Even though it is one of the most beautiful woods available in the U.S., the Baltic Butcher Block has not been easy to find. Some stores have offered it only in a few different styles – a flat cut, curly cut and a milled edge. When I went looking for an excellent wood kitchen countertop, I was determined to find a butcher block that fit my style. I wanted something I could use in my own home to bring warmth and a sense of interior design to my kitchen.
I searched high and low but found nothing. I looked at log cabin cabinets and soapstone countertops, but could not find one that matched the Baltic Butcher Block. I decided to try making my own with a cutting board, planks of wood and a router. The end result was beautiful and totally different from a wood kitchen countertop. With my experience working as a wood decorator, I knew that there are many ways to cut and shape wood and create unique designs. It was not a simple project though.
I started by measuring the boards to make sure I had enough wood. This usually meant I would need two more planks than the planks I purchased. I was very careful with my measurements. The three inch square planks were just too short. I used pliers to measure my cuts every time to make sure I didn’t cut myself short.
The first time I laid out the boards, I must say that I was a little nervous. I couldn’t imagine how the wood would glide together. After all, I wasn’t going to be using saws to accomplish my project. The thought of using knives scared me.
I laid the planks one at a time. Each one went across the room in uniform width. When I was done, I smoothed the wood with my hand until it blended. It took a few hours but it came out perfectly.
After smoothing the wood, I put the finishing touches on. To complete the job, I used four coats of stain. These are not hard stains. They are made from little beads of resin that sit on top of the wood. These beads will fill the spaces left by the cut edges of the planks. Once the wood dries, you have a beautiful cutting surface that is perfect for carving.
So, I guess I didn’t buy the baltic butcher block birch unfinished natural planks, but the experience I had when I did was very enlightening. After my trip to Scotland, I realized that this country has a lot more to offer than the stereotypical English countryside. This trip inspired me to go back and try some of the other cultures there.
My next project will be a bench made from recycled wood. I have an old oak tree growing in my yard that I want to use. Right now, I am only using the wood from this tree. I will finish using this wood to create a high chair that is so comfortable anyone would think it was upholstered in the finest hotels in the world.
When I start working on my bench, I will take several types of wood to start with. I will start with a board that is black and flat. Then I will make two or three plans out of the pieces of wood I have gathered. First, I’ll make the planks out of the boards. Then I’ll use the remaining pieces of wood to make the slats. These slats are then joined together.
The next step is to use a wood sealer to protect the wood against moisture. When the sealer is dry, I will use a finish and stain to customize the wood. Some stains will make the wood stiff while others will give it a more waxy feel. This gives the wood the ability to withstand different types of weather and elements.
If you want to try your hand at making a woodworking project like the baltic butcher block, you need to start with a good piece of birch wood. You can find this wood online, in some home supply stores or by going to a lumberyard. When you get your wood, you should also make sure that it is straight. Since the birch wood has a natural curvature, it makes it a lot easier to cut into the necessary squares.
If you follow these simple but effective steps, you will soon be learning how to make a baltic butcher block. Remember that you need to get a good slab first. Then, you can use the planks to make the slabs. Then, when it’s time to finish your butcher block, you can stain and/or varnish it to customize your block.