This Christmas my partner and I were a) very short on cash and b) feeling pretty crafty, so after some deliberation we decided to try something new and make a handful of end-grain cutting boards (or butcher-blocks) for friends and relatives. I'll admit, this project took a lot more time, money, and work than either of us expected, but on the other hand - they look more beautiful than we could have hoped! Plus, we had a blast spending time with each other making some special gifts that will last a lifetime. This is my entry to the 'Handmade Gifts' contest, so please vote if you found this helpful, inspiring, pleasing, or whatever.
I won't make this a full tutorial, as this is not a complicated project and there are already several great guides here on instructables, but here's a quick rundown (as well as some commentary and tips on the photos) -
We sourced a majority of the wood from a little family-owned place outside of Salem, Oregon called Hardwood Components. It's all Northwest-grown hardwoods, we chose some black walnut, white oak, wild cherry, and sugar/rock maple. The 'Big Cutting Board' is made with quilt maple and spalted ash, donated by my uncle. Remember, stick to hardwoods for cutting boards, maple is a safe choice. We took these to my uncles wood shop to rip and plane the pieces square. These squared strips were glued side by side into a laminated board. When this was dry we planed it and crosscut strips off the ends to laminate for the cutting boards. The purpose for this was to keep the batch-construction simple, you can avoid juggling little blocks of wood when gluing because you're only ever working with longer pieces. We added a mitered hardwood band for aesthetics and strength (no need to worry about breaks along glue joints when it's framed in walnut or oak), some decorative woodburning, and plenty of mineral oil to finish and protect them.
I hope you enjoy looking through the build process, and I especially hope I can teach you something new and inspire you to do something similar. Thanks for looking!