Introduction: Scrap Wood Cutting Boards
In this intstructable we will be teaching you how to create a cutting board out of scrap wood. This intstructable will also teach you to use some basic power tools.
Step 1: Wood Collection
1. Choose you four different types of wood. We chose kauri, lychee, mango and eucalyptus (all scrap piece of wood) (Pictured in order as listed). Collect 3 pieces of each wood type that are at least an inch by an inch.
Step 2: Safety
1. Put on your safety gear (dust mask, face shield, and ear protection).
2. Make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing without any jewelry and tie up long hair.
3. Wear closed toed shoes for extra safety.
Step 3: Table Saw Set Up
1. Proceed to the table saw and measure from the blade to the fence for a 1 inch.
2. Loosen the fence by pushing up the locking handle located on the end of the fence.
3. Once you have measured the space between the fence and blade at one inch push the locking handle back downward.
Step 4: Table Saw Operation
1. Get your first piece of wood, if not already 1x1 inch, cut using the table saw either one or both ways.
2. Table saw operation: Raise your blade to just above an inch, place your piece of wood an inch away from the end of the blade (using the blade adjusting handle). Grasp the piece of wood at the end and on the outer edge halfway up the wood. Flip the power switch located under the table saw on the side nearest and gently push the piece of wood forward through the blade while making sure the wood is firmly up against the fence (to ensure straightness). Once the wood has been cut about halfway through use a piece of wood to push it the rest of the way through (to ensure you do not cut your hands). When you reach to turn off the saw make sure you are still holding both pieces of wood to avoid the kickback of the saw. (The kickback will shoot the piece of wood back at you and could cause injury).
3. Repeat this step until all of your pieces of wood are 1x1 inch.
*For all power tools, make sure you plug them first (yes, this is common sense)
Step 5: Wood Size Marking
1. Once the width is 1x1 line them up and mark them all at 10 inches in length with a pen or pencil.
Step 6: Chop Saw Operation
1. Next use the chop saw to cut the excess wood off of your 12 pieces of wood.
2. Chop Saw Operation: Find a suitable location for your saw (for best results a elevated cleared surface), plug in the table saw, grab your first piece of wood and line it up lengthwise against the fence of the table saw, use one hand to press it firmly against the fence and the other on the chop saw’s handle, bring the saw down in order to check the line up of the saw with the penciled line, then bring the saw up again press down on the handle’s button and power the saw on, last cut all the way through the piece of wood and lift the saw back up releasing the handle. Repeat this step with the rest of your pieces of wood.
Step 7: Gluing Step Up/Alignment
1. Line up your pieces of wood again and make sure they are all at least close to the exact same height to insure the sanding is minimized (they should be the same height anyway because you measured them to 1x1 inch).
2. Order the pieces in the pattern that you want (We ordered them so that the cutting board would have a light-dark pattern (kauri, lychee, mango, eucalyptus).
3. To ensure a strong bond with the glue make sure the smoothest sides of the wood are the ones that you’ll glue together. It might seem like the ‘ugly’ sides will be showing but when it's sanded it’ll all look the same. Also when lining up your pieces, make sure that the pieces are flat against each completely flat together.
4. If not, shift them up and down till the space in between the pieces are tight.
5. When you have them aligned to your liking, number them from 1 to ten and draw an x going through all pieces. This can be in sharpie because when it's sanded, the ink will come right off. The x will through the pieces will help you realign them in the correct position when you move them to the clamps in the gluing step. It is also okay if they are not perfect rectangular because we will shape it with the chop saw after its glued together.
Step 8: Gluing
1. Grab 4 clamps and your bottle of titebond glue to use in gluing your board together.
2. Using the titebond glue your first piece of wood on the one inside side (no need to put glue on the outside) with the number facing upward.
3. Glue all of your other boards with the number facing upward on either side (except of course for your last piece of wood on the outside).
4. Then use your clamps to clamp together the pieces of wood on both sides. After you clamp your wood leave the board to dry for a minimum of eight hours.
Step 9: Drying
1. After the eight hours (or you can wait a whole day) make sure to put all of your safety gear back on and unclamp your cutting board.
Note: There will be glue on the board, but the sander will take it off (along with the numbers and x in sharpie).
Step 10: Cutting Off the Excess Wood
1. Take your board and go to your chop saw. (Still following the same safety measures with the saw) Measure length to be 10 inches on both sides and then cut the excess.
Step 11: Belt Sander Operation
1. Get out your belt and random orbit sanders and clamp a piece of wood shorter than your cutting board onto your table or workbench. Place your board up against the side of the piece of wood clamped to the workbench.
2. Belt Sander Operation: Plug in your belt sander, make sure the cord is out of the way, grasp the sander at the front and back handle and press down on the trigger switch located under the back handle (you may also press down on the trigger lock while pressing down on the trigger switch to keep the sander on without holding it down), lower the sander on to the wood and move it evenly over the cutting board’s surface until you have removed all of the glue and scratches (5 to 6 minutes on each side and a minute of each of the outer sides/ edges).
Step 12: Random Orbit Sander Operation
1. Once you’ve finished with using the belt sander on all sides and surfaces, you must finish off your sanding with the random orbit sander. The random orbit sander has four sandpapers (60, 120, 240, 360) that will gradually escalate to give a smooth surface.
Random Orbit Sander Operation: Plug in your sander and make make sure the cord is out of the way, turn the sander over and stick on the 60 grade sandpaper (you start with your lowest and go higher, you should spend the most time on the lowest level), grasp the sander on the rounded top and flip the on switch at the front of the handle, lower the sander to the board and move it evenly over the surface for 5 to 6 minutes on each side and 1 to 2 minutes of the outer sides, repeat the basic sanding steps for each of the sanding grades removing the sanding paper and replacing it with the next grade (120) after you sand all sides with the grade before.
Step 13: Varnishing Your Cutting Board
1. To get the wood conditioner ready (we used the Butcher’s Block wood conditioner) fill a bowl the size of the container with very hot water.
2. Place the bottle in and wait for 10 minutes or when the bottle gets hot.
3. Get a rag and pour a good amount of the conditioner on one side of the board. Then spread the conditioner across the surface of the board evenly and repeat on the other side.
4. Let the conditioner soak into the wood for 20 minutes and then wipe off all of the excess with a clean rag and let the board sit for at least a day to insure dryness.
Step 14: Clean Up Your Area
*This is important because it insures that your power tools stay in good condition for the next time you use them!!!*
Steps you may take to do to completely ensure that your tools stay in perfect condition:
Table Saw- Keep the hours you use your table saw to a minimum and make sure your saws alignment is correct or it could ruin your saw blade. Clean the blade constantly so as to not have saw dust stuck in the saw. Every once in awhile you must oil the gears (WD-40). You could even go as far to polish your tool in order for it to stay in good condition.
Chop Saw- Keep your chop saw free of any debris or excess saw dust, oil the gears of your chop saw often, and constantly check your saw for signs of damage.
Belt Sander- Replace old and fraying sanding belts often, vacuum your sander every once in awhile to make sure it is not full of sawdust, replace the rollers and the platen often in order to keep your tool working in top shape.
Random Orbit Sander- Replace old sanding pad if it becomes old and fraying, vacuum your sander every once in awhile to make sure it is not full of sawdust, and empty dust bag constantly.
Step 15: Enjoy Your New Beautiful Cutting Board!!!!
I hope you enjoyed this intstructable and were able to learn some new skills and the basic uses and steps of operation for some basic power tools.
4 years ago on Step 15
Nice instructable, clear and easy to follow. Love your idea of "scrap wood". Here in UK almost any wood except pine is expensive and/or hard to find, so we hoard every bit we get - there's almost NO scrap :-)
4 years ago
Thanks for this. I made one, but decided to burn it a bit with some inexpensive pyrography. I also recommend using mineral spirits or butcher's block oil before you use the conditioner! Not hugely necessary, but it really does season the wood a lot better.
5 years ago
Great instructable, very well written!
5 years ago
I really appreciate a well presented instrutable and this is one of the best I've seen !
Clear ,concise , complete !
5 years ago
And I almost forgot to say, it`s a great way to clean up the clutter in your shop!!
5 years ago
This is a great project for any shop that has a lot of small scrap lying around. I used to do this right around Xmas time so I was never short a gift if someone unexpected drops by!!
5 years ago
Beautiful work, very well made instructable. Thanks !
5 years ago
Excellent work and explicitly detailed instructions with very good photo backup!
5 years ago