Alice Holttum

furniture maker

This brick-built butcher's block style worktop was constructed to be a replica of the existing worktop situated at the other end of the kitchen. It was made from American maple and required a great deal of planning and exact measuring to ensure precise uniformity across its surface.


The top was constructed by gluing together batches of four or five strips of ripped wood of the correct width; these were then cross cut into blocks and glued end to end to make the strips of the top. The end piece of every second strip was half the length of the rest so that when they were all glued together side by side the resulting piece would resemble a brick wall. Before the final glue up, each strip was passed through a circular saw to ensure its edge was absolutely straight and square.


Due to its large dimensions and end-grain surface, it was not possible to put the worktop over the planer or through the thicknesser; instead, a sled system was built to enable a router to be passed over the top, levelling it with a large surfacing bit. This was followed by copious sanding, resulting in a perfectly flat and smooth top. It was finished using Osmo TopOil.


The unit housing the new worktop was made up of an existing drawer unit from another part of the kitchen with a bespoke set of two large dovetail drawers attached. These were also made of American maple.‚Äč

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Kitchen renovation

Brick-built worktop