We have a few big pieces of butcher block that the contractors left after remodeling our kitchen a few years ago. My 9-year-old daughter and I want to make a bench out of it. We looked on youtube for some advice; the problem is, any instructions about making something out of butcher block on youtube seem to assume that you want to make the butcher block out of 2x4s or something. I'm sure no respectable home hobbyist would buy butcher block to make a bench.

Also, I'm comfortable using wood screws or nails but have never managed enough patience and precision to make anything successfully with glue. But this wood seems too thick, 2.5" or so, for wood screws. Even if I drill pilot holes, I don't have wood screws long enough. And I'm guessing nails would just be a bad idea all around. Oh, and we do have a circular saw and sawhorses. And a jigsaw. And a sabre saw that I have no idea why I bought ten years ago.

The dimension of the butcher block pieces are:

  • 1 1/2" x 25 1/4" x 37" (two pieces), and
  • 1 1/2" x 25 1/2" x 39" (one piece)

enter image description here

The bench we had in mind would be something like

                39" long
=================================== 15" deep
||====            ?" pieces  ====||
||                at the joints  ||
||                for strength   || 25" tall
||                               ||
||                               ||

So, any of the following would be helpful:

  • explicit instructions that someone as ill-equipped as myself could follow;
  • search terms or other advice about how to find videos that would provide those instructions instead (with the added benefit of giving my daughter and me an excuse to watch TV for a while before launching into this task); or
  • warnings about how I'm probably about to maim my daughter or myself, or at least destroy some perfectly good butcher block scraps that have been sitting in the garage for years.
  • 1
    How big is big? This question applies to both the source material and the destination item. In my mind, a big piece of butcher block would have to be a meter or more in both directions, if your objective is a bench. The second part is the bench. How wide do you expect to create? Is this a tyke-sized bench or adult sized bench? Representative photos of what you want to duplicate would be helpful. A father-daughter project such as this has great merit and I hope you succeed. – fred_dot_u May 16 '20 at 0:08
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    Hi, welcome to Woodworking Sigfried. I was all set to Answer until I got to the meat of the Question and realised that there's nothing here we can Answer for you, in the way that the SE format demands. In terms of any explicit instruction we need a much more focussed Q based on the design you want to progress with, not "a bench" which could be an almost unlimited number of designs, and of any size from small (tyke-sized like @fred_dot_u refers to) to a really substantial thing 9' or more long. Anything in that range is suitable for material of this kind, if used appropriately [contd] – Graphus May 16 '20 at 8:22
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    One quick thing about the suitability of wood screws, you can screw to material 6" or whatever thick, the thickness isn't an issue.... well unless it's too thin. But almost all standard tabletops, and the tops of many a modern workbench, are less than 2" thick and screws are driven into them as a natural part of construction/assembly on a daily basis. The key thing is what is being screwed to what, and how — it's perfectly normal for example for the leg/apron assembly on a table to be screwed to the underside of a tabletop in some manner. Check underneath any tables in the house for examples. – Graphus May 16 '20 at 8:29
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    Can you link to a picture of the 'butcher block' you've got? Reason I ask is that there's two types: classic butcher block, that shows end grain on the top surface, and the modern interpretation of butcher block, which has wood fibers running the long way. Only one of the two is suitable as a structural part of a bench. Give us a little (broad dimensions and maybe a sketch of what you want), and you'll get a lot. – Aloysius Defenestrate May 16 '20 at 15:48
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    As other have said The question is to broad. Now if the question was how to join two sections of butcher block we could help. There are great, and not so great, YouTube tutorials about building benches. "a sabre saw that I have no idea why I bought ten years ago." We are men, we do not always need a "good" reason to buy a new tool. It is shiny and i may need it in the future OR i want it, is good enough. – Alaska Man May 16 '20 at 20:32

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