Introduction: DIY Serving/Cutting Board

About: I am an industrial designer and a maker. I like to make prototypes, unique pieces, equipment and other stuff. In this channel I will show you what I do, and in particular the making of design pieces, with var…

This time I will make a serving cutting board out of elm wood. The elm is a very nice and very pleasant wood to work with manual tools.

The project is simple, but the router cuts must be done with great precision and attention, also to avoid to make errors that would be irreparable.

In case you want to build yourself a chopping board like this, I leave you a PDF file containing the quoted technical drawing of this project:

But let's go now to see the construction process.

Step 1: Sketch

As I usually do, I started this project with a sketch.

This sketch is to clarify my idea and to define proportions. In the end, I made it a little bit bigger than I had thought.

I made this sketch on toned tan paper, using markers, ink pens, and a white pencil.

Step 2: The Right Wood

To begin, I chose from my woodshed, the piece of wood, which seemed to be more suitable for this project. I then resawed it with my band saw into slices about an inch thick.

Since the boards were too narrow for this project, I then joined two together.

Step 3: Planing

I hand-planed the two boards with my hand plane # 6.

If the cut is made with care, the boards will be quite flat and you will not need to plan them too much. The boards that you buy, however, could be quite crooked due to the seasoning.

After having planed the faces, I put the two boards in the vice together and planed the edges at the same time. By doing this, you are sure that once the two pieces are joined together, they will fit perfectly. So the gluing will be practically invisible.

Step 4: Cutting the Grooves

To join the two boards together I used the groove and spline system. In this way, I could easily align the two boards and I created a stronger union.

I first approached the two boards, then marked the size of the cutting board with a pencil. This way I was sure to make a groove of the right length, which would not be visible after cutting the board. With a slot cutter bit, I cut the grooves on the two boards. To perform this work I used the router table I built.

I leave you the link to the Instructable related to the construction of the router table:

Step 5: Glueing

I then glued up the two boards putting first some waterproof glue in the grooves and on the edges. I then inserted a 4mm thick wooden spline in the groove and then clamped the two boards on my workbench. I added weights to keep them pressed against the bench.

I then planed the two boards so that they were perfectly coplanar. In this way, the joint is almost invisible.

Step 6: Cutting the Board

I then cut the cutting board to size with my band saw. I used the pencil marks I had previously drawn on it.

Step 7: V-Grooves

I made v-grooves along one half of the cutting board to facilitate the cutting of bread.

To do this I used a 90 ° V-shaped router bit. Before to start this delicate routing phase, I marked with a pencil the lengths of the various grooves and their distance. In this way, I knew where to stop with the router cuts.

Doing shallow passes allows you to get a better result and correct any measurement errors.

Step 8: Refining

One of the two long sides of the board has been rounded to make the cutting board more comfortable when held in the hand. To do this I used a spokeshave, a carving file, and a scraper.

Using sandpaper I polished the cutting board where necessary. In particular, I polished the grooves using rolled-up sandpaper on a square-section wooden block. I have also beveled all the edges in order to make them more pleasant to the touch.

Then I burned my brand on the back side.

Step 9: Finishing

To finish the cutting board I used some food grade linseed oil. I spread it with a cloth and let it dry for a few days.

Step 10:

The cutting board is now complete. Here are some shots of the final product.

I also took some pictures with a tomato bruschetta to show the suggested use.

Thanks for checking this Instructable. There is also a video of the realization of this shelf on my YouTube Channel. By watching it you can better see how everything has been made.

Merry Christmas and happy new year! See you next year!

Homemade Gifts Contest 2017

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Homemade Gifts Contest 2017