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Old 11-30-2009, 12:06 AM   #1
Jack Olsen
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Default Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

Nice and clean in the good old days:



The center of my garage is useable space, since I only park one car in there. When I built my 'Compliance Station' a couple of months back, I also added a new cabinet to the center. It looked like this.



It's a heavy-duty cabinet that stores a lot of stuff. I like the fact that the doors have their own shelves in them for smaller stuff. It's made of very solid 14-gauge steel.

It's big, though. Really big. And it started to bother me that it ate up so much space right in the center of the garage.

So I got an idea. And last week I picked up a piece of 72.5"x39"x1.5" birch butcher block and decided I'd do a little surgery on the cabinet to turn it into something that would have a function as a work surface as well as storage, and also wouldn't block my view of my car.

I'm in the middle of two other projects, so I basically had an afternoon to do this. So it was not elegantly done.

Here's the cabinet marked with the 'belt' section I decided to cut out.



I used a circular saw with a Freud Diablo metal-cutting blade to chop through the 14 gauge sheet metal. Quick and quiet enough that I didn't wake the baby from his nap.



Here you can see the carcass of the cabinet itself with the middle section gone. It's now only 35" tall.



Cutting out the middle piece meant the hinges would still work the same and I wouldn't have to bend any sheet metal. I had flux core wire in the welder, and -- even though I used a grinder to get down to bare metal -- the paint around the weld would catch on fire. It wasn't pretty.



But I planned on covering up the scar in any case. Here's a picture with the butcher block on top and a wood kick panel added around the base.



It's at the same height as all the other benches in the garage, so even if I'm working on a 20' length of something, I can just span between the benches.

Handles and lighting will come later. I'll clean the place up when I'm done with the other two woodworking projects, and get a better picture. But it's already nice having the extra space to spread out. (Full disclosure: I'm a work bench junky; I've got one more butcher-block bench -- height adjustable -- in the planning stages.)

Last edited by Jack Olsen; 11-30-2009 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

Pretty slick. Planning on putting any wheels on it?
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

That a harbor freight circular saw?
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

bmwpower, I don't plan on making it mobile for two reasons. One is that I like it fixed to the pillar, for strength. The other is that my garage is too small for mobility to help much.

And yes, it's a HF saw. I picked it up when I got the metal-cutting blades, thinking I wouldn't stress my regular circular saw with it. Don't tell anybody, but I like the HF saw better than my Black & Decker.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

Love that Ikea butcherblock.... wish I had one within driving distance.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

Looks great. I scored two nice maple tops roughly the same size last year (for free). Mine were used as lab tables at a local college where a friend is a project manager. He scooped them up for me when he saw they were up for grabs. In hindsight I should have asked him to get a couple more! They'd have made a great work surface along the entire back wall of my garage, but these two will have to do for now
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

I went to the Ikea website to get an idea of how much the wood costs - I don't see it listed anywhere. Do you remember the aprox. cost?

Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

You are a project pimp, Jack
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

If you can find a bowling lane bed from Craig's you can really make out
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:02 AM   #10
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

One again Jack - you've earned the use of the "nom de totale" ("Jack of all trades")! Good work!
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:21 AM   #11
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

Thanks again. I have eight work surfaces in the little garage, now. It might be time to admit I've got a problem.

For the wood -- with Ikea, you've got to call your local store to confirm that they carry the countertops. They don't sell Maple -- but have Oak, Birch and Beech. (I think Birch and Beech are harder than Oak -- I liked the look of the Birch.)

Here's a link with sizes and prices. 4' is $90, 6' is $130 and 8' is $170. Those are all 25" depths. The 39" depth I got was $195 for a 6' length.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40057396

And while I'm at it, here's a set of links to Sears' different bench top options:

Stainless Steel

Butcher Block (might be Maple)

Bamboo

MDF

Sears also carries 6' lengths.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:32 AM   #12
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

Love what you've done with your space!

We put the Ikea countertops in our kitchen to replace pink formica shortly after we bought the house... made a WORLD of difference. We went with the type linked above, but I'm eyeing these up for the garage. A little thinner but a lot cheaper...
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

Another great post, thanks for sharing all the ideas, pictures and help you are giving to everyone.
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

Here it is with the garage cleaned up. Still a few details to wrap up, but the small welding table fits at the end, and then covers the table saw, which is nice and compact.

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Old 12-06-2009, 04:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

Very nice! I have a feeling you picked up some pendant lights while you were at IKEA?
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

Yep. That place has a way of always getting you to pick up more than you came in for.

Two more views:



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Old 12-06-2009, 07:52 PM   #17
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

Sweet job, Jack. I really like what you've got going on there.
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:46 PM   #18
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

Thanks.

I just updated the pictures in the main thread about my garage.

Even with the two new work benches, it still looks pretty clean (when it's been cleaned up, that is).


Last edited by Jack Olsen; 12-06-2009 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:42 AM   #19
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

Did you fasten the butcher block down? What with?
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:15 PM   #20
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Default Re: Quick and Dirty: Butcher Block Island

The cabinet is fastened to that wood pillar. The butcher block is fastened with wood screws at the corners of the cabinet.
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