Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Freecycle butcher block ... failed.

I guess we all need to be knocked down every once in a while to keep things interesting and challenging.  I posted a while about about a few "diamonds in the rough" I picked up while on the way home from work... and one piece was the free butcher block. 

I was all excited about this project, even though the original piece was in kinda pretty nasty shape.

I was hoping to sand it down with a 60 grit and remove enough of the damaged spots including water damage, the black spots {which can occur over time when making a butcher block from pine}, and the cutting marks. 
I used an entire two pieces of 60 grit sand paper with my electric sander and took my time trying to give this bad boy a second life.

That was just half way through the sanding, and it was starting to look fairly good.  My plan was to stain it, seal it with an butcher block sealant {very important to use a health standard approved sealant when using it on any surface that will come in contact with food... especially if staining the block first}.  I already purchased little sticky feet pads too to make it sit elevated on our counter top {I had plans for this guy and me}.

I've done my fair share of wood projects, and each is a learning experience how different types of wood react with sanding, and stains.  However, this one was pretty elementary, staining wood enhances it's flaws such as cuts and dents. 
The sanding didn't take away all the prior damage to the block, and cuts were still visible so my hopes of a beautiful new {free} butcher block were slowly disappearing.
I thought I'd just stain it just to see what it would look like {desperately hoping the magic wood fairy would come along and give me a break on this one}. 

{no happy dance}

Good thing it was a free cycle piece I picked up so no big loss!

If anyone reading has any additional tips maybe that may help with this please let me know as soon as possible.  I haven't tossed it just yet, in hopes maybe I'll gain serious motivation to do another hour or two of sanding and see if the cuts eventually fade.

Chumbawamba said it best,
"I get knocked down
But I get up again
You're never going to keep me down"


  1. Just found your blog and LOVE it! I was thinking, depending on how deep the cuts are, maybe more sanding? Not sure since I haven't attacked a project quite like that.

  2. Have you considered using a bench plane? The sharp blade is adjustable, allowing you to determine how much wood you need to shave off.


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