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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I planned to make a friend some wood kitchenware as sort of a house warming gift, and I know she needs a cutting board among other things. I've done a fair bit of research, and it seems like it's not a task that can be taken lightly to do it right.

I saw nice cutting board design that I wanted to make, it was a staggered hard maple (like bricks) with a walnut border all the way around. I just have some questions about how I would go about trying to make something like that.

1) what tools would I need? I've heard that power and hand planers don't work well with end grain and can cause some splintering, and that a drum sander would be ideal, but most people don't have a drum sander in the house. I have a table saw that I was going to use to square up the ends, and routers to round the ends and make some kind of a hand hold, as well as several types of power sanders if a planar won't work to flatten the cutting surface.

2) is end grain a necessity, or could I make it out of long grain? If using long grain, would a planer be a plausible tool to true up the cutting surface? Also if using long grain, should the grain all be running the same direction, or is it okay to make the walnut border run perpendicular to the hard maple?

3) what's an ideal width? I was going to buy 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 18" blanks, so if using long grain, it would be a bit under 1 1/2 " after sanding, or if using the end grain, I was thinking 1". My friend wants it to be ~13x11, but I figured I would let the wood designate the size more than me picking a specific size beforehand.

4) How high of grit should I go up to? I always work my way up from 80, all the way up to 600 when turning things, but I'm not sure if that high is necessary for a cutting board.

5) what's the best glue and finish to use? I was going to go with titebond III to glue it all together, and finish it with mineral oil, and possibly bees wax if the mineral oil isn't enough.

edit: one more thing, where's the best place to get wood blanks for a project like this? I was going to order from bellforest products, but I haven't really looked around yet.
 

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My favorite board for general food prep is 11X14. A wedding present 12 years ago made by a good friend. Walnut and maple strips. I have several sizes for different tasks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks so much Kenbo, great tutorial and excellent thread! :)
My only remaining question really is how high of a grit do you go to when hand finishing?
 

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thanks so much Kenbo, great tutorial and excellent thread! :)
My only remaining question really is how high of a grit do you go to when hand finishing?
If this will be a "working" board namely actually used for cutting, then you will likely finish with either wax, wax+oil or just oil. No need to go higher than 220. You can go higher, but after initial use it will not matter.

I have made many cutting boards, few get used for cutting. I have made one end grain board. It is a lot more effort.
You should re-check the blade to be parallel to the fence and to be exactly 90 deg to the table. I did not re-check and after cutting glued up assembly into the strips and turning them I found a slight variation which showed in the board. This turned out to be a tiny error in the bevel.

You can make very attractive face grain cutting boards which will be treasured like an end grain board. Examples for inspiration.
This side was intended to be for cutting. Not sure if this happened.

Craftsman_board_top_oiled_web.jpg

This was completed yesterday. Three different curves, one for the bottom, different for the top and different again for the sides. A couple of bowties for some visual interest.

Decorative_board_after_finish_angle_view_1744.jpg
 

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I made this for my NIL when he graduated culinary school.

Made of hard maple and measuring +/- 32" x 22" it's perfect for meisenplace and he's enjoying it immensely.

It provides a large cutting surface and the stainless receptacles hold ingredients and spices after chopping etc.

A standard baking sheet slides between the runners on the front and back so waste can be scraped onto it.
 

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I made this for my NIL when he graduated culinary school.

Made of hard maple and measuring +/- 32" x 22" it's perfect for meisenplace and he's enjoying it immensely.

It provides a large cutting surface and the stainless receptacles hold ingredients and spices after chopping etc.

A standard baking sheet slides between the runners on the front and back so waste can be scraped onto it.
I like the board. :thumbsup:

Where did you get the small stainless receptacles?
 

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You may be in for some trouble on the upper board. The end pieces are a classic cross grain construction. This type of construction will cause the board to warp and/or become damaged. The main part of the board will want to expand and contract with changes in the moisture content. The end pieces will be trying to prevent this movement and something always loses. It's a basic rule of construction the never have a solid board running across the grain unless you use a construction method that allow free wood movement.

As much as it may pain you, I suggest you cut off the end pieces so the board can freely expand and contract.
 

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I too would like to make some cutting boards. The trick that I'm wondering about is using a round nose bit along the inner sides. It would look like a channel. Would I want to use it on a table, build a mold on the inside of the board to follow? Then I would round over the edge. Also what would be the best glue to use. Woodcraft has sets of hardwood to make the cutting boards out of and oil, so that is where I would want o buy my glue and oil.



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image-3802772341.jpg
 

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I too would like to make some cutting boards. The trick that I'm wondering about is using a round nose bit along the inner sides. It would look like a channel. Would I want to use it on a table, build a mold on the inside of the board to follow? Then I would round over the edge. Also what would be the best glue to use. Woodcraft has sets of hardwood to make the cutting boards out of and oil, so that is where I would want o buy my glue and oil.
I purchased a couple of the Woodcraft kits and cannot recommend them.

The woods are a mix of dense woods good for cutting boards, and softer woods not so good.

The pieces may have cracks, knots or be warped. I was selective in the pieces I used. I was trying to save time to make some boards on a short notice.

I would have been disappointed if I had needed to use all the pieces. I would not have been happy with the resulting board.

If you get the kit I hope you have better luck than I had.

The challenge with the juice groove is making a template for the router to follow, especially to get the sharp radius on the corner. Practice on a piece of scrap plywood of the same dimension. You may need to tweak your template a couple of times.
 

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Dave Paine said:
The challenge with the juice groove is making a template for the router to follow, especially to get the sharp radius on the corner. Practice on a piece of scrap plywood of the same dimension. You may need to tweak your template a couple of times.
Creating the template, would you have a peace of wood in the middle of the cutting board, then plunge your router down following the template? Thanks
 

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Creating the template, would you have a peace of wood in the middle of the cutting board, then plunge your router down following the template? Thanks
Yes, if you do not have a bushing guide for the router, you would make a template for the outside of the router to follow. This is easy for square shape, but it takes some iterations to get the corner shape correct for your board. The radius on the template needs to be smaller than you may think.

I messed up my first and only attempt. I gave up on the juice grooves. I know what I would need to do to create a groove, but I do not feel it is worth the effort.
 

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Dave Paine said:
Yes, if you do not have a bushing guide for the router, you would make a template for the outside of the router to follow. This is easy for square shape, but it takes some iterations to get the corner shape correct for your board. The radius on the template needs to be smaller than you may think.
I'm pretty new to the fancy woodworking, so thank you for your time and help.

I own a set for making designs and a set for making signs with my router. Both of these are put out by Craftsman. I think they gave me what you are referring to a bushing guide. I have attached a picture of the sets I own and what I'm calling a bushing guide. Am I right? Thanks.

I don't own the first set but do own the other two. Would the first be a good investment?

image-2175262646.jpg




image-3287058804.jpg



image-350806645.jpg
 

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When I do my boards I use titebond3. And for the juice trough I put the board on my work table and put pieces of wood on the outside of the board which are taller than the cutting board as a guide for the router. It does take a little bit of measuring to get your groove where you want it.
 

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HowardAcheson said:
You may be in for some trouble on the upper board. The end pieces are a classic cross grain construction. This type of construction will cause the board to warp and/or become damaged. The main part of the board will want to expand and contract with changes in the moisture content. The end pieces will be trying to prevent this movement and something always loses. It's a basic rule of construction the never have a solid board running across the grain unless you use a construction method that allow free wood movement.

As much as it may pain you, I suggest you cut off the end pieces so the board can freely expand and contract.
Hi Howard,

Your post followed one of mine but wasn't addressed to anyone in particular.

Was it meant for me?
 
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