- Piece of nice hardwood. I think the piece I had was maple but I got it from a bargain bin so I'm not sure.
- Mitre saw.
- 1 1/8" Forstner bit.
- Belt sander.
- Random-orbit palm sander.
- Sand paper in 120, 22, 320, 400, 600grits.
- Butcher's block oil/wax.
- Bag-o-rags for applying/buffing the wax.
Step 1: Shape the Piece
Once I'd cut the ends, I used the belt sander to round all the corners. The tension in the belt gave the slight round on the long sides, which I like. The belt sander cuts very quickly so be careful you don't take away too much material. It's really easy to round over the edges of the long sides by hand using 120 grit or a file if you want to be cautious.
Once you have the shape you want, use a drill press and a Forstner bit to cut the finger hole. It's best to go slowly and keep backing off the cut to let the shavings out. I used a sacrificial MDF board underneath since it reduced the amount of tear out.
Step 2: Sand Sand Sand
To sand the inside of the hole I did it by hand. First I used 120 grit to round over the edges of the hole and remove the burrs from boring the hole then I worked up through the grits. I'm not 100% happy with the result I got inside the hole, sanding dust tends to fill in all the little cracks while you're working, making it feel smoother than it is.
Step 3: Finish
- Apply a thick coat with a rag, especially on the ends, which will soak up the wax.
- Let it soak in the wax for 20 mins.
- Wipe off the excess.
- Buff to a shine.