The wonders of plywood seem ultimately limited in the stance of food related products and modern aesthetics. A sheet of plywood cut to size and oiled seems to easy and ugly for a cutting board. But, using the end grain as the cutting surface seems like a crazy idea. So that is what I set out to do. There is another instructable using this same basic idea with a vine rack, but this is a bit different than that.
Step 1: Choosing Plywood
Choosing your plywood will determine the end product look. This is 3/4" thick, 4 ply. That mean that it has 4 sheets of wood veneer glued together to make it 3/4" thick. Furniture or Marine grade plywood would be a better choice, but this was just an experiment.
Step 2: Cut Out Strips
For ripping the strips, you can use a bandsaw or a tablesaw. For your bandsaw, set the fench to about 7/8" from the blade. For the table saw, set the fence the same distance, 7/8", and the blade height at about 1". Rip about 15-20 strips, and make them as consistent as possible. You can do this by cutting swiftly and not stopping mid cut. I am also using a scrap piece of wood to help push them all the way out of the blade rotation so it doesn't shoot back and hit you.
Step 3: Glue Strips
First, lay out the strips and arrange them so the height of the gaps are as little as possible. This will make planing easier in the future. Next, gather up your clamps. Close them to a point where they will be able to clamp on your wood quickly but not with a hassle. It is also a good idea to do this all on a piece of wax paper. Now, lay the strips on there side, and apply glue. It is a good idea to put them all next to each other and apply to all at once. Be sure to leave one without glue, as this will be an end piece. Then, stack Them back the way you had them originally and clamp it loosely. Lay it on the wax paper and tap it with a mallet to flatten the strips, and tighten the clamps. Set it in the sun to dry.
Step 4: Plane and Trim
Using a block plane, shave until even on both sides about 1/16" each. This will add up to 1/8" in total to make the board 3/4" thick. Be sure to plane in the way of the majority of the grain, or in the words of the movie Surfs Up, "With the grain, bro, with the grain." Next, saw off the ends to have flat sides. I used an old saw from my grandfather. Then, sand the board at 100 grit to 220.
Step 5: Oil
Using walnut, linseed, or mineral oil, lather your board using your fingers, a sponge, or a rag. This should take about 15 minutes. Wipe off the excess, and let dry. After a couple of days, re-apply in the same way. You may want to do this about once every month or two. And that's it. Your done. Pretty easy, huh? If you liked this, or have any questions or critiques, comment and I will be sure to get back to you.