If there’s one thing that has become a signature accessory of kitchens, it would have to be the butcher block or the butcher table. Since its invention back in the eighteenth century, the butcher block has evolved into a versatile fixture that can be used for more than just food preparation. A butcher block, sometimes called a playing top, is usually made from a single slab of wood (usually hard maple) with multiple cross cuts and grooves for different purposes. One example of this type of wood kitchen countertop is the Solid Wood butcher block by Wm. Floor Lumber Company.
One of the things that set this butcher block apart from most other kitchen counters is its design: the straight, square, and parallel slabs of wood have been cut in half to form four parallel strips of wood, with the fourth strip positioned at the bottom of the legs. To further simplify the design, a pocket has been built in the middle of the four strips where a small drawer can be installed. The cabinet opening, however, is positioned closer to the wall for convenience. It has a door with a locking handle and a wood shank that has been cut for gripping purposes.
The wood shank, also known as a leg, is a flat piece of wood attached to a block, which has been placed through a series of cross cuts in the slabs of wood. The leg can either be left unfinished or left with a wood finish. The leg has a locking mechanism at the bottom end to secure the shank to the block. To fasten the leg to the block, a washer or some other fastening element is applied at the fastening portion of the shank. The lock prevents the shank from rotating during use.
The leg 24 has an open face along with a large lip that forms the corner of the lower part of the bench. This lip is designed to catch the knives when they are placed on the handle of the knife block. A saw blade can be seen protruding from the end of the leg just above the lip.
Two wooden legs are nailed into two pieces of board that have been cut according to the contours of the playing top. The legs have not been glued or screwed together. Instead, the boards are simply glued into position after being shaped according to the specifications of the manufacturer. This simple yet effective modification allows manufacturers to produce a wide variety of designs, some of which are referred to as “pocket doors.”
The legs 24 have a series of notched pockets, which when lined up correctly to allow the fingers to be able to fit snugly into the small openings, making it very easy to cut through the meat quickly. The pockets themselves are seen in a variety of sizes and shapes, with one shaped like a baseball. There is also a slit in the corner of the top that allows a hand to slide into the slit and remove the slices effortlessly. On one side of the top there are also several raised slit cuts, again made for easy hand access to the slices.
The legs 24 are made of hardwood such as maple or oak, and the edges are tapered to accommodate the cutting blades. The tapered edges are smooth and rounded, and there are several types of wood that can be used to manufacture these legs. One popular type is medium-density fiberboard, or MDF, which has a beautiful grain. Another is a clear plastic laminate that has a very realistic grain pattern.
One of the advantages of the butcher block is that the edges are perfectly straight, so that the edges of the shuffleboard table can be perfectly aligned with each other. Because of this alignment, the knife can be held at an ideal distance from the platform, allowing the user to control the speed at which the blade moves. This feature is called the “blade action”, and it provides a comfortable and controlled play with each cut. Another advantage of the design is that the two sides of the table can be adjusted for horizontal and vertical framing, so that the top can be set up in any convenient location. The horizontal frame makes it easy to move the playing top from one end of the kitchen to the other.