Antique butcher block repair - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 4 Old 07-17-2011, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Antique butcher block repair

Hello, I am new to this site and have a question about refinishing a butchers block I found in an old garage. It has some decent character which I would like to keep but want to smooth it out a bit and definitely clean it up. I have been reading on other sites about what to use to make it suitable for food use, my question here is what to use to sand it. Can I use an electric sander? if so orbital or other type? If not an electric should I use a wired brush first? The sides also have some major cuts in them, if there is another way someone can recommend other than sanding to smooth those down to that would be great. It is end grained and it is dove tailed. Any help or tips would be great...Thanks in advance

Here is a link to some pics (

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post #2 of 4 Old 07-17-2011, 06:34 PM
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That's a neat piece! It's interesting how it was made with interlocking pieces. These days we'd just trust the glue to hold.

Back to your problem. It kind of depends how flat you want it. Your top surface is very uneven (that block really was used for chopping) plus end-grain is really hard stuff (maple I'm guessing?). If you went at it with a sander you'd be sanding for a long, long time. I'm wondering if a sawmill or some other shop with big equipment could slice the worn surface off with a big band saw or some such thing. Running it through a planer is generally not recommended for end grain for several reasons, like safety and chipping the trailing edge.

I would bet that someone here with more expertise in router techniques than I could come up with some sort of jig to face it with a router.

Good Luck!
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-18-2011, 06:23 PM
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Anyone ? I added the pictures here, instead of an external link, so maybe you will get more responses Brice...Is that ''solid'', meaning not hollow or a top with a skirt around it ? And what size is it ? I think it is a neat piece too with a lot of potential.
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-19-2011, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for posting those pics for is a solid piece and measures about 30 * 30 and is 18 inches high. It also has 4 or 5 circular dowel rods going through the sides (hard to see but if you look close you can see them in the 4th picture)
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