Chessboard Style Cutting Board From Offcuts




Introduction: Chessboard Style Cutting Board From Offcuts

About: I'm only a maker, not a speaker... Interested in woodworking, electronics, coding...

I have made this cutting board for my mothers birthday, about a week ago. It turned out very beautiful and I like to share it here.

It is made from offcuts or scrap lumber and glued together.

The wood itself is Pine, but you can make it from hardwood, it will last longer. I will make next one from oak or maple or will combine those two together.

My idea was to recycle the wood I had left from other projects.

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Step 1: Things and Tools I Used

So here is the list:

  • Wood offcuts or just some wood, at least 500mm long and about 40x40mm width/thick
  • Woodglue, water resistant is recommended
  • Mineral oil and finishing wax
  • 4 small rubber legs, 4 wood screws

Woodworking tools I used: table saw, planer, disk- and belt sander, table clamps to glue pieces together, router and router bits, sandpaper, hand drill

Step 2: Cutting and Gluing

We need wooden blocks with two different grain directions, so that the outcome is chessboard alike. For that I first glued together some plank ends and strips to get cross grain blocks 32mmx42mm and the length about 400-500mm. Depends on what the final dimensions will be.

See included images.

I'm visualized some of those in SketchUp, because I don't have photos from every step.Then I prepared some strips with long grain, again 32x42mm and same length.

Planed all those strips to to 30x42mm for gluing. The squares on upper and bottom face will bee 30mm squares then.Glued up the way, that every other strip is cross grain and the other is with long grain, see pictures.

It's important that the end strip is different gain direction than the starting strip. You'll get it soon why.

Then I cutted from the side 32mm thick strips again. Then sanded to 30mm from both sides on belt sander to smooth sides for gluing. Now it's time to glue again. Every second strip must be turned around, so the pattern goes cross-long on every side. Again, check images.

When glue was dry I cut it to the desired size and sanded all sides smooth. Started with 80 grit paper and finished up with 220 grit. It can be done by hand, but some sort large disk or belt sander is better. For faces its the best to have a drum sander. I used 60cm diameter disk sander on local workshop.

I rounded corner also at this point.

Step 3: Routing the 'Juice Groove' and Upper Face Edges. Handle Cavities(optional)

I used hand router and rounding bit with ball bearing guide for edges.

For Groove I used round nose bit and did it on router table. I set the cutting depth to 8mm and set the fence 20mm away from router bit center.

Then I clamped stopper blocks to the fence. I measured cutting board side length minus 20mm to both directions from cutting bit. This way I got always same distance from the edge for the groove.

I also made handle cavities on both centers of shorter sides, but this is not necessary. I did it with cylindrical bit.

10mm cutting depth and 10mm fence set on the router table.

Step 4: Finishing. Oiling, Polishing and Installing Legs

I sanded all sides and faces again with 220 grit sandpaper. Then by hand with 400 and 600 grit paper.

Removed dust with cloth and soaked in mineral(olive) oil about 4 hours. This will prevent cutting board from water and cracking when it dries more. For final finishing I made beeswax+olive oil finishing wax. 4 portions/parts of olive oil and 1 portion/part beeswax. Melted beeswax on stove and added olive oil, stirred well and poured to glass jar and cooled down.

I applied that finishing with wool cloth and rubbed it about 30 minutes into cutting boards every side.

Then I found small rubber legs from hardware store and installed those with 20mm wood screws to the each corner of the bottom side. The legs have better grip and gutting board will not move around too much while cutting on it.

And I loved how it came out. Mom was very satisfied with this kind of birthday present.

Thanks for reading!

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    2 Discussions

    Kink Jarfold
    Kink Jarfold

    1 year ago on Step 4

    Wow, that grain came out fantastic. Wonderful job, my friend. Mom must've been thrilled.

    Sheena-you don't monkey around.png

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks a lot and Yes, she is!