Project Overview

Making your own butcher block cutting board is an easy D.I.Y. project. They look great in any kitchen and can protect your benchtop from knife cuts and scratches. 
Continue to step-by-step instructions
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Drilling set depth

Here’s a simple way to keep your drill bit from drilling too far into any material. When you need to control your hole depth precisely, there are a number of different depth stoppers you can buy. But if you only need a rough guide, wrap a piece of electrical tape around the drill bit at the depth you want to drill to.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Have the timber pre-cut to size
2 Measure and mark for the dowel
3 Drill the holes for the dowel
4 Mark for the other dowel holes
5 Join two pieces of timber together
6 Clamp the timber
7 Sand the cutting board
8 Oil the butcher block
9 Looking after your block
  • Step 1. Have the timber pre-cut to size

    You can make your butcher block chopping board any size you like. We had our 2.4m hardwood timber pre-cut at Bunnings into 4 x 600mm lengths. Pick the best two pieces of timber for both ends of the cutting board. 

  • Step 2. Measure and mark for the dowel

    Starting with an end piece, measure and mark for the three pieces of dowel on the 90mm side of your hardwood. Measure in 60mm from each end, mark the centre holes for two pieces of dowel and mark one point in the centre. 

  • Step 3. Drill the holes for the dowel

    Use the 10mm drill bit to drill holes for the dowel. A handy tip to make sure you don’t drill too deep is to measure half way down the dowel to get the depth. Wrap tape around the drill bit at the required depth. This way you’ll know when to stop drilling. Drill three holes for the dowel in the timber.

  • Step 4. Mark for the other dowel holes

    An easy way to line up the dowel holes on each piece of timber is to use a dowel marker. These are the same size as the dowel and fit in the holes you have already drilled. Then line up your two pieces of timber, making sure they’re square, and tap them together with a hammer. This marks the timber at the point you need to drill.  Repeat this on all the pieces of timber and you’re ready to drill the rest of the dowel holes. 
  • Step 5. Join two pieces of timber together

    Put some PVA glue into the dowel holes and insert the dowels. Use the hammer to gently tap the dowel in place. Apply glue to the side of your second piece of timber with dowel holes. Place it onto the dowelled piece of timber and tap the pieces together with the hammer making sure it’s snug and the dowels are all the way in. Repeat the process for all the pieces of timber.

  • Step 6. Clamp the timber

    Now clamp the butcher block together with two clamps. This will keep the timber in position while the glue dries. Make sure you wipe off any extra glue and leave it to dry.

  • Step 7. Sand the cutting board

    Remove the clamps and sand back all of the surfaces. Use the 40 grit sandpaper first, then switch to a finer grade sandpaper, e.g. 240 grit, to round off the corners to create a nice, smooth finish. Wipe away any dust when you’re done.

  • Step 8. Oil the butcher block

    Use a rag or paint brush to apply food grade stain or oil to all surfaces of the butcher block. Wait for it to dry and lightly sand it. Apply as many coats of stain or oil as is necessary.

  • Step 9. Looking after your block

    The cutting board is finished and it looks great. To make it look brand new again after you’ve being using it for a while, all you need to do is sand it back and apply more oil or stain.

Tools and Materials


  • Clamps
  • Combination square
  • Dowel
  • Drill
  • 10mm drill bit
  • Dust mask
  • Earmuffs or earplugs
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Sander
  • Safety glasses


  • 90mm x 45mm x 2.4m F17 hardwood
  • 240 grit and 40 grit sandpaper
  • Disposable latex gloves
  • Food grade oil or stain
  • PVA glue
  • Rags

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our DIY videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member

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