Introduction: How to Make a Cutting Board and Serving Tray As a Matching Set
A cutting board and serving tray as a matching set make great gifts but can also be batched out and sold for a profit. They are easy to make and are great projects for beginner and seasoned woodworkers alike!
Cutting Board: 16" (L) x 13" (W) x 3/4" (Thick) - Edge grain strips cut 1" wide
Serving Tray: 19 1/2" (L) x 13" (W) x 3/4" (Thick)
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List of tools used in this build:
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Step 1: Chose Your Wood and Cut to Length and Width
You can choose just about any type of hardwood combination for your cutting board. I went with my favorites, which are walnut, maple, and padauk. After selecting the wood mill it down, if needed, so that all sides are square and flat. If you purchase your wood pre-milled than you can skip right to cutting it to its width and length.
Cut the pieces for your cutting board to just over the desired length for your board. I wanted my cutting board to be a final length of 16" so I cut the pieces at 16 1/2" long for this step. They will be cut to final length at a later step. Next, rip the boards for the cutting board into 1" (or more if you desire a thicker cutting board) strips. Attempt to keep them in order as you cut them so that the grain matches throughout the cutting board.
Then, cut the pieces for your serving tray to just over the desired WIDTH of the serving tray. I wanted the width of this tray to be 13" so I cut these to approximately 13 1/2" at this step. These boards will be arranged vertically on the serving tray, which is why the length of this cut is determined by the width of the tray and not the length.
Step 2: Design and Layout Your Boards
Now, take the 1" strips that you cut for the cutting board and flip them so that the edge grain is facing upward. Now you can arrange them in the desired order to customize the design of your board.
The serving tray pieces can be arranged to match the cutting board but with the design running in the opposite direction. I liked this design because the cutting board and serving tray will match but also look different from one another.
Step 3: Glue and Clamp
With the design laid out, apply a liberal amount of glue to the edges of each piece, and use some good clamps to clamp them together evenly. I use Titebond III for all of my cutting boards and serving trays.
Use cauls on each end to ensure that they remain flat. Cauls are two boards (or sometimes metal) on the top and bottom of the wood panel (cutting/serving board) with clamps applying pressure equally across. The cauls will apply pressure where the bar clamps can not and will keep the panel (cutting/serving board) flat during glue up.
Step 4: Square the Edges and Flatten
After approximately eight hours remove the clamps but leave the cauls in place for an additional eight hours or more. Any time that Im going to run a panel (cutting/serving board) through a planer I like to give the glue ample cure time.
After removing the cauls use a table saw jig to square up the ends and cut the board to final length and width. Next, secure the cutting board to a planer sled, flatten one side, then remove it from the sled and flatten the other side. If you want to know more about how I made or use this planer sled click here for the Instructable covering it.
With the boards of the serving tray arranged vertically it can not be run through the planer to be flattened. To flatten use a straight edge and a hand plane to identify and correct the high and low spots. This piece was not far from flat and this process only took a few minutes.
Step 5: Profile the Edges and Sand
Installed a chamfer bit (or roundover bit) into a router and cut a chamfer on all edges of both the cutting board and the serving tray. Next, sand the boards starting at 80 grit and going up in grits until reaching 180 grit. Then, wet the boards using a spray bottle and water and allow them to dry for a few minutes before sanding them to the final grit of 220. This process is important when making cutting boards and serving trays because it raises the grain of the boards before sanding that last time. This will insure that the boards stay smooth after they are later washed or something wet is placed on them.
Step 6: Install Handles on the Serving Board
I purchased some drawer handles at the big box store for handles on the serving tray. These handle will make it easy to carry and pick up the serving tray. I marked and drilled holes for the handles and then used my counter sink bit on the bottom side of the holes. This will recess the screw heads on the bottom so that they do not make contact with the counter top or table when the tray is laying flat.
Step 7: Apply All Natural Finish
For cutting boards and serving trays you want to be sure to use an all natural, food safe, oil for the finish. I use and like Walrus Oil but there are several brands out there that make great board oils. These oils are easy to apply and I just use my hand to spread and rub them in. After about 24 hours I use a clean rag to wipe off any excess that may not have absorbed. I recommend re-applying these finishes regularly throughout the life span of these boards.
Thats it the boards are completed and ready to use!!!!!
For more details you can watch the full build video here:
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