Introduction: Over the Sink Cutting Board

Picture of Over the Sink Cutting Board

This particular cutting board was designed and created out of Amy's need for exactly what it does. So, I guess it wasn't really a need, but a want. She thought the idea of having the cutting board overlap one side of the sink would be handy. She also threw in the idea of having a cutout in the back where she could scrape scraps. This is super convenient and makes for easy cleanup by just placing a bowl under the cutting board, inside the sink.

Here is what we used to make it:
Materials

  • Oak and Walnut Boards (rough-sawn) from our local sawmill
  • Rubber feet
  • Wood glue
  • Butcher block finish

Tools

  • Planer
  • Table Saw
  • Jointer
  • Sander
  • Router
  • Clamps
  • Band Saw
  • Drill Press (with forstner bit)

Here is an overview video of how we made to get you started:

Step 1: Prepping the Rough Sawn Lumber

Picture of Prepping the Rough Sawn Lumber

Preface (Important)

The cutting board that we made was designed specifically for our sink and was made to stretch from a few inches onto the counter and then sit on the middle of the sink where the two basins are divided. Our sink is a fairly standard double basin sink, but your measurements could be different. Make sure you adjust all of your measurements to fit your needs.

Acquiring The Lumber

I picked up this lumber for a really good price at our local sawmill. The two pieces (oak and walnut) in the first image were cut from larger pieces. The oak board was about 8' long and the walnut board was about 6'. I purchased these two and two other boards for $10. Good deal, right?

Our desired length of cutting board is 21" long and 10" - 11" wide. Knowing this, we made sure that our boards were more than long enough to begin with. Starting with 24-26" long pieces was about right for us. The width might depend on the material you have on hand. Ours ended up being about 10 1/2", which fell within the width that we wanted. So it worked out.

Planing

These were rough sawn boards (straight on one edge), but still needed planed, jointed and ripped down.

Amy planed both pieces to the same thickness. This took a little while since the oak was a bit thinner to start with. Several passes later, however, the boards looked fantastic. The planed boards were about 7/8" thick. This allowed her to get close to 3/4" thick after passing it through the planer later on.

Jointing & Sizing

She then ran both pieces through the jointer so the edges would be flat. This allowed her to pass it through the table saw and rip the boards down to the widths that she wanted.

For our cutting board, the walnut boards were 1" wide and the oak boards were 2 1/2" wide after ripping on the table saw and jointing.

Step 2: Gluing & Clamping

Picture of Gluing & Clamping

After checking that all of the strips of wood matched up, without any gaps, Amy started the glue-up. All of the strips were set on end, glue was applied, smoothed out and then fit back together. She used a combination of clamps to get enough pressure on the board, both side-to-side and top-to-bottom.

We usually clamp everything horizontally first and then add scrap wood across the top to pull the whole piece flat. This will take some trial and error as every set of boards are different. Amy also made sure she added a non-wood barrier between the scrap and the cutting board to prevent the two from adhering to each other. In this case it was just a piece of scrap acrylic sheeting.

Step 3: Cleaning Up the Cutting Board

Picture of Cleaning Up the Cutting Board

After the glue had dried, about 24 hours in our case, Amy pulled all of the clamps off of the piece and ran it through the planer a few more times. If the glue that has built up is excessive, you may need to chisel some of it away. We were lucky that ours wasn't too bad.

Amy ran the cutting board through the planer until it reached the desired thickness, which in our case was 3/4". She did this by alternating sides. This is the time where you really get to start seeing some of the beauty in the two grain patterns together.

After planing the cutting board to the proper thickness, she trimmed off the edges to the length that we needed for our sink. For ours, which is a pretty standard double basin sink, the length was 21".

Step 4: Corners & Cutout

Picture of Corners & Cutout

Rounding The Corners

Amy grabbed a random round object (pack of pencils) and laid it on each of the corners to mark out how they would be rounded. I cut the bulk of the material away on the band saw and she cleaned up the corners on the disc sander.

Making The Cutout

During this process we also created the cutout that will be used for scraping scraps into a bowl in the sink. We wanted this offset a decent amount so that there would be plenty of cutting board left toward the counter top side of the board. Again, this is something that you will have to figure out based on your sink's design and your needs. Our cutout was toward the back of the board and measured 3 1/2" from the right (center of the sink), 10 3/4" from the left (counter side) which leaves a 6" wide gap. It is also set in from the back 3" deep. In total this leaves 6" by 3" cutout.

We achieved the actual cutting of this step using a combination of the band saw to cut away most of the material and a forstner bit (in the drill press) to cutout the round internal corners.

Step 5: Rounding Edges & Sanding

Picture of Rounding Edges & Sanding

These are the exciting steps of the build. Not really.

Rounding The Edges

This part isn't so bad and actually goes fairly quick. I just used a 1/4" round-over bit and set it a pretty shallow depth of cut. I ran this all round the outside of the cutting board to speed up the rounded edge process that will inevitably be finished by sanding. That brings us to sanding.

Sanding

I included an obligatory shot of the cutting board being sanded. It made me sad just typing that. Anyway...

We sanded the board with 60, 80, 120 and 240-grit sandpaper, in that order. That's it. I don't want to write about this anymore. Just make it super smooth.

Step 6: Finish and Feet

Picture of Finish and Feet

Initial Finish

Amy finished the entire cutting board with a few coats of butcher block conditioner, which is just a combination of mineral oil and waxes. This gets applied generously with a cloth and then left to dry for about 20 minutes. Once dry, you buff it with another dry cloth. Amy repeated this about three times. However, this will get done again at a later time.

Rubber Feet

The feet that were used were purchased on eBay for about $6 or $7. I bought them about 2 years ago, so I don't recall exactly. Here is a link to a few different ones on eBay that are very similar - rubber feet. The feet that we used are about 1/2" wide at the base. They work really well and we use them for a lot of different projects.

Amy pre-drilled some holes for these and simply screwed them in. For our cutting board they are centered on each corner 1" in from each edge. Again, this may differ from what you will need.

Second Finish (not pictured)

After the initial finish and adding the rubber feet, we dampened the board with some water. This allowed the grian to raise a bit. After that we sanded it again with the random orbital sander using 220-grit sandpaper until it was smooth again. Amy then repeated the finishing process we used in the initial finish.

This worked out really well. The cutting board has been wet since then and the grain has not raised again.

Step 7: Cutout in Use

Picture of Cutout in Use

I wanted to show you how convenient it is to have a bowl placed underneath the cutout. This make for super fast cleanup of scraps. It could also be used the opposite way and the food could go in there and then the scraps could be dumped from the cutting board. Either way, here is a nifty GIF for you.

Step 8: All Done!

Picture of All Done!

We've made a few cutting boards in the past, but they were usually fairly small. It was nice getting to make a larger one. This was also Amy's first cutting board ever and probably the largest woodworking project she has ever made. I am pretty proud of her.

I hope you enjoyed this build and I hope you'll come back for more. If you would like to see some more, check out our YouTube channel as well or follow us on social media just about everywhere. Just type Waylight Creations into the Internet and you will find us.

THANKS

Oh yeah, don't forget to watch the video.

Comments

AlexB117 (author)2017-11-09

It's quite beautiful, but why not running a little (sorry for my english) pit (as it is called in castles, where you put crocodriles XDD) an inch away from the borders to prevent liquids to spill over the outer borders edge. Sorry for the stranges explanation.

BillO29 (author)AlexB1172017-11-14

That would be a "moat" or a groove. Good idea.

JamesM467 (author)AlexB1172017-11-10

think the word you're looking for is moat

waylightcreate (author)AlexB1172017-11-09

Good point. That probably would have been a good idea. Just didn't think of it.

Lovetra (author)2017-11-09

This is good! I am looking into re finishing two cutting boards and a little stumped on the finishing. First suggestion I had from someone was to use Linseed oil which I threw ot the window due to the fact I KNOW it is toxic. Mineral oil though? How well does that seal or preserve the wood? Did you use anything else, maybe Tung Oil. How did you apply it?

BillO29 (author)Lovetra2017-11-14

I'd use walnut oil.

waylightcreate (author)Lovetra2017-11-10

The butcher block conditioner is actually part mineral oil and part wax. It works extremely well. We have used it on a few cutting boards. It needs applied about 5 or 6 times the first time. You rub it in and then leave it sit for about 20 minutes or so and then buff it. We recoat our board about every 2 months or so.

Lovetra (author)waylightcreate2017-11-13

Thank you! I've only been trying to refinish/refurbish "stuff" for folks to make extra money to pay my bills and someone brought me a dozen cutting boards in really bad shape via abuse but sanded down they look pretty good. Then I found myself questioning what to do next. They want to give them as Xmas gifts. Two of them are off old model model dish-washing machines and the wood is beautiful and very hard. Haven't figured which tree yet.

MikB (author)Lovetra2017-11-11

I use mineral oil + beeswax -- if you look on Instructables I'm sure you'll find multiple home-made recipes.

deluges (author)2017-11-08

Smart cutout and shape.

waylightcreate (author)deluges2017-11-09

Thanks. It has been super useful so far.

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