My Home Rocks Tours: The Butler’s DIY Butcher Block Island

Wendy Butcher of New Haven, Vermont has kindly shared pictures of her fabulous freestanding kitchen island with us, which was made from galvanised pipe and maple lumber, glued and sanded to form a chunky butcher block top by her handy husband, Randy.


Many years ago, Wendy had fallen in love with a picture in a home-style magazine of a similar kitchen island design, so when Randy went about renovating the Butler’s kitchen last summer–building maple cupboards with lumber he had milled from trees cut down on the property by a power company–Wendy seized the opportunity to incorporate the piece.

“The peninsula counter that jutted out into our old kitchen was ripped out and he made this rolling island in its place”, Wendy tells us, “I love it! The height is specifically crafted for my working comfort. At 5’9” I can stand up straight and chop veggies to my heart’s content!

The short pipe that goes through the middle, on the bottom, is to support a matching maple shelf that will extend only halfway across the base. The grandchildren already love to get under there for a snack, and when the shelf finally appears they will really find it exciting!”


So how did the Butler’s go about the project, and were there any hiccups along the way? Wendy explains: ” We went to a hardware supply store and purchased lengths of 1.25” galvanized pipe, having them cut to our specific measurements. We also purchased casters from the same store. The back of the butcher block is finished with water based poly and the top is oiled.”

“The top did start to cup soon after it was finished. Randy backed out the screws holding the top down, added a wood spacer halfway down each length of the top between the top and the pipe and tightened the screws. He pulled the top back to where it needed to be and the spacers aren’t noticeable.”

“The critical components, in my mind”, concludes Wendy, “are the Kee Klamps, which we ordered online.” These are the elbows and sockets that hold the island together without tricky threading, drilling or welding.

Thank you Wendy, for sharing your cool industrial style kitchen island with us on My Home Rocks Tours!

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