We love to make butcher blocks. They are very popular and are a great addition to any kitchen.
Butcher blocks are very personal and so we like to offer a custom service where the wood can be chosen for look and functionality and the finish can be selected dependent on the preference of the client. The size of the butcher block is also something that is highly personal. Some people like giant oversized boards that make a statement while others prefer moderate sizes that fit their kitchen. Whatever size is required we will be happy to quote for making one.
The first thing to decide is the wood. We show examples of oak, walnut, southern yellow pine and ash. Other woods that work well include cherry and maple. Once the material have been decided the next thing is to consider the dimensions. Once the wood and the dimensions have been decided we can provide a quotation and delivery time. This will usually be 2 to 3 weeks.
There are some other decisions to be made. For example are finger slots required for ease of handing and are feet required to raise the board above the countertop. These can be decided at the time of manufacture.
Finally, the finish on the board has to be decided. We make our own wood conditioner and a number of options are available. The main decision is on the oil to be used. We saturate the board in oil so that it penetrates deep into the wood. We then finish the board with our own blend of the oil and beeswax. Each oil has its own characteristics and the choice is up to the client. Here are some of the things to consider.
Walnut oil. This is possibly our favorite oil. It has a lovely nutty smell and its main characteristic is that it is a drying oil. It leaves a beautiful finish and is readily available for refurbishing the the board. Some people have a concern that those with nut allergies might be sensitive to the oil.
Mineral oil. This is the traditional oil for butcher blocks. It does not dry and can sometimes weep from the surface for some time after application. In the UK it is known as liquid paraffin. Some people have concerns about it as it is a petroleum byproduct.
Coconut oil. This is another of our favorites. It looks and feels like mineral oil but is completely organic and the oil that we use is vegan approved. It does not smell of coconut.
Linseed or flaxseed oil. This is possibly the hardest wearing of the oils. It is a drying oil and the flaxseed version is considered food safe. It does have a characteristic aroma.
Maintenance of boards. The boards should only be hand washed with mild soap. They should be dried as soon as possible. They benefit from an occasional application of oil based finish to protect them and keep them looking good.
Get in touch to discuss if you would like your own custom butch block. They make fantastic gifts.