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Discussion Starter #1
Its FINALLY warming up here in the frigid north so its time to start this project. I've got several starter slabs of maple 5"x54"x2" that I want to build into a butcher block roughly 25"x72"x2". Each slab is already 3 pieces glued up so warping isn't an issue (they were intended for pool table rails, co. went out of business). There will be end-to-end as well as side-to-side attachment needed. The easy answer is glue 'em and sand 'em. Grandpa threw in the idea of running 3 threaded stainless steel rods width-wise with nuts on each side to tighten it up over the years in case of shrinkage.

I've got the clamps but I'm not totally confident on gluing this up relatively flat to begin with. Any tips?
How about the rods, thoughts on how to drill them through such a width?
Any pointers welcome!!!
 

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Properly jointed, glue and clamps will be as strong as you can get. If the wood isn't dry, don't use it until it is. If the wood is going to shrink, warp, etc. there's little that can be done to stop it. I'd love to see pics of the layout, including the end to end joining.

Do you have a TS, jointer, planer, hand planes?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I saw some posts here about thewoodwhisperer on youtube, pretty neat videos he has on there and very helpful. Guess I didn't think about how simple flipping them to end-grain would be when you glue them up first!! I was thinking too hard and had visions of hundreds of little blocks getting glued up... tell me that wouldn't have been funny to see.

I've got the table saw and hand planes, but not a jointer, or a planer large enough for this. Luckily there are a couple places around town who will plane/sand on their big machines for a small fee as long as you do a clean glue job.

Since this is considerably larger than normal for a butcher block, do you see any increased risk of cracking if I switch from lengths to end grain? That would obviously increase the number of glued joints drastically.
 

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Its FINALLY warming up here in the frigid north so its time to start this project. I've got several starter slabs of maple 5"x54"x2" that I want to build into a butcher block roughly 25"x72"x2". Each slab is already 3 pieces glued up so warping isn't an issue (they were intended for pool table rails, co. went out of business). There will be end-to-end as well as side-to-side attachment needed ......
If I am understanding this concept correctly, you will be gluing end grain to long grain within the surface of the top. The end grain will absorb moisture at a different rate than the long grain, expansion and wicking may be an issue. I have personally never seen a butcher block top that mixed the grain orientations, but that doesn't mean it won't work. I have my reservations, however. :blink: bill
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here are some pics of the pieces I'm starting with. This is how they got them in, glued up 3 at a time. Imagine each one being a pool table rail... their finished products were incredible. I'm realizing the less-than-perfect glue job they did on these so I think I'm going to glue up 4 slabs side by side (roughly 22"), then 4 more, get them sanded flat, then cut them into sections and glue up like en end-grain butcher block.
 

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I guess it comes down to what you want. Either a laminated or end grain. I think either style, properly jointed and glued, will be equally strong. Only a larger end grain style will need supports, where a laminated board wouldn't.

That glue up doesn't look to bad to me. You would need to use a hand plane, maybe a scraper, to knock off the sueeze out before it went through a planner or drum sander.

I would get the small slabs planed flat, and the edges jointed straight and square, then glue up into a large slab. Then decide where to with this.
 
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