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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really didn't know where else to post this...

I was interested in making cutting boards for gifts, but looking at prices online I don't know if its feasible to do so...

I was going to use hard maple and walnut.

Maple is $7.37 a board foot here and walnut is $10 a board foot...

I can get some pretty big cutting boards online for $40 bucks or so... Seems like it may be cheaper to buy them pre-made and then cut them up and make them end grain cutting boards?

http://www.timbernation.com/cmwBoard_PopUp.cfm

I can't believe the prices there.... I can't even get the materials for that here.

1-1/2"x14"x24"
Cherry Maple Walnut Cutting Board $56.00

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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I have some suggestions but I'm not sure if you want to go this route. (There is nothing wrong with this but it can be with it)
My suggestions are.
You can look locally like Craigslist and see is they have anything under materials or you can barter with people.
Or
maybe try getting some reclaimed wood or getting some wood pellets.
Reclaimed wood from old houses or an old wood can look nice and rustic when done right.

The other is actually driving somewhere to a wood store.
*i personally don't want to purchase wood from an online store. I want to physically pick out the wood and know what I am working with. The online store may have some flaws like a lot of knots or getting lumber with on it. These are the things I avoided when I buy wood.
 

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Cutting boards can be made easily from scrap. I recommend making friends with someone at a local cabinet shop who's willing to give away or sell scrap cheap. You only need straight, thin scraps 12" or so long. Glue and your planer will do the rest.

Also consider making friends with someone who does hardwood flooring. I know a guy here who is always happy to give me left overs that I use for small projects (boxes, toys, etc.). Nice thing about my flooring friend is that I get a neat variety of woods that I wouldn't otherwise get. While too short to make striped cutting boards, you can plane them, glue, and make end-grain cutting boards.

Also, if length is an issue, I sometimes make smaller "cheese boards" as gifts, and they're always appreciated.
 

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You are in a high priced area for eastern hardwoods----
If price is a consideration, store bought cutting boards will always be cheaper than home made.

Down here we can go direct to the mills and buy hardwood at a fraction of the cost---
 

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Key word in OP's Query

Gift. .. .."Here, Honey. I got this on sale, $14.95",= $14.95.
.
.
"Here Honey, I spent 2 weeks working on this, just for you. Don't worry about the cost. You're worth it!" = Priceless
 
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I've also had a lot of success with local cabinet shops. Most of them area looking to get rid of their cutoffs so I'll take the stuff nobody wants. If it's too small to even use on the lathe, I'll burn it. Oftentimes they are genuinely great guys who know I'm just a hobby guy and they'll hook me up with a board or two. It's never expected but still pretty great!

Curtis
 

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For me the decision would come down to if I have the tools and enjoy making the boards. If the answer is no, then I would personally buy them.

If the answer is yes, then it's worth it to make them.

This is just me though.
 

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Just going to keep this to the Pacific Northwest, we all know that's where it's at.

By the time eastern hardwoods make it to AK, you'd be just as well off to look at Asian stuff, probably closer. The shipping is the killer.

Alder and birch usually have really nice grain and color in the heart wood. Birch in particular would make good-looking cutting boards.
"local wood, yadda, yadda." Both of those are hard enough that you really have to beat the bejeezlies out of to mark them up to any degree.

I make kitchen prep tools, stirring spoons & forks, from birch.
About 70 so far. I am delighted with the carving and working qualities of birch.
 

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I suspect your best market may be to use your local woods, and produce boards to sell in ak. elimnate shipping to/from lower 48 in both cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the advice. I was afraid local lumber was going to be the suggested answer. so with that I guess I will just try to hit up some cabinet shops in town and see if they have some scrap hardwoods and if they're willing to part with some. :)
 

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Considering that all of those boards are face grain, the pricing isn't terribly off. Yes they are cheap, but you use a lot less material making face grain boards than you do making end grain, and theres also a ton less time involved. It's one glue up, send it through the planer, sand, and finish.
 

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Thanks for all the advice. I was afraid local lumber was going to be the suggested answer. so with that I guess I will just try to hit up some cabinet shops in town and see if they have some scrap hardwoods and if they're willing to part with some. :)
What timbers are grown locally , your native timbers ?
 

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Except for those totally unique items you'll see some of us make from time to time, everything that any of us make can be bought somewhere on line cheaper than what it ends up costing us in tools, materials, and time.

Are you doing this to save money? Then you best stop right now cause you never will.

Are you doing it because it gives you enjoyment and because those you give things to really appreciate a hand made gift? Don't ever complain about the cost, just have fun.
 

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Ah, MJ, you got it right! Alder is Alnus sp., birch is Betula sp., both genera are members of the Family Betulaceae.

If I ever got hot and steamy about making a cutting board or three, birch heartwood would be my first three choices. The guys in the Diamond Willow shop are fooling around making birch cheese boards = when they get a stick with good heartwood and the pale sapwood, very attractive.


I had a lot of Alder log pieces, 24" lengths and up to 8" diameter. The whole pile split really badly so I kept some for smoker BBQ duty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Birch is about the only usable wood here. We have spruce but it has so much sap it's really only good for burning.

The birch where I live is real small, I have to drive 300 miles or so to get any decent birch logs. I will post an ad on craigslist and see if anything comes of it.
 

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Ah, MJ, you got it right! Alder is Alnus sp., birch is Betula sp., both genera are members of the Family Betulaceae.

If I ever got hot and steamy about making a cutting board or three, birch heartwood would be my first three choices. The guys in the Diamond Willow shop are fooling around making birch cheese boards = when they get a stick with good heartwood and the pale sapwood, very attractive.


I had a lot of Alder log pieces, 24" lengths and up to 8" diameter. The whole pile split really badly so I kept some for smoker BBQ duty.
Some years ago I milled two birch logs into slabs for the club.
I still have a piece left
I had a couple of lumps of red alder too , and got a few bowls out of them.
I wish I still had some of that.
 

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maybe try getting some reclaimed wood or getting some wood pellets.
Reclaimed wood from old houses or an old wood can look nice and rustic when done right.
Suggesting pallets for anything that needs to be good safe is pretty irresponsible in my opinion. It's just a terrible idea.
 

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You could get some thin wood for the accents and use local for the main woods. Give it some color with less cost. USPS Flat rate box goes to alaska. If so 16 bucks is the shipping for about 5+ board ft(3" x 11 3/4 x 23 1/2). Try woodbarter.com
I send walnut and Big leaf maple thins all over the US.
 

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Alaska ,
have you got any on this growing in your area ?

Balsam Poplar.
A hardwood , its' used for
lumber, veneer, plywood short bolts, pulpwood, boxes, crates, food containers, interior furniture parts, agricultural implements, wooden ware,​
and cutting boards .
 
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