Introduction: Simple Hardwood Cutting Board
This cutting board is made using scrap hardwood. This is a great project if you're looking to get rid of some left over pieces of wood, the ones that lie around your shop and somehow never get used.
It's a good idea to use hardwood if possible because it's generally more stable.
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Step 1: Cutting the Scraps to Size
I wanted my cutting board to be around 35mm thick so any pieces needed to be long enough/wide enough so that I could make up the size by cutting/splitting them. Some boards needed to be cut down the middle, this can be done with either a table saw, or with a circular saw like I did.
Try to make the board more than 30mm thick. This not only looks better, but it also gives the wood more stability.
I'm going to assume that at least 2 opposing faces of the boards are dressed (planed and sanded from the store). These are the faces that we're going to use to glue the boards together. Keep this in mind when you cut them; when gluing the dressed faces together, will this make up the desired size?
Step 2: Gluing the Scraps Together
Now that I had the scraps cut I could glue them together. In some cases I glued 3 boards together, in other cases 2. I liked the added detail of the glue up, it added to the character of the board. The more chaotic the better.
A thin bead of glue between each board was enough but it pays to spread it around and make sure the surface is entirely covered in glue.
Clamping is next and the more clamps you have the better. You want that glue joint to be as tight as possible and the best way to acheive that is by adding more clamps.
Hardwoods generally take longer for the glue to work than softwoods so give the individual glue up suficient time.
Once you've glue up all the separete pieces up, you can then glue them together. Bar clamps makes this an easy job. Try to get one face as flat as possible. The other side can be all over the place, this will get planed down later.
Step 3: Flatten the Board
Now that the glue is all dry it's time to flatten the cutting board. This can be done with a hand plane, a power plane, or in my case a thickness planer.
Use the flat-ish side as a reference, put this side down. Then plane the boards until they are smooth and flat with each other.
Now you can flip the board over and do the same process, now using the freshly planed side as the new reference.
Step 4: Cut and Shape the Cutting Board
Next up I cut the ends off so they were flat using a a circular saw and a homemade track saw jig.
After that I used a belt sander with 120 grit paper to get it really smooth.
This was followed by a router to give the underside edge a profile, and round over the top corner.
The last step was to sand the entire board up to 320 grit.
Step 5: Add a Finish
If you plan on cutting food on the board you should use a food safe oil. If you don't intend on cutting food on it then you could use any kind of varnish.
I used an orange based oil, specifically designed to be used on chopping boards.