Before I get started on the actual project I should thank Mark Spagnolo, whose video podcast The Wood Whisperer inspired me to do this project. Mark has a great video (Episode 7: A Cut Above) which breaks down the process well. Still, I thought I would show my step-by-step process for anyone interested, including some of the different designs I made. I also include some of the mistakes I made along the way which might trip up fellow beginners.
I am still new to both making cutting boards and woodworking in general, so if anyone has constructive criticism or suggestions, please share them in the comments.
Update: WorkshopIf you are a member of Techshop in the San Francisco area, I teach a monthly workshop on making these cutting boards at Techshop SOMA. Students work on steps 1-7 in the workshop, then I demonstrate later steps with my own materials. Link to workshop page
Step 1: Tools and materials
- Table saw
- Compound miter saw
- Power jointer
- Power planer
- Table router
- Pipe clamps
- C-clamps OR F-clamps
- Ink-roller / Brayer (for applying glue)
- Duct tape OR packing tape
- Small scrap lumber
- Paper towels or clean rags
- Power sander and/or sandpaper
- Tape measurer
- Combination square
Materials (cost ~$25 - $30 per cutting board)I used rough cut lumber because I have access to jointer and planer machines, and it's a lot cheaper than pre-milled (aka S4S) lumber. If you don't have access to milling tools, most hardwood suppliers will have pre-milled lumber for you to use. My local shop - MacBeath Hardwood, even has cutting board kits with pre-milled and pre-cut strips ready to glue.
- Hardwood - Rough cut maple, cherry and walnut* - 1.5" thick (aka 6/4 thick)
- Wood glue - Titebond III (FDA approved for food contact)
- Finish option 1: Varnish - Emmet's Good Stuff (FDA approved food safe)
- Finish option 2: Mineral oil and natural wax (beeswax and carnuba wax are popular)
- CBDesigner - A great (free!) program for designing cutting boards, discussed more later