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Need help fixing up a large butcher block table



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 30th 05, 05:16 AM posted to rec.woodworking
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Default Need help fixing up a large butcher block table

I have a solid wood restaurant butcher block table whch measures 24" X
24" X 10" thick. I found it thrown out on the sidewalk. I am really
excited about restoring it. Before I ask for help have a look at it
he http://www.flickr.com/photos/daliaandasaf/sets/1690170/

the butcher block has a lot of character (such as knife marks, dents
and has also gotten a nice color from all the grease and oils it came
into contact with) and I want to preserve that somehow. Putting
function slightly aside, I look at this from a slightly more artistic
perspective. I can see this as a piece of furniture.. a
chess/backgammon table or something for example or as a kitchen island
or just a stand alone piece of furniture somewhere. I love furniture
that has some kind of life and story to it.

Its really dirty and kind of nasty at the moment. Can someone offer
some suggestions about which solvents i can use to clean it
thogroughly? I'm thinking denatured alcohol / mineral spirits but will
that be tough enough to clean it?

In terms if bringing this to life, I think sanding it would ruin its
character no?
Given the knife marks and the sag that you can see in two sides it
would be sort of a disconnect to look at that as freshly sanded and
sort of homogenously colored dont you think?.

Though I picture sanding it and adding a linseed oil to it could look
pretty damn cool but once you go the sanding route you gotta commit,
theres no way back. Do you think a very fine grit sandpaper could do
the trick of cleaning it up without taking the color off?

What are your thoughts? Can you see what i'm driving at about wanting
to keep its character? I dont have much expericne with this, i usually
sand things until i get the original wood and then completely refinish
it. One person i asked suggested to leave it as it and buff it with a
paste wax a few times a year.

All you experienced woodworkers out there send me your suggestions !
Thanks so much!

Ads
  #2  
Old December 30th 05, 05:47 AM posted to rec.woodworking
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Default Need help fixing up a large butcher block table

I had one just like that several years back. Weighed about 300 pounds (not
exagerrating). Was more used than yours. I wasn't really into woodworking
then. I sat it by my garage intending to do something with it and forgot
about it for a few years. When I found it again the weather had done it's
work and it was ruined. I ended up using it for firewood. I like the chess
board idea but you'd at least need to flatten to top. You could maybe rub
some lard, blood, guts, etc into it to get that dirty look back.

Kevin


  #3  
Old December 30th 05, 06:32 AM posted to rec.woodworking
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Default Need help fixing up a large butcher block table

In article . com,
doityourself wrote:

Its really dirty and kind of nasty at the moment. Can someone offer
some suggestions about which solvents i can use to clean it
thogroughly? I'm thinking denatured alcohol / mineral spirits but will
that be tough enough to clean it?


It's tough to tell from the photos. Think of it this way... Why was it
thrown out? Can you go back to where you found it and ask?

What is "nasty"? Does it smell? Is there a possible health risk?

If not, you may want to consider a whole lotta work with cabinet
scrapers.

If you're gonna use it as a game table, though, it will have to be
level. How are you going to do that while maintaining the character?

djb

--
Any government will work if authority and responsibility are equal and
coordinate. This does not insure "good" government; it simply insures that it
will work. But such governments are rare most people want to run things but
want no part of the blame. Robert A. Heinlein
  #4  
Old December 30th 05, 07:30 AM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: n/a
Default Need help fixing up a large butcher block table

At the end of the day most butchers give their block a good scrub with a
stiff wire brush & soapy water to get rid of all the blood and grease that
has soaked in during the day. Thats how they get the nice curved surface.


"doityourself" wrote in message
ups.com...
I have a solid wood restaurant butcher block table whch measures 24" X
24" X 10" thick. I found it thrown out on the sidewalk. I am really
excited about restoring it. Before I ask for help have a look at it
he http://www.flickr.com/photos/daliaandasaf/sets/1690170/

the butcher block has a lot of character (such as knife marks, dents
and has also gotten a nice color from all the grease and oils it came
into contact with) and I want to preserve that somehow. Putting
function slightly aside, I look at this from a slightly more artistic
perspective. I can see this as a piece of furniture.. a
chess/backgammon table or something for example or as a kitchen island
or just a stand alone piece of furniture somewhere. I love furniture
that has some kind of life and story to it.

Its really dirty and kind of nasty at the moment. Can someone offer
some suggestions about which solvents i can use to clean it
thogroughly? I'm thinking denatured alcohol / mineral spirits but will
that be tough enough to clean it?

In terms if bringing this to life, I think sanding it would ruin its
character no?
Given the knife marks and the sag that you can see in two sides it
would be sort of a disconnect to look at that as freshly sanded and
sort of homogenously colored dont you think?.

Though I picture sanding it and adding a linseed oil to it could look
pretty damn cool but once you go the sanding route you gotta commit,
theres no way back. Do you think a very fine grit sandpaper could do
the trick of cleaning it up without taking the color off?

What are your thoughts? Can you see what i'm driving at about wanting
to keep its character? I dont have much expericne with this, i usually
sand things until i get the original wood and then completely refinish
it. One person i asked suggested to leave it as it and buff it with a
paste wax a few times a year.

All you experienced woodworkers out there send me your suggestions !
Thanks so much!



  #5  
Old December 30th 05, 08:08 AM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: n/a
Default Need help fixing up a large butcher block table

I dont know why they tossed it.. this is new york city, people throw
valuable stuff out here all the time, in fact i make a few bucks every
now and again picking this stuff up, fixing it and re-selling it on
craigslist. My guess is that some restaurant/deli went out of business
and left it behind. The good news is it doesnt smell.

youre right about needing to level it for a game table. To level this
thing though I would need a serious belt sander and hours of toil.

Does anyone know if these things are worth anythng? Id spend the time
if i could turn a profit. I saw similar things for sale on the net for
$800-900 new.

Do you reckon I can clean it thoroughly with mineral spirit/paint
thinner?

  #6  
Old December 30th 05, 08:18 AM posted to rec.woodworking
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Default Need help fixing up a large butcher block table

doityourself (in
) said:

| I dont know why they tossed it.. this is new york city, people throw
| valuable stuff out here all the time, in fact i make a few bucks
| every now and again picking this stuff up, fixing it and re-selling
| it on craigslist. My guess is that some restaurant/deli went out of
| business and left it behind. The good news is it doesnt smell.

Good news indeed! Still, I think I'd be leery of using it as is in
/my/ kitchen.
|
| youre right about needing to level it for a game table. To level
| this thing though I would need a serious belt sander and hours of
| toil.

Wrong tool, I think. It'd be easy to build a jig to mill the top down
with a router - probably about a 15-20 minute job with a 1/2" straight
bit (less with something like a dish bit).

| Does anyone know if these things are worth anythng? Id spend the
| time if i could turn a profit. I saw similar things for sale on the
| net for $800-900 new.

They're worth whatever someone is willing to pay. Got a good sales
pitch ready?

| Do you reckon I can clean it thoroughly with mineral spirit/paint
| thinner?

It's probable that the stains have penetrated to a significant depth,
solvents might remove grease and oils from the surface; but I doubt
they'd do much more than that.

--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html


  #7  
Old December 30th 05, 09:33 AM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: n/a
Default Need help fixing up a large butcher block table

I have made three butcher block tables and getting the finished surface
flat is really a bear. I am guessing that it is made of end grain
maple and that is very difficult to get smooth if you were to try and
surface it with a router. I would recomend giving it a sanding and
then oil it with mineral oil. You don't have to sand it so deep that
you remove all the knife marks, probably hard to do anyway, and I doubt
you would take out all of the stains either. If you are going to use
it for food prep make sure it sees some bleach, then oil it with
mineral oil. Mineral oil is food safe, you will find it in the
drugstore with the laxatives and it will prevent the thing from
cracking.

  #8  
Old December 30th 05, 03:05 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: n/a
Default Need help fixing up a large butcher block table

I do not recommend belt sanding. It will take a long time and is very
difficult to get a flat surface at the end of all the elbow grease.

I needed to flatten a maple top which a friend gave to me about 30 in x 60
in. I clamped straight edges and made a sled for the router and then
flattened using a dado bit. Goes fast once the sled is set up.

If you want to use hand tools, then a scrub plane would be the best to
remove most of the high spots, and then a low angle plane for the final
sanding.

Dave Paine.

"doityourself" wrote in message
oups.com...
I dont know why they tossed it.. this is new york city, people throw
valuable stuff out here all the time, in fact i make a few bucks every
now and again picking this stuff up, fixing it and re-selling it on
craigslist. My guess is that some restaurant/deli went out of business
and left it behind. The good news is it doesnt smell.

youre right about needing to level it for a game table. To level this
thing though I would need a serious belt sander and hours of toil.

Does anyone know if these things are worth anythng? Id spend the time
if i could turn a profit. I saw similar things for sale on the net for
$800-900 new.

Do you reckon I can clean it thoroughly with mineral spirit/paint
thinner?



  #9  
Old December 30th 05, 03:48 PM posted to rec.woodworking
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Need help fixing up a large butcher block table

Steven Boyes wrote:
At the end of the day most butchers give their block a good scrub with a
stiff wire brush & soapy water to get rid of all the blood and grease that
has soaked in during the day. Thats how they get the nice curved surface.


Yep. The brush we used was the one at the top of the following page:

http://www.hubert.com/store/catalog/...c/203/page.htm

I hated that job.

--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA

(Remove -SPAM- to send email)
  #10  
Old December 30th 05, 11:38 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: n/a
Default Need help fixing up a large butcher block table


"Steven Boyes" wrote in message
...
At the end of the day most butchers give their block a good scrub with a
stiff wire brush & soapy water to get rid of all the blood and grease that
has soaked in during the day. Thats how they get the nice curved surface.



Finally someone who knows what it is ,a table to chop meat on and cleaned
exactly as you said at the end of each day....


 




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