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Will 90" L x 25" W x 1.5" thick butcher block table need additional pair of legs mid span, or is it stiff enough to be ok w beefy legs on ends only? Not concerned about strength of legs, just whether table might bow without an additional set of legs in the middle. Overbuild?

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    "How many pairs of legs necessary for butcher block table?" 2 is not enough, 3 would be dicey, 4 minimum. Do you have the top yet? Set it up on saw horse's and access its strength. Hardwood butcher block is very strong. Depending on the legs and how they are mounted Racking may be a concern. – Alaska Man Feb 2 at 2:42
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    Hi, welcome to StackExchange. We need more details to be able to effectively answer this, the main one being do you want a completely unsupported span? What species of wood? What loads might this be expected to take, or is it just a big chopping board? Also need to check exactly what you mean by butcher block as the term has been made vague in recent years. – Graphus Feb 2 at 7:59
  • Traditionally a butcher block is made of endgrain. I am fairly certain that you're talking about a "butcher block countertop", not an actual butcher block, as butcher blocks are typically 8-15" thick. I know the terms are somewhat confusing, but my immediate reaction was that this isn't even going to support its own weight before cracking in half. – SaSSafraS1232 Feb 7 at 0:19
  • That said, assuming you're just attaching legs to a butcher block counter top, your main issue is probably going to be racking, not the strength of the top. Like you see again and again in woodworking, the traditional forms exist for a reason. Aprons will both support the top and prevent racking. Without them you'll need to build your leg-to-top joint much more soundly than you would expect to prevent racking. – SaSSafraS1232 Feb 7 at 0:22
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For a 90" long butcher block, only having legs on the ends will be enough to support any weight that you would realistically put on it. A solid wood top that is 1.5" thick and 25" wide will be very, very strong. But...

With a work surface like this, sheer strength is not the only concern. You want the piece to feel very solid. It is a butcher block after all, so you want it to feel very sturdy to compliment its looks. I think that another pair of legs in the middle will be enough to stop any bounce or vibrations you would feel in the top. More legs than that would be more of a design choice. Sure 2 sets of legs in the middle would be super solid, but the single set of legs in the middle will get you very close to that.

In the end, it comes down to your design goals. A fully open span could be possible if you had a thick skirt board on the top and near the bottom of the legs as well, but that extra visual thickness of the top might not be what you want.

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  • The reason I asked above for clarification is that when I read "butcher block" my first thought is the true meaning of the term, which I think you're assuming here too. Unfortunately it is now commonly (perhaps primarily) applied to long-grain panels glued up from many smaller lengths. – Graphus Feb 4 at 8:22
  • @Graphus, yes, based on the dimensions, it is almost certainly a prefab "butcher block" countertop like this. Many home stores sell them now. I have one installed in my kitchen, and they are quite nice for the price. – JPhi1618 Feb 4 at 15:23

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