Has anyone used Blockhead Blocktops?

wi-sailorgirlOctober 16, 2012

I've gotten quotes from several butcher block manufacturers for a walnut top to replace our poorly constructed small maple island top. The disparity in price is rather shocking. Blockhead Blocktops of Michigan came in the lowest followed by the Hardwood Lumber Co. Glummer.com, Boos, Craft Art and a local company were all two to three times higher than the others.

I'm wondering if anyone has gotten a butcher block from Blockhead. There are lots of mentions of them that come up in searches, including one bad customer service experience from several years ago, but I couldn't find any pictures from anyone who actually used them. So if you have, can you comment on quality, etc. and share pics if possible?

I did see lots of comments and photos from people who used Hardwood Lumber Co. And they all seem to be positive, but they did come in $150 higher than Blockhead.

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2LittleFishies

I looked for this many times : ) There are a couple of people here that used them but I don't know if they are around anymore.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg031056147042.html?11466

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 11:35AM
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2LittleFishies

Also, I did speak to the gentlemen who runs blocktop a couple of times. Very informative and seems like someone I'd do business with... However, it was more convenient to use our cab maker so I can't really give any real feedback.

Good luck : )

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 11:39AM
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wi-sailorgirl

Thanks so much for that link, 2LittleFishies ... for some reason I never found that post in my search (I'm wondering if I don't do the searches right or something because sometimes I know I've seen a post but can't find it in any search). Sounds like that's at least one happy customer. I sort of like the idea of supporting a small shop.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 12:03PM
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lambsear1

I have one of their walnut countertops on a cabinet that is not a main serving area. The finish is sprayed on. If you are putting in on an area that gets alot of use I would go for the oil finish. This way you can touch it up when needed.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 10:33PM
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wi-sailorgirl

Thanks for weighing in lambsearl! I was planning to do the oiled finish regardless of who we went with. That's what we have on our maple island now and I really like the ability to sand it down and re-oil when necessary.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 12:07AM
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2LittleFishies

Thanks, lambsear1! I am not thinking of using them anymore but several here have asked about them so if you'd be able to share you experience with them (customer service, workmanship, if they were on time with your top) that may be helpful to others on GardenWeb. And of course any photos would be great too : )

Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 7:59AM
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wi-sailorgirl

I just wanted to circle back to this post. I did end up ordering from Blockhead Blocktops and our walnut island counter arrived today. It's absolutely beautiful. A touch rough in a couple spots which is no big deal at all to me as I'll reoil it with a high grit sandpaper before we install it and that should take off any rough bits. I had to make a change to it a few days after we ordered and he was very nice about making that change. It ended up being very quick service, about a week after I made the change. I'll come back and post pictures when we get installed (which could be a few days because I want to repaint the base before we install it).

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 10:29PM
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breezygirl

Cool! I can't wait to see your walnut counter. I love mine so much. Post lots of pics!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 12:43AM
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wi-sailorgirl

I had to paint the leg portion of the island before we mounted the new walnut top so I'm just now following up with a picture. Sadly it's a pretty pathetic shot taken with my iPhone when the kitchen was a mess (hence the tight crop). I'm so happy to have my island back. It was only three days but I never realized how we have basically no useable counter space in our kitchen without the island. The island is also a little shorter (about 34") which I (as a vertically challenged person) find so much more comfortable to work on. Love the top. It will tide me over until we can fix up the rest of the kitchen.

We got the pencil edge which ended up being a little larger of a radius than I expected but it looks nice.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 11:51PM
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2LittleFishies

Looks beautiful! Thanks for following up : ) How thick is your top?

Our island will also be 34" : )

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:03AM
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eam44

It is beautiful!!! Do you chop on it? Can you share the detailed specs of size, thickness, cut, and would you be willing to give an idea of the cost? Thanks. Your kitchen looks fantastic!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:24AM
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wi-sailorgirl

We replaced a maple edge grain butcher block that I think was a homemade jobber (it came with the house). It had a lot of butt joints and a frame around it (the mitered corners were separating because of the expansion of the wood). It was about 2.5 inches thick. We ended up getting a 2-inch thick walnut top purely to keep the cost down. Adding a half inch really increases the price! While I prefer the look of the thicker top, I'm fine with this one.

It's 34x38 inches which sounds small (and it is compared to most islands I guess) but like I said, it is unbelieveable to me how lost I was without it. We went for an oiled finish, which is what we had on our last island. We almost never cut on the old one (and this is so beautiful I'll have a hard time doing that) and pretty much always use an Epicurean cutting board (my favorite brand). But food does sort of spill off the board onto the block and we scrap it into a pan or something, which is why I really like the idea of a surface that CAN take cutting/scraping/food contact if needed.

I like that if you do get a stain, water ring or a cut mark that you don't want to look like you can just do a little sanding and reoiling. Much less stress about keeping it beautiful when you know you can easily fix it. It did come oiled, but it's amazing to me how much oil (I prefer Boos Mystery oil) it continues to suck up. That photo was taken with three coats of oil put on at home and it needs more. I think one or two more coats will probably do it for the initial oiling and then we'll go to a maintenance schedule on it.

It was about $400 including shipping.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:15AM
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