As with all my instructables, I assume you have all the correct personal protective equipment---safety glasses, dust mask, ear plugs, etc. I also assume that you have some basic experience or training with woodworking and the associated tools. Make sure you read the operating instructions of the tools you use, so you understand how to operate them safely and effectively.
Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools
Also, you will need to have a square, some Titebond III glue, a bandsaw or jig saw, parallel bar clamps, an orbital sander, and a belt sander. You will also need a tablesaw to cut the wood into strips. Finally, you will need food-grade mineral oil for treating the cutting board.
Step 2: Decide Your Dimensions
Incidently, the cutting surface for my board will be the side grain of my lumber. I'll be cutting the boards from the store into 1.5 inch strips and glueing them together face to face. The face-to-face surfaces were already planed and therefore, don't need sanding or planing.
Step 3: Cut the Boards
Read the operating instructions that come with your table saw to understand all the safety features and recommendations. Wear your safety glasses and use some kind of push block or aide to move the wood through the saw. Be constantly aware of where you place your fingers.
Step 4: Glue Boards Together
Before you glue the boards, decide on the pattern or arrangement of the boards. You can google cutting boards to get several ideas.
Use Titebond III glue because it is waterproof. Lay some newspapers down under the clamps. Apply the glue liberally to the face of each board and then clamp them together. Excess glue will get squeezed out and go everywhere. I recommend taking a damp rag and wiping the excess glue off the boards. This will make the clean-up and sanding step a lot easier later. Hopefullly, the newspaper will catch a lot of the glue and keep it from getting on your work surface. Make sure the boards are all resting as level as possible on the clamp rails. They won't be perfectly even across the bottom or top surface. This problem will be solved when we get to the sanding step.
The last picture shows a different cutting board I was working on, but just wanted to show you what it looks like in the clamps once you press everything together tight. See how all the glue is spilling on top of my workbench? That's why I recommend laying down some newspaper.
Step 5: Square Up the Cutting Board
Step 6: Cut Off the Corners
I used a bandsaw to make my cuts. You could also use a jig saw. Read the operating instructions for your cutting tools and make sure the blades are sharp and everything is in good working order.
Step 7: Sand the Cutting Board
I own a portable Black & Decker belt sander (first picture) and a Ryobi belt / disc sander that rests on my bench. Both are inexpensive. The Black & Decker sander was only $50. For the cutting board in this instructable, I used the Ryobi belt/disc sander.
I prefer to do this sanding step outside. So, I pulled out my portable Workmate workbench and rested the belt/disc sander on it. It also helps if you have a fan that you can run to blow the dust away from you or use a dust collector if you have one.
Put on your safety glasses and dust mask and sand away. Initially, you want to get rid of cut marks and make everything smooth and level. After you accomplish the rough sanding, go back over it with an orbital sander. Use 120 grit, 220 grit, and 320 grit sandpaper. I like to take a paper towel and denatured acohol and rub that on the wood between sandings. It helps to clean away excess dust and raise the grain for subsequent sanding.
Step 8: Use Router to Round Off Edges
If you have a router and decide to use it, make sure you read the operating instructions and know how to use it.
Step 9: Finish Sanding
Step 10: Apply Mineral Oil
Go ahead and wipe away the excess oil and your board is finished. I would recommend letting the board set overnight before the first use. The mineral oil will help protect the board over time. I love how it really makes the woods' colors pop.
Step 11: Caring for Your Cutting Board
As the board gets cut up with longer use, you may elect to take it out to the sander and repeat the sanding steps from this tutorial. That will eliminate the cut marks and make your board like new.
Another option is to leave one surface alone. That way you always have an unmarred surface that you can display in your kitchen.
Good luck on making your own cutting board! I hope this instructable was helpful!