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Get a Hardwood Cutting Board Kit

The tutorial below shows you one way that you can make a cutting board using our exotic wood kit:

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1. Cut Some Strips

In this video, we started with an assortment of boards in various widths but each one 20″-or-so long

  • 3 boards of walnut
  • 2 boards of mahogany, and
  • 1 board of hard white maple

So we cut each board into strips 1-1/4″ wide.  This dimension will become the thickness of the cutting board – so you can choose a different dimension if you want. 

Then we selected a few of those strips and ripped them into thinner strips, but rotated them to maintain the 1-1/4″ width. Therefore, some strips were 1/4″ x 1-1/4″ or 3/8″ x 1-1/4″. Somewhere in there. It’s not a critical how thin you rip them. The thinner strips simply provide a little bit of visual interest in the final project. 

2. Arrange Strips in a Pattern You Like

Then we lined up the strips and arranged them into a pattern. 

Once we settled on the arrangement, we used a felt-tip marker to strike an X across the project. That gives you a queue or a line to keep each piece in the right position, just in case they somehow get out of order. 

3. Glue It Up

We then separated the cutting board into two sections and glued each section separately. This was just to keep the project manageable since there were so many strips. We thought two sections were easier to manage than one. 

Use Titebond II, and spread the glue on each piece to get full coverage. Then clamp it up, and use one clamp every 8 inches or so. 

The pieces are going to slip around. That’s normal, if not frustrating. But just go with it, and do your best to keep them as flush as possible

4. Plane It Smooth

If you don’t have a planer, you can use a handheld router. You’ll need to make a carriage and sled, and use as large of a straight or mortising bit as you have. Search YouTube for “router planing sled” and you’ll find a handful of tutorials.

This procedure will also determine the final thickness of the project. Even though we ripped our strips to 1-1/4″, the cutting board final thickness ended up at 1-1/16″.

And that’s okay. 

5. Cut To Size + Give It Shape

We used a template to make a curve on the two ends of the cutting board. You can do the same, or you could choose to make a totally different shape. 

The trick, though, is to use a template (unless you just cut a rectangle on your table saw). You’ll most likely need to spend some time making the template, and shaping it to perfection. Then trace the template onto your cutting board, rough out the shape with a jigsaw or bandsaw.

Then use double sided tape to affix the template to the workpiece and use a flush trim router bit to trim it. It’s a slick procedure, and once you learn the technique you’ll return to it over and over on more projects in the future.   

Likewise, use a router to shape the edges. We used a 3/8″ roundover which is about as simple as it gets. 

6. Sand It + Oil It

We sanded every side of the cutting board starting with 100 grit, then 120, 150, 180, and 220 to make it baby-bottom smooth. 

We applied Howard’s Cutting Board Oil by drenching it and letting it sit for 20 minutes. Then applied a little more, and let that sit for another 20 minutes. 

Then we wiped off the excess oil.

And that’s it! Cutting board is ready to use. 

More Cutting Board Tips

  • Don’t soak a hardwood cutting board in water
  • Wipe it with a damp sponge after each use
  • Sand and re-oil when it starts to show some age (about every 6 months)

 

Vice President of Operations – Woodworkers Source
We’re a family-owned lumber & woodworking supply retailer with 3 delightful stores in Arizona, and 35 friendly employees.
Mark oversees the company and creates tutorials on wood finishing and woodworking tips for hardwood lumber.


Discussion, Questions & Answers


  • SteveinSedona

    I’m trying the technique with scrap wood (pine) before using the good stuff. I find when i try to cut the1/4 in strips, they come out ragged because I can’t keep the wood flat to the table. I use a push stick & featherboard, but there’s not enough wood to safely keep it flat. I end up using a belt sander to smooth the rough surface. Any thoughts?

    • Pine can be a little dubious, it just doesn’t saw as nicely as something with more density and less pitch. Especially depending on the kind of blade you’re using. So, first I suggest you be sure you’re using a ripping blade to make this cut. Second, I wouldn’t sand the pieces. That might fix the rough areas, but it’ll introduce new problems (rounding of the edges and/or weird inconsistent thicknesses) If you do need to clean up the rough surfaces, best practice is to knock them smooth with a hand plane. That is if you don’t have a drum sander or a planer. Check out this tutorial on making a little jig to help you plane thin strips by hand.
      http://www.finewoodworking.com/2015/12/17/a-jig-for-planing-super-thin-parts

      • SteveinSedona

        Thank you. I’ll try it

  • Phoebe

    Hi, you shared a great tips for us. This is highly important for such a beginner.

  • I work in the woodworking industry and I will say that these 6 simple steps really useful for beginners.