Looking for advice on Butcher Block Desk

I’m planning to building a desk with this frame:

And then I’m planning on putting a butcher block to it. I’m looking at blocks from Home Depot or Lowes. Lowes seems to have better selection.

It’s L shaped. Ideally I’d like 80" x 30" main desk and 50" x 30" on

I really like the look of this, but 39" is too deep for a desk, so I’d have to cut 9" off. But I think buying pre-stained and then cutting it is probably a really bad idea? (unless someone who knows better can tell me otherwise)
Ah, the Lowes link broke, on Lowes search Item #5200804

At this point I’m thinking Lowes Item #3811354 for 48 and 72 inches. Then figuring out staining? Should I buy some test pieces or just YOLO it or something?

I also need to figure out finish. It’s a desk. My hands will be on it all the time. I’m fucking clumsy so water/soda/etc spill durability is important. Extreme heat and knife durability are not. I see people suggesting oils, but does that leave a residue? I don’t really know where to start on finish.

Any advice would be appreciated.

There are BB tops on FB Marketplace. Don’t know details, but I’d look there and see what you learn

What I’ve learned is a lot of people like to sell their trash. And a couple are just advertising their store. Their store is the Home Depot supplier. So back to Lowes, I guess?

Or a hardwood store and some glue time…

Hardwood Lumber Company of Dallas does spec/custom work like this.


They are good folks, and used to give DMS members a 10% discount back in the day…no idea if that is still in place with the horrible economy/inflation and after Covid. Worth a call to see what they charge per sq ft. You may end up with something far more interesting final product and in less time, if that is important.


You might also give IKEA at look.

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Yeah – the table tops for the tables in the Common Room came from Ikea.

I have found a few work table tops like you are looking for at estate sales and auctions. Not “new or fresh off the boat from the far East”. They often have “features” some great and some needing refinishing but all were made in North America and a much better than anything “new” at a large retailer these days.

Attached are two images of tables I bought for the butcher block tops. The Pexto metal smything table I don’t have the heart the cut up.

I am into quality shiny new turds (insert Ikea, Sams, Costco etc). I don’t mind a little dirt and repurposing. It isn’t about saving the planet, or landfill space or cow farts.

You can sometimes find butcher blocks at the Habitat for Humanity ReStores. They sell stuff to benefit Habitat for Humanity, and I have seen large butcher blocks for table tops there before. There are a few around Dallas, you can read more here Habitat for Humanity ReStores

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Hey GreenFox,

So I made a desk with similar legs and also added a butcher block on top. I can tell you that I did quite a lot of shopping around for butcher blocks. There are many different variations and levels of quality. Here are some of the key things I noted.

  • Type of finish
    • Unfinished
    • Finished or No sanding.
  • Type of wood
    • Try and pick a hardwood but this will be very price dependent
    • Most Maples are not HARD MAPLE. They might tell you it is hard maple over the phone but it wont be.
  • Thickness of Top
    • Thick tops are nice (2" to 1.5") but they are heavy and will take away from how close to the top of your desk you can get.
  • Widths of boards that make up the butcher block.
    • Nicer butcher blocks will be made up of wider sections of wood. This will also be very price dependent.

After I finished my desk I did some things right and some, not so right.
You will want to get a finished top. The amount of sanding will be significantly less. When I was shopping for wood the price difference was not very much. That may not be the case any more. Get what looks good to you unless you are balling out. I was rather price sensitive but I paid more for what I thought was hard maple but it seemed more like soft maple. I got a 1.5in top and I want to go to 1in but that would have made the top flex too much. In the end just get what is available. The most commonly sold for kitchens is 1.5 and 1.75. Don’t worry about the width of the boards unless you want to ballout.

In the end I got the mine from Lumber Liquidators:
Unfinished Maple 8 ft. Length x 25 in. Wide x 1-1/2 in. For $250
Unfinished Maple 6 ft. Length x 36 in. Wide x 1-1/2 in. For $370
These were 12/2020 prices. Total was $670
I was making a very large desk 108” by 60” L shaped desk.

Also the legs you picked look good. I got a set of Legs that could do 330 Lb and that was nowhere near enough for the amount of stuff I added to my desk. For a normal computer setup 330 lb would have been fine but I added an entire EE work bench on top. I got the Fully Jarvis L-shaped standing desk for about $820. The one thing that was nice about this desk was that it had two crossbars for both legs. I ended up needing this because that is what I attached my gas shocks to be able to make it go up and down. This also helped stabilize the very long top.

Here is my album of the desk build: DIY Office table
If you have any question feel free to ask and if you want to talk about the desk build more feel free to DM me.



If you want to go a slightly different route - and don’t mind doing some finishing/sanding, you could get some bowling alley wood.

Here is some 180"x42" for $525 in Ft Worth: Bowling Alley Wood | repurposedMATERIALS

They have other portions/sizes.