Introduction: Scrap-Wood Cutting Board

Picture of Scrap-Wood Cutting Board

If you do a lot of woodworking and hate wasting scrap material, this is a great project for you. This cutting board can be made out of any scrap hardwood, and no matter what it looks beautiful and is always unique. Also, since you already paid for the wood and assumed you'd be wasting some, this cutting board is basicallyfree!

I made this one as a christmas present for my mom, it's made out of scrap pieces of bubinga, lacewood, cherry, maple, and walnut from previous wood projects (some of which are on Instructables like our kitchen table and my bubinga desk). 

The details are in the photos above, but I'll outline the basic process here:

Collect your wood and layout the pattern. Make sure all sides are cut straight or planed so the glue joints will be tight.
Glue the wood together and clamp. When it's dry, plane or sand so the seams are flat. Then make all your interesting cuts, and glue back together. Then sand all the seams down again, sand with progressively higher grits, then finish with either a food-grade finish (like "good stuff", which is basically Salad Bowl finish) or a cutting board oil. 


RalphK (author)2017-10-02

I made it. It's easy to make and used it as a wedding gift.

thomas.pettersson made it! (author)2017-05-14

Made it Autodesk Pier 9. First real woodworking project in many years! Made two boards inspired by this Instructable. Think they tuned out pretty nice.

ElizabethM138 (author)2016-04-09

Hi, do you sell these? if yes!

plat1ter (author)2015-12-17

Beautiful board. Did you have any concerns with the end grain to end grain gluing?

emshines (author)2015-07-14

This is so beautiful! There are a lot of unique cutting
s out there! What a thoughtful gift idea!

ccgonzalez14 (author)2015-01-05

do you have any demetions

neal k butler (author)2014-07-22

I must say that this is the best and the most
beautiful wood cutting board I have ever seen. Even though, there are numerous
sites offering different brands of Wood Cutting Board, but this one is really
eye catching and enchanting. I need to ask whether this cutting board is coated
with plastic emulsion sheet or not? As it is providing glazing looks. Thanks

furthuron (author)2013-07-25

wow man, that is so beautiful. i love different cutting boards. this is definitely one of my favorite smaller ones. great ible!!!

HollyMann (author)2013-07-11

This is the most beautiful cutting board I've ever seen in my life! I Love it!!! I like the pictures of your mom receiving her gift too. So sweet. It's amazing to learn how to actually make something like this. THANK YOU!

Sam DeRose (author)HollyMann2013-07-11

Thanks! It was so easy to make too [compared to other woodworking projects], you should try making one!

HollyMann (author)Sam DeRose2013-07-11

Thanks Sam...I might have to do that. :) My dad loves projects - maybe he'll make one with me! :)

repguy2020 (author)2013-02-12

Nicely done from start to finish! (No pun intended.)

FirstSpear (author)2013-01-11

Yep, it may be a cutting board, but it is art, and it is Beautiful. You couldn't slice cheese on this, you'd just be looking at the wood patterns.

I'd like to learn more about the glue, and how it stands up to washing. I've little faith in glue by lengthy experience (I'm 61), yet I see glues being used industrially on such as TV's "How It's Made", but my experience with glue is that it doesn't work. Everything I've ever owned that was glued fell apart very quickly. I have a wooden mortar and pestle. The bowl has opened at the glued seams. Shoes with glued parts fall apart. Cutting boards made of separate pieces last no time, and split along glued lines. Glue, for me, never works/has never worked. It is only a temporary thing. Do any glues actually work and last?
I'd like to see an Instructable that dealt only with glue - UK and US, which named those glues that work, and those that don't. The only cutting board that lasted more than a few weeks was a single piece of mahogany I was lucky enough to come across, and that buckled after a few washes, but remained solid. Do glues work for you? For how long? Is any glue waterproof? All glues fail, in my experience, and sooner rather than later. I'm in the UK, so US brands will be meaningless, as in this instructible. If you don't know the UK equivalent, please don't reply, it's just frustrating. Beautiful board, though.

I second titebond! Made a tabletop with titebond about a year and a half ago. The no problems with the table. If you clamp your pieces together well enough and use good wood glue your seam will be stronger than most woods.

I once had a wood expansion problem that locked two moving parts together. I was trying to ease them apart with a clamp when suddenly a huge crack the wood. Glue bond (where most of the stress was) was totally fine.

Sam DeRose (author)FirstSpear2013-01-25

I use TiteBond brand glue, especially Titebond 3:

If you glue two well-surfaced pieces of wood together with this stuff, the wood will break before the glue seam does (I've tested this).

Hopefully you can find a place online to buy this stuff or something like it.

Daniel Domingos (author)2013-01-18

Nice work!
You really should be congratulated!
I'd like to do a job like that here in Brazil, because there is a wide variety of wood types.

Daniel Domingos

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-01-17

That does look just amazing :) I love how the colors contrast! You should enter this (and your other sweet wood projects) into the Holiday Gifts Contest!

doodlecraft (author)2012-12-30

That is really beautiful and incredible! I wouldn't want to use it as a cutting board! :) Lucky momma! What kind of glue did you use? I've always used elmers...but I don't know if that would hold up as a cutting board...
Thanks! :)

Sam DeRose (author)doodlecraft2013-01-06

thanks! For wood joinery, I always use a brand called Tightbond because it has proven itself to be much stronger then the actual wood (for instance, if you glue two well-surfaced boards together, then try to break them apart, the wood always cracks before the glue seam fails, it's pretty incredible stuff). There are 3 varieties, but I've always used Original.

strooom (author)2012-12-31

From each good instructible you learn something. This one showed me how to clamp pieces in order to glue them to a flat surface.. I always used weights to keep things flat, but your way of doing it is better ! Thanks for this nice cutting board. I will build one and upload the result :-)

MissouriVillian (author)2012-12-30

I agree with rimar, this is art. Amazing work and a well detailed photo 'ible too.

ricardouvina (author)2012-12-30

This is a real masterpiece! Congratulations!

rimar2000 (author)2012-12-28

Beautiful, it deserves be hanged at the wall like a picture.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a senior at Harvey Mudd in Claremont California. This past summer I worked at Make Magazine. I love working out and eating well ... More »
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