My favorite projects are the ones that I think about, set aside for a while, and come back to them. This was my first project that wasn't just a plain old striped cutting board or end grain. This is what began my experimentation with wood.
What you need:
Wood for your "bricks"
Wood for the "mortar"
Waterproof/Food safe glue
Table saw and Cross-cut sled
Spindle Sander (not necessary, but I used one in this project)
Random Orbit Sander
Time and Patience
Please use all appropriate PPE when working with wood.
Step 1: Your bricks
I chose maple for my "bricks" for no other reason except we had a ton of maple. I cut five 2" wide strips that were about 16" long. Set these aside while you cut the wood for your "mortar"
Step 2: Cut your Mortar
Using the thin rip jig my husband made, I cut 1/4" strips of cherry as my contrasting mortar pieces. I cut about 14, which was way too many, but they got used it other projects eventually.
Step 3: Pieces
Here are the two woods together. A subtle contrast.
Step 4: Line 'Em Up
Arrange your woods before applying glue. I like to lay them out like this. It make the glue application much easier.
Step 5: Apply Your Glue
I'm not endorsing the titebond brand. This is my personal preference as far as waterproof and foodsafe wood glues go. There are other options out there, find one that suits you best.
Apply a generous amount of glue to all your wood strips and spread. I like to use a silicone brush. They work great, they're cheap, reusable, and easy to clean (wash them out with water or wait for the glue to dry and just pull it off).
Remember, it is better to use too much glue than too little. You really only get one chance to glue.
Step 6: Arrange The Wood In The Clamps
After you apply the glue, arrange the "mortar" strips in between the "brick" strips and clamp.
Step 7: Remove From Clamps...
The glue should be set up in a half hour. Remove from clamps and send through the planer.
Step 8: Even up your ends
Using a cross cut sled, even up your ends.