Do-It-Yourself Butcher-Block Kitchen Countertop

Swap dated laminate for a classic butcher-block countertop. Unlike stone or solid surface, butcher block can be fabricated in a basement or garage workshop, making it the perfect DIY project to totally transform your kitchen on a budget.

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Cut a Hole for the Sink

If purchasing a new sink, a template may be included. If not, measurements need to be taken of existing sink and transferred to desired location on butcher block. Trace template with a pencil. Make sure it's positioned square with the counter and in the proper location for plumbing. Drill several holes inside marked area large enough to accommodate jigsaw blade. For an undermount sink, insert jigsaw blade in the hole and cut about 1/4"-1/2" inside line. For an inset sink with a lip that will cover the cut, cut directly on the line and skip to step 8.

Rout Undermount Sink Edge

Transfer template to a 1/4" piece of MDF. Cut out with a jigsaw and sand inside edges smooth (Image 1). Clamp template to counter, lining cutout with traced line. Use a router fitted with a shank-side bearing flush trim bit and allow bit to ride along template. The template can be used for entire sink hole or just corners (Image 2), while a straight-edged board is used for straight lines (Image 3). Work in small sections and reposition clamps when needed. Once top edge of sink hole is completely routed, flip countertop over, wrong-side-up.

Trim Underside of Sink Hole

With countertop upside-down, switch router bits to an end-side bearing flush trim bit. Run the router around sink hole to cut out remainder of material (Image 1). Turn counter over again, so right side is facing up. Use a small roundover bit to knock down edge of sink hole, if desired (Image 2).

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