Introduction: Hardwood Cutting Board

About: Married father of 5 (4 boys and 1 girl). A Captain in the Fire Department with over 25 years of service. Grew up turning wrenches at my fathers garage. That turned into a love of building things with my hands.
Last year while spending some time with my in-laws I had made a comment about wanting to make a cutting board. My mother-in-law quickly commented something like "oh that would be great"...I remembered that. This year I went ahead and made her one out of 4 different types of hardwood.


This was at first a very challenging project as I foolishly thought that if I was careful, I could make this on a table saw and not have to plane the wood. It was right about that time I noticed a large box under the Christmas tree. My wife knew I wanted a 12" planer and that box was just about the right size. After wasting a day (and some wood) trying to plane the planks with a hand planer, I quit. Later that night (hoping that box was my planer) I complained (with much emotion) that I don't think I can make your moms gift without a proper planer. She looked at me and said "you know that box is a planer, stop pretending you don't know. Just open it and use it. I'll re-wrap the box so the kids won't catch on."

Big smile...project resumes.

Step 1: The Build.

I was able to salvage some of the wood I tried to hand plane by running it through my new secret planer. All I did was cut it into random widths and then lay them out into the general dimensions of the cutting board size which was 22"x27". The measurements of the place on my mother-in-laws kitchen counter where I knew it would go.

Once I moved the planks all around until I had the pattern that appealed to me, I was ready to glue.

Step 2: The Glue.

The glue was pretty straight forward. I separated the board into two sections so they would fit through the planer. I then laid out a large metal plate on my bench so the glue wouldn't stick. Put a good amount of glue on them and then I glued the two sections. Clamped the overnight. The next day, I ran both through the planer and the glued the two sections together for another overnight dry.

Step 3: The Bloodline...

Once it was glued together, I used a table saw to square it up. I then used a router to round the edges.

The bloodline was kind of tricky. I bought a small press board to make a jig to trace out the line for my router. I got lazy though and didn't want to mess around with trying to get that jig right. I laid a straight line clamp on measurements I marked and just did multiple passes with the rougher until I had the desired depth. I free handed the corners and cleaned everything up with sandpaper. Killed my fingers but looks awesome.

Step 4: The Feet and Final.

For the feet, I used a store bough adjustable felt bottomed foot. I then used a forstner bit to drill out the center of a designer wooden disc I bought at the craft store. Once I drilled deep enough to recess and hide a lock nut, I bolted the foot to the wooden disc. This way the cutting board can be leveled by simply reaching under and turning the wooden disc.

Using a forstner bit again I drilled four recessed pockets that would take a locking wood nut. I recessed the wood nut for two reasons.

One: looks better and you can't see how the feet are attached without actually screwing them out.
Two: if she didn't like the height of the board, she could unscrew the feet and cover the holes with rubber or felt discs.

I finished it with about 3 hours of progressive sanding (course to light) and three coats of boiled linseed oil then Georges Club House Bees Wax.

This is one of the most beautiful cutting boards I've ever seen. I almost didn't want to give it up. Now I have to make another one for us as my wife has requested one for our kitchen.

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015