How to Make an Olive Wood Cutting Board

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Introduction: How to Make an Olive Wood Cutting Board

I'm going to make this olive wood cutting board for my kitchen. As you can see, I've made it with end grain so it will be sturdier and more stable than if I had used face grain as are usually other cutting boards.

What you'll need:

8 olive wood blocks_60x60x350mm

Table saw

Wood glue

Clamps

Thickness Sander

Mobile devices:

More info:

Step 1: Preparing the Wood

I will use these olive wood blocks. As I said in previous videos, they come from pruning and clearing operations in the Mediterranean, where the trees are harvested for oil production. I'm going to make sure they all fit together perfectly and also make their best-looking surface face up.

I make all preparations and get hold of all the necessary materials and start applying glue. I'll also sprinkle some salt to stop the wood from moving when tightening the clamps because of the glue's viscosity.

There are special bar clamps for this purpose, but since I don't have any, I'll use this long kind, which can also exert a great deal of pressure. It's very important to ensure all surfaces are flat. This will save us a lot of work later. After leaving them to dry for eight hours, I remove the clamps and finish flattening the faces using a hand plane.

Step 2: Endgrain Olive Wood

I even out one of the edges with the table saw. This disc is not big enough, so I'll make two passes. And now I can cut all the necessary parts as shown. I'll make the board 50mm high, 450mm long, and 330mm wide.

Now's the time to decide how to glue the pieces together. I could every second one half a square. I don't think it would look bad. I could also flip some of them to achieve these grain patterns (third pic). But in the end, I decided to stick to the original form and have them fit together like this. I'm going to apply glue just like before, again, making sure the faces are flat.

Step 3: Using the Thickness Sander

Once dry, I remove any leftover glue with a chisel and now I use the thickness sander to make all the faces flat and perfectly straight. I've mounted P80 grit sandpaper on the drum. It's quite thick but still, I'll proceed slowly and make several passes. I made about ten on each face.

Everything seems to be okay, so now I'm going to even out the board with the table saw and make a couple of handles with this router bit. I mark the height and place a couple of stops that will make the process easier. I'll need to make three passes to make each handle.

Step 4: Final Steps

Now all that's left to do is sand all faces and edges with P120 grit and finally apply some pure linseed oil all over the board. It's important that the oil be pure, because some linseed oils you will find in the market are cooked and treated with toxic substances to make them dry faster.

We could also use mineral oil.As always, olive end grain looks impressive! This board will make a nice addition to my kitchen...

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    19 Comments

    Absolutely beautiful. I also loved your DIY sander and the bar clamps you used are also something I am interested in. Who makes them. I'm writing from Canada.

    bar / pipe clamps are at Princess Auto, Home Depot and Canadian tire. You buy the ends and screw them onto a length of pipe.

    I was just wondering what would be the consequences of using olive oil instead of linseed oil?

    Thanks for the tip re SALT--never heard that before and it should solve a truly pestiferous problem. Unfortunately, these days it is probably neccessary to make a DIY board: those on the market today are generally poor, made with face-grain lumber that wears and warps very quickly (the old super-hard, super-tight-grained ROCK maple seem to be i very short supply. Sadly I have no access to olive--but I DO having a whacking great slab of teak. Do you think that would work?

    hi! as I said in the video, they come from pruning and clearing operations in the Mediterranean, where the trees are harvested for oil production. I am from Spain where it is easy to find, where are you from?

    USA. And it is not easy to find here. So I have to pay a higher price anyway, which is why I buy it from Israel because the quality is really high

    But it is probably from stolen land and trees (West Bank / Palestine). Personally I won't support the Israeli occupation of Palestine. And this is not trying to make a political statement, it is about human rights. The Palestinians deserve to be treated as humans too. Illegal Israeli settlers (illegal according to the UN and ALL human rights groups) take the land and destroy the trees to feel empowered and demonstrate they are in control. I doubt it is all from "cutting and pruning" if purchased from Israel.

    hi John,

    of course, we should try to obtain wood in an honest, sustainable manner. The olive wood I use comes from southern Spain, where the oil producing trees are pruned yearly. It is also quite expensive compared to other sorts of wood, but it's worth it for small projects!