Introduction: Drunken Cutting Boards

About: Come spend some time in the shop. I'm a hobbyist woodworker and professional computer geek in Northern California. I guess my projects will vary widely, and I have no clue what I plan to make next...

This is my first cutting board. An interesting pattern emerges from the flowing "S" shape and works really well with the high contrast of maple and walnut.

Step 1: Taking Stock of Your Stock

The process begins with two board that are the same thickness. In this case my lumber was 7/8 of an inch thick. I used Maple and Walnut because they are easily available to me and they contrast well with each other.

I then cut them to 9" in width and 14" in length. Both boards being the same dimensions is key to this project turning out.

Step 2: The First Series of S Cuts

Double Stick Tape.

The two boards are joined with double stick tape and taken over to the band saw. Double stick tape is a shop staple. I use this stuff for everything!

The first of a series of S cuts

I just cut an "S" shape at the band saw and repeated the process 5 times. I tried to make them similar but not precise. A free form cut is sorta of what gives this project it's charm! Who ever heard of drunken precision?


There were some tool marks from the band saw, I *lightly* sanded them off at the drum sander. What you don't want to do is change the shape of the curve and ruin the mating of the two pieces.

Step 3: Getting Ready for Gluing

Alternate the pieces

Next, you can alternate each piece and glue up the boards with a cool wavy look. The original design called for 1/8 cherry strips between the waves (you can see them in the picture). That didn't work out well for me.

No, I don't want to talk about it...

Glue up #1

Alternate the pieces, add glue and apply clamping pressure. I ended up going with a couple of pipe clamps, but that was after a few false starts. I don't have a picture because I was in full panic mode at that point.

One one of the reasons this project takes so long is that there are 3 separate glue ups. Otherwise it's pretty simple.

Step 4: Rinse and Reapeat


After the glue dries pass each board through the planer and get two parallel surfaces for joining together again with double stick tape.

A second series of S cuts

This time I swapped out blades in my band saw in hopes of making the process better. It wasn't a grand idea and I should have stuck with the first blade (3/16 4tpi) Look at those burn marks. LOOK AT THEM!

Glue up #2

Now, we alternate the boards again and glue up for a second time. Once dried you can sand them flat or use your thickness sander. I used the planer, but it can chip out some of the cross grain. Oh I need a thickness sander in the shop!!

Step 5: Who's Getting Tired of Glue Ups?!

On to glue up #3!

Now we glue up for a THIRD time. This makes for a nice heavy cutting board about 1 1/2" thick. Of course this is not required. You could just add some rubber feet and end up with two great looking cutting boards. That was my original plan, but I decided it needed more weight to it.

Sanding & Handholds

I routed two hand holds with a 1/2 rabbeting bit and rounded the corners on the disk sander. Then it's on to the sanding. I sanded to 220 grit. Take your time and get the surface nice and smooth!

Step 6: Finish

I used mineral oil. Which is both extremely cheap and easy. Much like myself...

The original idea

I made a few changes from the original, but I would be remiss not to link to the post were I first saw this project back in 2009: