Introduction: Drunken Cutting Boards

Picture of Drunken Cutting Boards

This is my first cutting board. An interesting pattern emerges from the flowing "S" shape and works really well with the high contrast of maple and walnut.

Step 1: Taking Stock of Your Stock

Picture of Taking Stock of Your Stock

The process begins with two board that are the same thickness. In this case my lumber was 7/8 of an inch thick. I used Maple and Walnut because they are easily available to me and they contrast well with each other.

I then cut them to 9" in width and 14" in length. Both boards being the same dimensions is key to this project turning out.

Step 2: The First Series of S Cuts

Picture of The First Series of S Cuts

Double Stick Tape.

The two boards are joined with double stick tape and taken over to the band saw. Double stick tape is a shop staple. I use this stuff for everything!

The first of a series of S cuts

I just cut an "S" shape at the band saw and repeated the process 5 times. I tried to make them similar but not precise. A free form cut is sorta of what gives this project it's charm! Who ever heard of drunken precision?


There were some tool marks from the band saw, I *lightly* sanded them off at the drum sander. What you don't want to do is change the shape of the curve and ruin the mating of the two pieces.

Step 3: Getting Ready for Gluing

Picture of Getting Ready for Gluing

Alternate the pieces

Next, you can alternate each piece and glue up the boards with a cool wavy look. The original design called for 1/8 cherry strips between the waves (you can see them in the picture). That didn't work out well for me.

No, I don't want to talk about it...

Glue up #1

Alternate the pieces, add glue and apply clamping pressure. I ended up going with a couple of pipe clamps, but that was after a few false starts. I don't have a picture because I was in full panic mode at that point.

One one of the reasons this project takes so long is that there are 3 separate glue ups. Otherwise it's pretty simple.

Step 4: Rinse and Reapeat

Picture of Rinse and Reapeat


After the glue dries pass each board through the planer and get two parallel surfaces for joining together again with double stick tape.

A second series of S cuts

This time I swapped out blades in my band saw in hopes of making the process better. It wasn't a grand idea and I should have stuck with the first blade (3/16 4tpi) Look at those burn marks. LOOK AT THEM!

Glue up #2

Now, we alternate the boards again and glue up for a second time. Once dried you can sand them flat or use your thickness sander. I used the planer, but it can chip out some of the cross grain. Oh I need a thickness sander in the shop!!

Step 5: Who's Getting Tired of Glue Ups?!

Picture of Who's Getting Tired of Glue Ups?!

On to glue up #3!

Now we glue up for a THIRD time. This makes for a nice heavy cutting board about 1 1/2" thick. Of course this is not required. You could just add some rubber feet and end up with two great looking cutting boards. That was my original plan, but I decided it needed more weight to it.

Sanding & Handholds

I routed two hand holds with a 1/2 rabbeting bit and rounded the corners on the disk sander. Then it's on to the sanding. I sanded to 220 grit. Take your time and get the surface nice and smooth!

Step 6: Finish

Picture of Finish

I used mineral oil. Which is both extremely cheap and easy. Much like myself...

The original idea

I made a few changes from the original, but I would be remiss not to link to the post were I first saw this project back in 2009:


MosesG4 made it! (author)2016-03-20

I Made it and it was so fun and easy for how complicated it looks thanks for this I made it in school as I do WoodWorking as a subject and I added a metal handle that I made in MetalWork. I used Jarrah as it is what we grow around in South part of WA in Australia

MosesG4 (author)MosesG42016-03-20

Note* I was I dont have any photos of the Cutting board with the handle but its there and it looks good.

Watch me make (author)2015-11-22

I do not have a band saw yet do you think it could be accomplished with a jigsaw

petercantropus (author)2015-10-03

Awesome! What type of glue did you use?

The Asian in yourC (author)2015-08-17

Where did you get your double sided tape? Is there a certain brand you use that works better than another?

It's just carpet tape from the hardware store. Works great!

TheGreyWolfe (author)2015-07-10

This looks like a great first project for the scroll saw I picked up on craigslist recently.

If you have the dedication to do this on a scroll saw I'd be impressed! Good luck!

I've been playing with my scroll saw a bit, and had a lot of fun shaping a wood kazoo with it. I just got to wait to do this till I can get the glue, double sided tape, and most importantly the wood for it. I'm thinking of doing 2 at the same time, both about 1' square. I just wish I could find someone local to buy the wood from.

buck2217 (author)2015-06-30

That is very cool< but looks straight to me HIC!

kludge77 (author)buck22172015-07-02


DIY Andrea (author)2015-06-29

Beautiful work Peter, I love the looks and the thickness of that board!

kludge77 (author)DIY Andrea2015-06-30

thank you Andrea!

Omnivent (author)2015-06-29

A straight chess board and a bottle of Scotch is just as much fun ;-P ;)

Nice though, at first I saw the waves as a 3D topography of sorts and thought it would be hard to work with.

kludge77 (author)Omnivent2015-06-30

It plays with your head!

mikeasaurus (author)2015-06-29

After the first glue-up, I'm seeing a bacon cutting board :)

kludge77 (author)mikeasaurus2015-06-30

Bacon cutting boards! You know... we might have found our goose that lays the golden egg!

braytonlarson (author)2015-06-30

That's awesome looking! Nice job!

kludge77 (author)braytonlarson2015-06-30

thank you!

wells1784 (author)2015-06-29

Good looking cutting board.

kludge77 (author)wells17842015-06-29


tomatoskins (author)2015-06-29

I made a chess board back in high school using this same techniqe just on the table saw. That turned out looking great!

kludge77 (author)tomatoskins2015-06-29

How did you cut waves on the table saw? That sounds sorta scary. :)

Razor0787 (author)kludge772015-06-29

I think he meant that he used same technique except that he used a table saw, and that he made straight lines instead of waves. A wavy chess board would be kinda cool though. Especially if you gave the pieces a bit of a wave too. :)

tomatoskins (author)Razor07872015-06-29

Yes, exactly!

kludge77 (author)tomatoskins2015-06-29

Sorry for the brain lapse. I'm with you now!

Razor0787 (author)Razor07872015-06-29

By the way, cool project.

HollyMann (author)2015-06-29

Looks awesome!

kludge77 (author)HollyMann2015-06-29

thank you!

grannyjones (author)2015-06-29

All the wavy cuts were done on the BANDSAW. A great tool to have!

kludge77 (author)grannyjones2015-06-29

Agreed! I'd hate to do this with a jigsaw...

About This Instructable




Bio: Come spend some time in the shop. I'm a hobbyist woodworker and professional computer geek in Northern California. I guess my projects will vary ... More »
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