tables are very handy for cutting and chopping food, and it is good to have one in the kitchen.