Who doesn't love cheese! With such a wide variety of flavour, colour and texture cheese is one of the worlds most decadent foods that is always a staple at family events or social get togethers. You can pair it with veggie's, wine, beer, meat or just about any cracker of choice.
Now if you love cheese in all its glory you know that the presentation of the cheese spread is just as important to the cheeses them selves. A well balanced flavour blend along with salty and sweet sides gives the cheese tray or board some character but what really impresses everyone is what you are putting the cheese on. Cheese is pricey so why would you serve in on anything other than a beautiful hand crafted Cheese Board with a hand crafted Cheese Knife.
I made this Cheese Board and Cheese Knife for a friends wedding as a gift but it was so easy and looked SO GOOD I made myself another one which I use as often as possible because I really don't need a reason to eat a bunch of cheese. In this instructable I will go through the steps to make a wonderfully beautiful rustic looking but very professional cheese board and cheese knife using only hand held tools.
Hand Held Tools Needed:
Hand Held Belt Sander with 60-80 grit
Sandpaper 125 grit
Food grade Mineral oil - available at wood working store
Food grade bees wax - available at wood working store
1 pc. Hard Wood Plank/Board - I used birds eye maple because its non toxic and has wonderful grain.
Step 1: Getting Basic Shapes
The first step in the process of making the cheese board and cheese knife is to get your basic shapes down.
Step 1 - Select a nice piece of hard wood that is non-toxic to use as your wood for the project. I used Birds-eye maple because it has an "eye" catching grain ( sorry if that was cheesy) The board I used is 4' long by 6" wide but 1.5" thick.
Step 2 - Mark the board at 15" and 19" from one end. This will give you a cheese tray that is 15" x 6" x 1.5" and a handle that is 4" long. Now mark the board 2" from other end or cut end, this will become the knife portion of this project. Cut all pieces
Step 3 - Draw a center line and mark out the handle on the 4" section. Keep things simple and square because we will shape the handle through sanding. Now on the 2" x 6" x 1.5" piece draw out a knife shape that fits the piece nicely.
Step 4 - Cut out the handle and knife then drill a hole in the knife handle
Step 2: Sanding
The sanding portion is where the cheese board and knife will start to take shape and look like a professional made it.
Step 1 - Using a belt sander with a grit of 60-80 ( Very Course) flip it upside down and turn it on so it stays on. I use the belt sander because it will remove a lot of material quickly and well,,,I don't own any table sanders. With the sander upside down begin working the hard edges off the handle of the board. Keep sanding until you reach the desired shape of handle you want. From there move on to the edges and sides of the cheese board.
Once you are happy with the cheese board shape you can do the same sanding and shaping for the cheese knife.
Step 2 - switch to the palm sander with a grit of 150 - 200 to give the boards a smooth sanding
***Pro-tip - Make sure you are perfectly even for all sanding so the board and knife are symmetrical. double and triple check all sides of the board while sanding to make sure you don't go too far.***
Step 3: Staining, Sealing and Handle Grip
Staining and Sealing is quick and easy while making all your work so far stand out and look amazing.
You'll need food grade oil as well as food grade beeswax. I used a "pure" colour or natural colour for this wood because I didn't want to take away from the natural colours of the wood.
Step 1 - Using a credit card apply the oil to the board and spread evenly. Use a foam brush to apply the oil to the edges if needed. Wait 15 minutes then wipe off as much oil as possible with a paper towel. Repeat this process with the cheese knife.
Step 2 - Using a folded paper towel dip it into the bees wax and coat the cheese board and knife with an even layer of wax. allow to sit for 10 minutes then using a paper towel wipe clean.
Step 3 - Now its time to add some creative detail that will make this cheese board truly custom. Get twine and attach it to the handle then secure it with super glue.
For the Knot - To wrap the handle with twine first start with a loop with a large tail end, then wrap the twine starting with at the end closest to the bend in the loop around the handle. once you have reached the desired length take your main line and feed it through the original loop. Now pull the tag end of the loop downward which pulls the loop and the main line underneath the wraps which holds your handle wrap tight. Secure the twine with a few drops of super glue and allow to dry.
Step 4 - add small amounts of beeswax to the twine and rub it in then allow to dry and wipe off excess.
Step 4: All Done !
And that's it ! you have a beautiful Cheese Board and Cheese Knife though id recommend letting it cure for 24 hours before you start chopping cheese on it just so any residual oil or wax can be absorbed.
Now I made this as a gift for a friend so I went further with this project to make it more of a wedding worthy gift. I added a printed logo with their wedding colours and made a package with some cheese related jams and other items. I placed everything into some small baskets and wrapped then entire thing in cellophane wrap when I gave it to them
I hope you liked my instructable and if you want to feel free to vote :)