I am installing a wall-to-wall desk in my office, which wraps around on one side.

One side is 10'-9", and the other is 3'-8".

The material is two lengths of oak butcher-block:

  • 8'-2" x 25" x 1-1/8"
  • 6'-2" x 25" x 1-1/8"

I see the need for two joints:

  1. Joining the 8'2" piece with a 2'7" piece to span the 10'9" wall
  2. Joining the two lengths in a diagonal corner

What are the best joints for these? I am installing the counter top using brackets so there will be no legs.

enter image description here

  • I presume the 8'-2" is the longest you can get?
    – Jack
    Mar 29, 2015 at 15:23
  • You will not want the joint where most of you work is done unless you use a mat as a writing surface. Otherwise I would not put those joints close together. Will the surface be sanded then finished, or will it be set prefinished?
    – Jack
    Mar 29, 2015 at 15:32
  • Jack has the answer, do not put the joint in a space where you want to write. That being said the 45 degree angle is the best. Do be warned, the angles will need to be dead on 45 degrees, otherwise one of the pieces will be too 'long.'
    – Some Guy
    Mar 29, 2015 at 16:23
  • Yes, 8'2" is the longest. It will be sanded and stained. But what kind of join works best? Half-lap miter for corner? Hidden dove tail for the edge join? I don't care what it looks like underneath, so would a mechanical solution work? Mar 29, 2015 at 17:15
  • I would use a mechanical fastener, either metal plates or wooden battens. That gives you some flexibility should you want to disassemble for whatever reason.
    – aaron
    Mar 29, 2015 at 20:04

2 Answers 2


The 45 miter will be your best bet into the corner. Aside from that, please do consider where you want your joints carefully. I would keep them separated as much as possible, yet not in an area where I am going to work at, unless, you are going to sand and finish the top in place and you are certain that you can get the joint relatively flat and smooth. In my opinion, where you have drawn them on your sketch is too much in one place and will draw your eye to that place, not in a good way. Unless you are like me and there will be crap all over the place anyway.... Set the small piece on the other end, that is if it is not going to be a problem there for some other reason.

To join them, I would use 2 products.

Biscuits,  Biscuits and a type of countertop fastenerenter image description here

which I do not know the name of, but you get the picture :).

Glue is always good too.

I made a sketch when I first seen your post , I thought this was an idea too, but it may make the corner piece way too big....


  • Thanks, I think your ideas make perfect sense. I like the corner piece, although the difficulty gives me pause. It seems like it would add more seams as well. Is that a common design? Mar 30, 2015 at 2:43
  • Oh, I get it now. Longest available would be 8'2", which unfortunately leaves the corner too big. It's got me inspired to make it work, though. Thanks! Mar 30, 2015 at 2:55
  • It is kind of a take off I seen on other office desk designs that have a radiused inside corner. The extra joint I have added will not be detectable when done and sanded. The grain is running parallel in that edge, it will look like any other joint in all the whole top.
    – Jack
    Mar 30, 2015 at 2:56
  • Everything worked well. I did not glue, per @aaron's point about flexibility. It's also very stable. The join really only works because the top is very well supported underneath (using large triangle brackets). I most appreciate the feedback about the placement of the seam. It really did make a big difference, even in the stability. I did putty the seam and sand and stain. Looks beautiful. Apr 10, 2015 at 14:03

For wooden counter tops such as butcher block, a mitre joint will open and close with the seasons unless the room humidity is regulated (unlikely) to a precise level matching the 'humidty' of the butcher block when the mitre is cut. Otherwise, as the seasons change, the length of the counters will stay the same, but the widths (25") will change. Biscuits won't hold and counter top bolts will cause the butcher block to split along the length.

8-3" + 25" is just 6" shy of your room width.

Your best bet is a plain butt joint and creativity with the 6".

8-3" + 25" is just 6" shy of your room width.

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