I was looking for a gift idea for an upcoming wedding. I wanted to make something a bit personal with some family attachment. I thought a cutting board would be nice especially since I had some wood from a barn from his Great great grandfather's farm. The barn was falling down and a company came in and reclaimed the lumber. They left some pieces that had too many nails or were of too low a quality for their purposes. The current owner invited me to pick through any remaining wood to see if there was anything I would like. I found a few walnut boards around 12 feet long 1 inch thick and 18 to 24 inches wide. I had those available so I thought it would be nice to make a cutting board from part of the original homestead.
Step 1: Material Required
For this project you will need:
Tape measure and Square
Orbital Sander with 80 and 120 grit paper
Drill and bits
Sand paper 220 grit
Peanut oil or mineral oil (In case of Peanut Allergies)
Step 2: Layout the Cutting Board
I wanted to make the board about 12" x 10". We have one that size and it comes in very handy. I was able to find a clear section on the piece of lumber that would work. After studying the lumber a little, I realized I could put a simple handle on the board to give it a little character. I worked around the splits, nails and defects and was able to pencil out an outline. On the corners I used a round guide to draw in a radius.
Step 3: Cut the Board
I used a Sabre Saw to cut out the board. I could have made much nicer, straighter cuts using other equipment, but the intention of this project was to give it a rustic, homemade look. The saw did a nice job of cutting it out and gave the project a little more character.
Step 4: Rough Sanding
I used the orbital Sander with 80 grit paper to do the edges and clean up the radius areas on the board.
The wood was a little warped. I used the Belt sander to flatten out the board. I used an 80 grit paper. On one side I sanded additional material off the outside edges and worked it flat. On the opposite side, the center was high and I had to sand a little more off that to get it nice and flat. After I was finished the board was now about 3/4" thick, but look very nice.
Step 5: Finish Sanding
I used an orbital Sander with 80 grit paper to go over the entire surface of the board. I then put a slight radius on all of the edges to give it a more finished look. Once I was satisfied with that, I switched to 120 grit paper and went over the entire surface and edges again.
Step 6: Drill the Hole in the Handle
In order to hang up the cutting board, I drilled a 5/16 hole in the handle. I drilled a smaller hole first and then drilled it to final size. After drilling the hole, I used a countersink to make a tapered finish.
Step 7: Detail Sanding
After the hole was drilled and countersunk it was time to do the final sanding. I used a piece of 220 grit paper and sanded the countersunk area. I also hand sanded the edges, radius areas and flat surface of the board. When finished the board was very smooth and brought out the character of the wood.
Step 8: Finishing
There are a couple of different oils you can use to finish the cutting board. From what I read, you do not want to use vegetable or olive oils. They can become rancid over time. I have treated other cutting boards and I always use Peanut Oil. You do have to be make sure the end user does not have a peanut allergy! I understand there are food grade mineral oils and special butcher block oils that can be used.
I put 3 coats of oil on this board. It was a simple matter of pouring some on the board an rubbing it in with a clean soft cloth. After the last coat, I rubbed it with a clean cloth to remove any excess. The oil really darkened it.
Step 9: Finished!
The cutting board has a rustic feel to it that matches the history and character of the lumber it was made from. Hopefully it makes a nice gift and is used for many years. I also made a Instructable for some matching wooden spoons out of the scrap edge cut off the board.
I hope you enjoyed this project and thanks for looking.