The Beautiful Cutting Board....I Ruined





Introduction: The Beautiful Cutting Board....I Ruined

About: Don't take the world to seriously relax a little and enjoy the ride.

Okay so this was a learning experience, I was asked by a friend to make a gift for his "Stag" and I was going to put together a basket of preserved meats, some nice cheeses and a really high end cutting board that I would make.

I successfully made the cutting board which looked amazing I was SO Happy with how it turned out, but I just had to add one more thing that I thought was necessary. I wanted to add a " Drip Catch" around the outer edge of the cutting board to catch any meat drippings.

I have never used a router before and don't have a proper router so I decided I was going to try my "Dremel Router Attachment" because what could go wrong.

Now I didn't just dive into the process (that would be crazy) I set up scrap pieces of wood and tested the best method of routering the wood. After a few different tries I seemed to get the hang of it and decided I was ready to do it for real!!

The Fail;

I set up my cutting board and clamped everything down, grabbed my dremel, adjusted to the correct depth and went for it.........that's when everything went to hell. The Birds Eye Maple was NOTHING like the test wood. My dremel router shot sporadically back and forth every-time it caught a knot in the wood. To combat the crazy jumping of the bit I applied more pressure to the bit thinking I could hold it in place. Nope, what happened then is that, because the router attachment is entirely plastic the heavy pressure I was placing on the bit made the depth lock slip without me knowing so then I was accidentally now drilling through the wood deeper and deeper. The bit also bent slightly creating a double line that was well over halfway through the wood...... Ya cant sand that out!!

When I finally stopped and realized I had just completely ruined 40$ dollars for wood and 6 hours of work I had a brief freak out then calmed down and decided I could still use the piece but could not give it as a gift and I will have to make another.

Lesson; Use the right tool for the job, if you don't have the tool ask around.

Because this is Instructables here is a very brief description on How To Make a Cutting board;

1 - Buy wood

2 - Cut wood to length

2 - Glue Wood together

3 - Sand or Plane the wood

4 - Fine sand and smooth the wood

5 - Seal the wood with a good grade mineral oil and beeswax

6 - Finish

Pro tip*** Try not to completely destroy the wood during the making process***

Have a great day Everyone and remember no great person became great with out multiple failures

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    Couldn't you have taken apart the edges that were ruined, and just made a smaller cutting board?

    I see that this was posted a few months ago so you may still thinking about this and how to fix it. Anyway there is a way to save this. You can cut an inlay strip. First you would need to clean up the notch you may by using a table saw. Make nice straight cuts and widen it to cover up any mistakes. Then cut a wide enough strip of wood to fill the gap. It can be the same wood or any other that would look good. Use lots of glue and fill in the gap with the strip. Then use a plane or a chisel to shave it down after it has dried.

    oh man. Get yourself a trio. so much easier

    If the intended recipient had been vegetarian there would have been no problem. ?

    May I feel free to vote?

    just a little warning, some wood is toxic and should never be used for a cutting board. If you check the wood bible it will tell you if the wood is toxic or not and if it can be used for food items. I think your OK on the wood your using, but I would check it anyway! Since your not sealing the wood and only oiling with me neural oil, the toxicity of the wood is not permently sealed. As knife cuts open fresh wood from time to time, this is really important to understand. Hope this helps you out and keeps you and others safe!

    2 replies

    Yikes, wenge sounds pretty nasty.

    I didn't even think of that, I have heard of certain types of wood being toxic but it didn't cross my mind. I'll have to check out if these woods are okay. Thanks for the comment !

    Re: steps. If planning to use the entire board, I sand/plane the entire length first. This makes it easier to sand off the cut whiskers and fuss less with the cut ends. Therefore, I'd reverse the two #2's in your directions and would move #3 to the first #2; the directions would read: #2 - sand or plane the total length of wood. #3 - Cut wood to length. #4 - Glue wood together. At this point I would add a note to be Sure that no glue weeps out past the wood to which it is being glued, but if it does, to immediately clean it off with a damp (not soaking) shop rag or paper towel. Applying stain or whatever over dried glue is very definitely spotted on the finished product. Your final product is so lovely!

    My students (young special needs kids) love making wooden boxes; they have learned to follow each step precisely, still allowing for individual designs and creativity. Their favorites, and one of mine as well, is music boxes with hidden small drawers.

    Keep building so you can share more Instructables with us!


    Should have used a wood knife!

    You can still get that back by carving the wood with a wood knife into a nive V shaped gutter !

    Yes, I hate those.... "I'll just do (fill in blank space) and without warning....

    AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH (Add appropriate expletive) !!!!!!

    No matter how much you want to, you just can't rewind that last second back.

    1 reply

    I can soooo relate.... That split second when you realize you just did something pretty stupid. I'm hoping "the dumbest thing I'll ever do" is in my past, but my dad taught me age is not necessarily wisdom: He wanted a yard light 'just there' on the work shop, not an inch to the left or an inch to the right. But 'just there' was on a thick beam and he didn't have a drill bit long enough to do the job; being thrifty, he didn't want to buy a new bit for one project. He decided to go 'old school' and try to shoot a hole with his .22 rifle... while on a ladder in an aluminum building with a concrete floor. It knocked him to the ground, his ears rang for three days, and he ended up buying a new drill bit since the 'hole shooting' failed. He was 68, proving we're never too old to learn 'the hard way'. I took advantage of this lesson: "Note to self - do not try to shoot holes through beams."

    For the next time you need to use your dremel, just set up a fence as a guide and make several passes to get the depth you want. I have learned several tricks for trying to get a "not for the job" tool to do what I want! The board looks nice though.

    2 replies

    I had tried that I set up a fence to make the passes but the problem was that the birds eye maple reacted differently then my test pieces and that required me to use more pressure so the Dremel would not jump. Because the Dremel router attachment was only held in place by "friction" the more pressure used made the bit go deeper. I agree with the multiple passes though I should not have tried to start at the finished depth. All in all I need more practice with the dremel!! Thank you for the comment. feel free to vote if you liked my instructable

    Hello Rex, perhaps a more substantial router would have been more suitable, even then several passes are needed. I also have the same Dremel attachment and by the look of it, I would only use it on small work with a relatively soft timber.

    I have had a similar experience using a router to clean the bottom of a maple bowl I spent many hours turning from a solid blank... Loss of control and BAM huge groove along the side of the bowl. A friend used a router to do a similar thing as you but his hand was the object of the routers attack. Not pretty.

    I was very happy that this article did not use the words "emergency room" or "sanded out the bloodstains" anywhere. The new board will look great. I like your design.

    Greetings from Australia, now, everyone has to learn some how and you now know how it should be done, it is all good, remember the kid who chopped down the cherry tree when someone was in it, well at least he knows how to use an axe now.

    We all learn by our mistakes, cheers.

    Great many failures can lead to great success !

    I wouldnt say its completely lost, just more work. you could run it through a table saw then glue on new trim pieces to the sides and re-plain it. It may change the demensions but hey, is there really a standard cutting board size.

    1 reply

    I am currently in the process of running it though the table saw ;)