Instructables
Picture of How to make a butcherblock cutting board
This is a description of how to make a simple butcherblock cutting board for your kitchen/apartment.
 
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Step 1: Get the parts

For this project you will need:
1. Glue: I used Titebond #3 Ultimate wood glue
2. Clamps: it can be done with 2 clamps, I used 24" Jorgesen clamps (#3724). Irwin clamps are also pretty good.
3. Wood! The most important part by far. Since this is a board that is going to have knives hitting it fairly regularly, using a hard wood is important. I used seven 2x2x20" red oak boards from Home Depot, who cut the boards to length for you. I think Loews has comparable wood. If you want a more expensive wood, walnut would work as well. Hard maple also looks very nice, and is considerably cheaper. I choose oak because that's what the local store had that day. The boards I got cost $40 altogether.
Note: Do not use tropical wood, as some people have allergic reactions to them. I personally have never seen this happen, but I have heard of it from two different people.
4. A decent power sander. This is helpful for smoothing the sides, top and bottom of the board after gluing. You can do this by hand using a sanding block, but it will take some time/effort.
5. A hand plane. You're going to need this to level the ends of the board, as the rough cut pieces of timber are not going to be exactly to length.

In addition to the above, a level work bench with good lighting and a wet cloth for wiping away excess glue are very helpful to have.
Great looking cutting board! I'll probably try doing something like this... I have some scrap 2x2 birchwood I could use. Birch is quite hard and mildly antiseptic, so it fits nicely to anything concerning food.
lemonie5 years ago
What sort of mineral oil - 25W?

L
jahg (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Probably. Just the stuff available from a pharmacy. There's no sae rating on the bottle I have. I think walmart sells it cheap.
lemonie jahg5 years ago
You are using heavy paraffin then (Pharmacy)? It would be advisable to be specific about the oil, as motor-oil should not be used on surfaces upon which food is to be prepared. L
msw100 lemonie2 years ago
always the smart ass, why do you always try to be so smart all you do is annoy everyone
lemonie msw1002 years ago
Yes, I've had a good education, there's no trying involved.
If you'd like an argument; justify "all you do is annoy everyone".

L
jdege lemonie5 years ago
A mineral oil and beeswax mix seems to be popular. It would probably seal the pores in the oak better than mineral oil alone.

http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/SkillsAndTechniques/SkillsAndTechniquesArticle.aspx?id=26893

One idea that might make it safer: mark one side of the board for cooked foods and the other for uncooked foods. Or better yet, make two. And, of course, wash before and after use.
lemonie jdege5 years ago
Thanks for the update! L
msw1002 years ago
Use ordinary vegetable oil to rejuvenate a chopping board
jreidy13 years ago
Red oak is an open pore wood, so while it's pretty, it's nearly impossible to seal. I'd recommend something denser like maple.

Also, instead of mineral oil, get salad bowl finish. I also use beffed carnauba wax to finish it up to a bright luster.

j
jdege5 years ago
I know that Ikea et al. have begun calling their edge-glued hardwood panels "butcherblock", but traditional butcher blocks were endgrain up. They were also far morely likely to be maple than oak. Maple has a much tighter pore structure than oak, which means it's less absorbent. For all of that, I'm working on a project that will leave me with a scrap of edge-glued oak I intend to turn into a cutting board. It may not be as good as a real maple butcher's block, it's better what I can find in the store.
jahg (author)  jdege5 years ago
Absolutely true, though of course making it the 'traditional' way is a lot more expensive. Ikea was hardly the first one to do edge grain blocks though. My parents have a board from the 40's that's edge grained.