Butter Dishes

Last year my mom hinted that she would like a wood butter dish. So I decided to make a batch for Christmas gifts. I found this design from WWGOA that I liked the look of but I didn't need to include a spreader and my mom specifically requested one with a cover. I also felt like the size was larger than necessary.

So I made up a 3D model and started shrinking the size down and added a cover and this is what I came up with. The base is birdseye Maple with Walnut legs. I did the joinery the same as in the linked design except I didn't leave space for the spreader. I used 2 part epoxy to glue the parts together to avoid any issues with movement due to moisture since it will live in a kitchen environment. The epoxy is a bit more elastic than wood glue and since the grain direction is the same for all pieces, it should never be an issue.

I fully intended to orient the grain different in the end pieces so I wouldn't have to chop the recesses that locate the cover out of endgrain. But, only after cutting them all to size and cutting the pockets out did I realize what I'd done. So, after splitting the grain on the first piece, I put them on my milling machine and removed the bulk of the material then pared to final depth after glue up. In hindsight, I'm glad I screwed it up because I like the consistent grain direction

The covers are Walnut and the 4 sides are joined with 1/4" box joints. The tops have rabbets cut to fit into the recess then are glued on the ends but not the sides to avoid any issues with movement due to moisture.

In the case of both the bases and the covers, everything was glued up and after curing, the angles were cut on my table saw. All 4 sides of the covers are sloped at 5 degrees as are the ends of the base. The sides of the base are cut at about 3 degrees.

After cutting in the angles, all that was left was a lot of sanding done by hand. I used sandpaper to round over all the edges and make sure none of the angles or joints was too harsh and that when picked up as it will be in use there were no sharp corners to dig into the hand. Everything was sanded to 320 grit and then they were finished with butcher block oil since they're for food service. And I gave my mom and my in-laws a bottle of the oil with cutting boards I made last Christmas so I know it's easy for them to renew it as needed.

I actually drew this one up so I thought I'd post it here for posterity.

Note that this is sized for butter east of the Mississippi.  My understanding is that butter sticks out west are different.  And who knows what furrin' butter looks like!  So check your butter sticks before following these dimensions!

Thanks for looking. Hope everyone had a good holiday! Comments and questions welcomed as always.


Damn you Yanks... even your butter is imperial!... Did you butter up your tape measure?

Gonna have nightmares thinking of breakfast sandwiches.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

i remember when you originally posted these. i loved the idea, got em on my to do list.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Thanks fellas.  I edited the OP to add my drawings should anyone want to make their own.
Those are still looking good Kenny. A great gift.

Main Street to the Mountains

Butter is different in the East?? Who knew?

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".


Butter is different in the East?? Who knew?

Not me until I went googling to see what the size of a stick of butter was!

No Bees. No Honey. Bees Lives Matter

We were just discussing the need to a butter dish. Now this one is on my project list!

Nice job!
Man I love butter (slightly salted) spread on some freshly baked bread or hot crumpets, but I digress.

You did a sterling job on that butter dish old boy and your design would grace the finest of tables. Also, good point about butter dimension variations. Although you can buy the butter I like in blocks, most people this side of the pond buy it in a plastic container these days. 

Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

We went through that plastic bucket craze here on the left coast years ago. Then someone decided fake fat is worse than real fat and butter made a comeback. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Oh it's the same butter Ryan whichever way you buy it. I wouldn't eat that margarine crap for love nor money.

Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

Too nice to be used just for butter. Good job !!!  Mike