Routing Your Butcher Block

Butcher blocks generally comes with an eased edge, but this doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. There are a number of ways you can change the edge profile in order to further customize your butcher block. The best and easiest way to do this is with a router and bits. Continue reading for the best practices and tips for routing the edges of your Hardwood Reflections Butcher Block.

Tools You’ll Need…

    • Safety Glasses 
    • Router 
    • Router Bits 
    • Sanding Block or Sanding Sponge 

Safety First

Before you start any DIY project, safety should always be the top priority. This means Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be worn at all times. Also review all safety instructions provided with the tools you plan to use for the project.

Pro Safety Tip – The sharper the router bit, the safer the cut. Sharp, new bits cut cleaner and more efficiently. This means less risk of chipping and tear out. 

Routing Your Butcher Block

The Router

For this project a fixed-base router is perfect. Check out this helpful guide to understand the types of routers: Types of Wood Router Tools

Router Bits

There are many different types of profiling router bits. We will be showing you the two most popular. To better grasp what type of bit you’d like, check out the profile image shown on all router bits or test the ones you have on a scrap piece of wood. 

  1. Chamfer Bit –Cuts a bevel on the edge of the work piece.
  2. Round over – Does what it says, Rounds over the square edge.

Pro Tip – Router bits come in two different types. ½” Shank and ¼” Shank. The Shank refers to the shaft diameter. Be sure to check your router manual for required shank size.

Inserting your Bit

SAFETY TIP – Unplug or remove battery first. 

  1. Loosen the collet nut with the provided wrench. (See tool manual for assistance) 
  2. Insert until the insertion line printed on the bit shank. (See photo below) 
  3. Tighten the collet nut to secure the bit in place. 


Adjusting the Cut Depth

SAFETY TIP – If you plan to remove a lot of material, be sure to make multiple passes while increasing the depth of cut after each pass. This will help avoid burning, chatter marks, chips, and blowouts. Below is a picture showing the differences between the two depths of cut.

  1. Place router base on work surface. 
  1. Using the depth adjustments, raise or lower the bit to desired height
  1. Lock depth in place. 

PRO TIP – Use a scrap piece of wood to determine your desire depth of cut. 

Routing the Edges

  1. Place router base on work surface with the bit not touching the wood. 
  2. With a firm grasp to avoid the router from kicking, turn on router. 
  3. In a COUNTER CLOCKWISE direction, (OR against the rotation of the spinning bit) follow your router along the edge of the workpiece. Allow the bearing to ride along the wood while keeping the baseplate FLAT on the working surface.
    Hardwood Reflections Routing Butcher Block

    Improper Use of the Router on the Butcher Block

    Hardwood Reflections Routing Butcher Block

    Correct way to router your butcher block

  4. Complete cut, remove bit from wood, and turn off router.


  1. Using a sanding block or sanding sponge will help remove any burn marks or imperfections. 

Hardwood Reflections Butcher Block Routing

Sanding sponge works best for round over or other detailed profile bits

Hardwood Reflections Butcher Block Routing

Sanding block works best for chamfered edges as you can lay the block parallel to the chamfered edge.


Useful Links


Gel Stains for Butcher Block Customization

With six colors to choose from you can easily customize your Butcher Block Countertop with your favorite stain color. Hardwood Reflections Gel Stains are designed specifically for butcher block or other interior wood products that require a very high-end finish for an area of heavy use.

Build an Acacia LIVE EDGE Butcher Block Kitchen Island

Learn how to add a unique look to your kitchen countertop or island with Hardwood Reflections Acacia LIVE EDGE Butcher Block. Live Edge means the characteristics of the outside of the tree are on the edge of the butcher block and will go in and out up to a half of an inch. In this video, you will learn how to turn our Acacia Island Top Butcher Block into a DIY table by utilizing pre-drilled holes for legs, and finish with mineral oil to make a food safe DIY Table Top. These also work great in the kitchen and can be made into beautiful Food Safe Grade Butcher Block Counter Tops!

New Hevea Desktop Sizes Now Available!
Finished & Unfinished Options

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