I'm interested in making a red oak butch block table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-14-2015, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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I'm interested in making a red oak butch block table

I know I'm nuts but here would be my plan. I've scanned through past projects others have done... Looks easy enough.

1x2x6 stock red oak or 1x6x6 and rip it in half.

glue it together 3x6 foot wide table would essentially be 36 pieces. (If i used 1x6x6 I'd get 18 pieces) (glued 1 piece at a time perfecting/leveling the top of the table)

sand it down (simple right- Belt sander followed by orbital sander))....

Put it on top of something similar to:

http://drakecastingco.com/collection...ing-table-legs

Tell me I'm nuts or that I'm on the right track. I have the clamps and such. Tools aren't a problem.

Last edited by captcal; 12-14-2015 at 04:45 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-14-2015, 06:52 PM
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Did you know red oak is prone to turn black when you get it wet. Do you really want to make a butcher block out of a wood like that? Your plan is otherwise good. The board you attach to the bottom to attach the legs don't glue that one on. Also elongate the screw holes to allow for shrinkage of the top.
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-14-2015, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captcal View Post
sand it down (simple right- Belt sander followed by orbital sander))....
Good luck with that. I have built one table top and I hope it is the last one.
Mine turned out so heavy two people could just barely pick it up. It was made from 8/4 hard maple.

Good luck.
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-14-2015, 08:30 PM
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Youve got the process down, id just recommend against using red oak. Its extremely porous making it a bit difficult to finish, turns black if you get it wet, and the sawdust will make you shop smell like cat pee for a week. If you like the general look of oak, use ash instead. Nearly identical grain pattern, takes a stain well so you can make it look identical to oak, and smells delicious! Its also usually about half the price

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post #5 of 11 Old 12-14-2015, 10:03 PM
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Let me strap on my Dendrology professor's hard hat. The pores in Red Oaks are practically bottomless. Unless you are prepared to use Red Oak flooring sealer FIRST, you will have raw meat juice dripping out the bottom, onto the floor. Then the rest of that decomposes inside the block.
Not a snowball's chance in my house = never.

Fine idea but you're best to stick with tight-grain, fine porous woods like maple. Maple is not simply traditional, it's seriously practical.
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-15-2015, 01:08 AM
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Is this a food prep / cutting board or a dining table?

Lots of dining tables made out of red oak, it just is not suitable for a cutting board.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #7 of 11 Old 12-15-2015, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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OK, its a dining table and not necessarily used for chopping food at all. But will on occasion get wet from being cleaned.

That being said, I was unaware of the moisture issues with red oak and turning black. I would of course properly seal the table with urethane and a light cherry style stain. It the grain's are good I would possibly go clear coat.

With everyone's suggestions/cautions I'll probably stay away from red oak and go with maple or ash.

I would, however, have expected at least someone to tell me I'm nuts!

@ MT Stringer, that's a wicked table... where did you get the base?
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post #8 of 11 Old 12-15-2015, 10:08 AM
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Just being a dining table then red oak would be fine. Most any film finish would withstand cleaning with water. There are some that are barely water resistant and would water spot from a sweaty glass. The most water resistant common finish would be an oil based polyurethane. Some of the least water resistant would be a nitrocellulose lacquer or shellac.
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-15-2015, 10:29 AM
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>>>> I was unaware of the moisture issues with red oak and turning black.

Yes, that can be a problem but it is somewhat mitigated by using an oil based varnish finish. In addition, Red oak should not be used for wet food preparation. Red oak will absorb liquids into the wood which can lead to odors and other problems. Red oak is fine as a preparation surface for dry goods. White oak is a better choice. But even better fine pored woods like maple, birch and cherry.

Howie..........
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-15-2015, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
@ MT Stringer, that's a wicked table... where did you get the base?
The table base belonged to the lady I built the top for.
I planed the maple down from 1 1/2 inches thick to about 1 3/8. Glued 'em all together in phases - two boards, then three boards, then assembled all five with the final glue up.

And lots of sanding!

Did I mention it was heavy?
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post #11 of 11 Old 12-22-2015, 01:12 PM
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You might go back and read post#5.

Species in the white oak group have naturally sealed pores (expanded tyloses in the vessels, to be precise). That explains how white oak can be used for barrel liquids like whiskeys, wines and sherries/ports.

Species in the red oak group have open vessels aka pores. There are several oak-specific sealers made to do the job. Smear it on, let it set up, sand it back. 5-10 coats of polysomethingthane might partly plug some vessels but what a waste of time and material.
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