Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

Last time you saw the island, it had only a countertop and a stud wall to house electrical and support the bar top.


At roughly 9 1/2 feet long, we couldn’t get a natural stone long enough.  To avoid having a third and completely different counter, we chose 2 inch thick hard rock maple.  Same as the butcher block, but we chose wider planks for a more custom look.


Before assembly could start, Ben first had to square up the edges by running them through the table saw.  For a super smooth finish, a few passes through the planer before joining the boards together.  Letting the glue set for several days, then sanding the boards.


Most maple doesn’t have crazy grain.  We found one piece that has really interesting details.  Luckily, the two top boards blend together almost seamlessly.  Do you spy the joint in the photos below?


Obviously, we chose a waterfall edge.  To adequately support the overhang, we needed something at the ends.  Weighing our options, we tossed out the idea of corbels, a post, or brackets.  Extending the maple down, creating legs, felt like the best fit.

Attaching the sides was pretty painless.  A few screws through the end studs is all it took.



The top is also screwed to the wall top, but to keep the ends rigid, Ben recessed four screws.


Four walnut plugs fill those holes, giving a little accent.


Once we wrap the island in American Walnut, the two woods will tie together.  Drawer fronts seem like such a novel idea right now.



The sides and back will also get the royal walnut treatment.


Now I’m on a quest to find the perfect finish for everything.


I’ve got five or more products I’m sampling, testing the color, durability, and retouching abilities.

12 thoughts on “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

  1. I *love* the walnut plugs in the butcher block! What a great idea! Is the whole island going to be wrapped in that or painted white?

  2. Did you add the stone to your dining table, too? Did I miss that? Either way, love it! And the waterfall maple is just gorgeous!

  3. i love the waterfall bar. we have a waterfall wrapped island (in soapstone) that I would love to add a bar height waterfall like what you’ve done here. We’re not woodworkers by any means, but this seems simple enough. a few questions- what is the depth of the maple on your bar/waterfall? and did you special order it or where you able to pick it up from a local lumber yard? same with the walnut? also, is there a specific reason you didn’t just use solid walnut? maybe price? I know walnut is super pricey.

    1. Hello Robyn!

      Ooh, love the soapstone waterfall! The maple is 18 inches deep. We bought maple boards from a local lumber yard and joined them together at home. A cabinet shop can do this, too. The walnut we used is 1 inch thick solid, that we pieced together to create the panels. We’ll have to do the same thing for the fronts.

      I hope that answers your questions, but I’m happy to answer more if necessary.


  4. Hello! Amanda
    I love what you’re doing. I’m curating ideas/plans to begin my home dry bar project and want to do a waterfall top. Question. Is the waterfall top anchored to the floor? I want a sturdy construction, but do not want to drill through my floor at this time.


    1. Hello Kenya!

      Aww, thank you! Ben is really concerned about everything being able to hold up to a quadruped sitting/standing/running into it. That’s kind of an exaggeration, but it is secured to the floor with two screws. Are you doing this attached to a cabinet? If you can secure it to a cabinet, you can skip the floor screws. 😀 Let me know if you have more questions!


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