We delivered and installed a 60″ x 40″ hard maple butcher block island top to a home under renovation in “The Fan” area of Richmond.
These tops are a labor-intensive operation in our shop. The top started out as three rough 10′ x 18″ x 2.5″ boards. We use our coarse table saw to rip them into 2.5″ x 2.5″ slats, followed by finer ripping on our finish table saw, followed by edging and planing all four side of the 26 slats. Each slat is individually glued to make four 11″ wide segments, followed by planing then gluing the four segments, followed by cutting the ends and sanding top and bottom.
The customer was happy with the top. The photo below is the top before adding oil treatment.
This one was a challenge as it was the first time we worked with “hard maple.” it is a very heavy, non-porous wood that does not easily take stain. Applied Minwax oil-based “Provincial” stain, which left the wood looking blotchy. Had to strip back down to bare wood (not easy). In the end we switched to a solvent-based stain (one that does not penetrate the wood), two coats of aerosol water-based polyurethane, glazing, followed by four coats of brush-on polyurethane. The breadboard ends are attached with tongue and groove and slotted screws to allow expansion and contraction.
Delivered to a beautiful home overlooking the South Anna River. Photos below are in the shop.
We used poplar wood to create a “Honey-Basque” table fashioned after one made by Crate & Barrel (made in Asia) with mango wood. Poplar has a similar grain and texture and is available to American woodworkers. Compare our results with C&B’s table photo. Our production is shown first. Pretty darn close, and much better wood and workmanship! Thanks to our Montpelier customer for buying locally. God bless!