Step 4: Install the Butcher-Block Top

illustration of butcher-block island with the butcher-block top highlighted
Illustration: Gregory Nemec
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Butcher block is available by special order. Create a mounting surface for the butcher block by screwing three 31-inch 1x3 crosspieces on the flat between the long sides of the apron, flush with the top, using 2¼-inch trim-head screws. Using a drill/driver fitted with a ½-inch bit, drill two holes in each 1x3 crosspiece. Apply silicone caulk to the crosspieces and the top edge of the apron. Set the butcher block in place with an equal overhang on each side. Drive a 2-inch deck screw with a 1-inch fender washer up through each hole and into the block. This will allow the block to expand and contract slightly without warping, while still holding tight to the countertop.
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    Tools List

    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw
    • speed square
      Speed square
    • drill
      Drill/driver, ½-inch bit, and 1-inch forstner bit
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • putty knife
      Putty knife
    • paintbrush
      Paintbrush

    Shopping List

    1. Butcher block. Order a 36-by-48-inch block.

    2. Poplar 2x4 to build the legs. Get four 6-footers.

    3. Poplar 2x6 to build the apron. Get two 6-footers.

    4. Poplar 2x3 to frame the bottom shelf. Get an 8-footer and a 6-footer.

    5. Poplar 2x2 to build the shelf slats. Get nine 8-footers.

    6. Poplar 1x3 to build the crosspieces and bracket for the towel bar. Get two 6-footers.

    7. 1-inch dowel to build a towel bar.

    8. Silicone caulk to adhere the butcher-block to the crosspieces and frame.

    9. Surface-mounted corner brackets to hold the butcher block, apron, and legs together. Get four.10. 2¼-inch trim-head screws

    11. 2½-inch trim-head screws

    12. 3½-inch trim-head screws

    13. 2-inch deck screws to attach the butcher block.

    14. 1-inch fender washers

    15. Wood glue

    16. Wood filler

    17. Fine-grit sandpaper

    18. Primer and paint