"Brick and Mortar" Cutting Board




About: I enjoy simple DIY projects and enjoy sharing them with others. I'm 33 and I am a sheet metal worker by trade. I really enjoy remodeling and making things. I'm married and have two wonderful children.

I made this cutting board out of a slab of Makore (African Cherry) and some Ash. The cutting board measures approximately 17" x 12" x 1 1/4" thick. Total time I spent making this cutting board was around 5 hours. And the total cost was around 25 dollars.

Tools I used while making this:

  • Table Saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Orbital Sander
  • Jointer
  • Planer
  • Clamps
  • Tape Measure
  • Router

Materials I used

  • Slab of Makore
  • Pieces of Ash
  • Wood Glue
  • Sandpaper (150 and 220 grit)
  • Disposable Rags For Glue Clean-up

Here's a video from my YouTube Channel if you'd rather watch than read


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Step 1: Step 1: Joint One Edge of Each Piece of Wood

I started out by jointing one edge of each piece of wood so that it would ride flat against the table saw when I cut them into the strips

Step 2: Step 2: Rip Makore Into Strips

I set the fence on the table saw to 1 and 3/8 of an inch. This will be the rough thickness of the cutting board

Step 3: Step 3: Cut Strips Down to Length

I measured out the strips to 17 1/2 inches -- reason being was because my slab of wood was only so big and this way I was able to make the most out of the slab. Then I cut them on the miter saw.

Step 4: Step 4: Run Strips Through the Jointer

I ended up running 3 sides through the jointer. The two "glued" ends and one of the "edge grain" ends.

Step 5: Step 5: Run All Pieces Through the Planer

I ran all the strips through the planer so that they were all an even thickness. The outcome of this was around 1 and 5/16 of an inch

Step 6: Step 6: Rip Ash! Haha

I ripped the Ash wood to 5/16 of an inch, this will be the "mortar" around the "brick"

Step 7: Step 7: Glue

I poured a liberal amount of glue on each strip of wood and spread it with my finger and then stacked them in a striped pattern. Clamped them tight with two "bessy" clamps on the bottom and one on the top in the middle. Then I let the glue set up which took approximately 30 minutes.

Step 8: Step 8: Square Ends and Rip Down

I squared both ends that hung over a bit and after both ends were square I cut the entire board we glued down to 3/4 of an inch.

Step 9: Step 9: Glue

Once again it was time for the glue up! Put each strip on it's side and prepare to start glueing. I poured a liberal amount of glue onto the strips and spread the glue with my finger...Although a roller would work a lot better, unfortunately we did not have one at this particular time.

After the glue was spread we stacked the pieces in a staggered pattern to offset the "mortar" between the layers. You can mark out each strip but I ended up just "eyeballing" the entire thing and it turned out pretty much dead on!

As we did in the first glue up, add two "bessy" clamps to the two ends and then one in the middle facing down.

Step 10: Step 10: Square and Plane

After the glue has had time to set up, run the board through the table saw to remove the overhanging ends and also to square everything up. Then run the cutting board through the planer to get it completely flat. I ran both sides of the cutting board through the planer until I reached a thickness of 1 and 1/4 inches.

Step 11: Step 11: Router and Sand

I put a small chamfered edge all the way around ONE side of the cutting board. I left the "bottom" side flat. Then It was sanded with 150 grit followed by 220 grit.

Step 12: Step 12: Oil

I didn't have any cutting board oil so I had to resort to vegetable oil, which is perfectly fine. I oiled both sides and all edges. I think I turned out pretty sweet! This was my 3rd cutting board but by far my most elaborate one. Let me know what you guys think!

I also have a more detailed video of this project on my YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/adamfleisch

Thank you for looking!

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    13 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Awesome workmanship!


    2 years ago

    I got lost somewhere in the steps. Is this end grain cutting board? If so, is it safe and okay for the blades to run end grain through it?




    2 years ago

    LOVE THIS!. Great photos and instructions!


    2 years ago

    Does look great. Nice contrast and I really do like Makore.

    One item of note to anyone else doing this. Cooking oils (like vegetable, corn, etc) will turn rancid and impart a bad taste to foods used on it. Better to use simple Mineral Oil (easily found at CVS (etc) and grocery stores). Just keep pouring it on and rubbing in until it won't absorb any more

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Right on!! Walnut oil will work well also without turning rancid. Do not use vegitable oil!!!!!!!


    2 years ago

    Nice looking cutting board but having opposing direction wood grain will lead to a joint failure after exposed to moisture. It would have been better if all the grain were running in the same direction.

    Mortimer W

    2 years ago

    Looks amazing! I might even have a go at it myself some time... :)


    2 years ago

    This looks amazing! I subscribed to your channel. It looks like the solid "mortar" strips are long grain and the bricks strips are end grain, are the woods stable enough for that to not be a problem? (Did that question make sense?)

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Good remark. That is kind of critical with this design, in woodworking you normally try to avoid gluing up cross grain like this. I am curious if this will work over a longer period of time. Looks cool though.


    2 years ago

    Nice design... great job!


    2 years ago

    Hi, really like the look, very unique for a cutting board. Some advice though, watch those fingers pushing small wood on the jointer, handled push sticks are a good idea. The cross grain gluing, end to face grain may not hold up the wet environment of a cutting board, and the differential movement forces may open the joints along the ash strings. I have had good luck over the years limiting cross grain confined joints to about 4 or 5 inches, but you never really know what the limits are!, wood is like that.