I am not fancy, I do not have a large shop with a large planer with fancy tools. I have to make do with what I have. Sanding a large butcher block area with a hand sander is not ideal, but it CAN be done.
I ordered two beautiful slabs of European Beach butcher block.
This is a very short and summarized explanation of how we joined the two together:
My step-dad, Brian, saved the day to teach me how to join the two together. We used a skill saw and track to cut off the sides we didn’t want use, then used a router to smooth out the two edges, we would be joining.
A biscuit joiner was used to join the two slabs together with a generous amount of wood glue. We let it dry and bam, we had a beautiful slab ready for sanding.
Brian is a seasoned woodworker, he gave me TONS of tips to be successful with this butcher block. When using a hand sander, it is almost impossible to make the sanding even, unless you use this method.
Once your butcher block is ready for sanding, take a pencil and color the entire thing with lines, or circles, whatever. When you sand, only sand enough to make the pencil marks disappear.
Repeat these steps 4 times! I used 80 grit for the first 4 times.
I don’t have pictures, but I used a chalk line to see if there were high spots in the wood. I was luck and didn’t find any.
Next I used 220 to smooth out the surface before taking 320 for my final pass through. Each time I used the pencil to completely cover the surface to ensure I sanded evenly.
At the end I gently rounded the edges.
Again I used the hand sander to finish the edges as well as the surface.
Sanded finish product! It is so smooth!
Good luck with your project!