Making Cutting Boards With Cutoffs and Scrap Wood

This is a fun and pretty simple project, all you need are a bunch of pieces of food grade wood and glue them into a rough shape then form into a nice cutting board.

1) Take the strips of wood and dimension them on table saw and get them all the same widths.You can make them thicker by using thicker wood or cut strips that resemble a miniature 2x12 piece of lumber and glue them all together.

2) I set up 2 pieces of wood and set them apart from each other. They're basically stickers (like at the lumber yard) and take the separate pieces of wood for the cutting board and lay them on top of the 2 stickers, opposing direction. If its a small cutting board you can glue probably all of the cutting board pieces together at one time.

The "stickers" allow for you to get the clamp right in the middle of the EDGE of the cutting board. Otherwise it lays flat on your table and will open up gaps underneath in between each pice of wood being glued to the next one beside it, again because the clamp isn't completely square on edge.The larger the cutting boards get, the more each piece slides up or down next to each other while they're being glued and clamped.

**** VERY IMPORTANT WITH JUST ABOUT EVERY PROJECT involving glue: Even though glue sticks, when its wet it will slide if you're saw isn't cutting each piece PERFECTLY square. Come back an hour later and you'll see why you need stickers to make these. If you really want to get technical you can take 2 other pieces of wood and make a sandwich kind of clamp setup where they go across the top of all the pieces horizontally and clamp those down to keep all the separate pieces on one plane.

This is important unless you want to waste sand paper trying to get the cutting board nominally flat. A belt sander is the key here otherwise. Planers will tear out wood with figure or snipe the ends of small cutting boards.

Theres one glue out there that is the best for this project: Titebond 3 ultimate waterproof wood glue. Its FDA approved.

Use 80 grit, then 120, then 220 and finally 350. This will give it a high polish with the wax. And you won't feel hair like fibers grabbing and snagging a cloth when you wipe it.

After its glued and sanded finish it immediately with a type of salad bowl conditioner like Clapham's with beeswax. Remember that you need to saturate the end grain like crazy. Wait 24 hours and saturate it again, you'll be surprised at how quickly it absorbs.

***Another quick note: if you're sanding something and trying to sand it down rapidly, go opposite of the grain, it tears the fibers sideways instead of in-line and removes wood at twice the rate***

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    7 Discussions


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    This is what i was talking about- its a bit tricky to get the first end of it clamped ( this is clamped starting on this end, the right side first) but thats pretty much it..


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I do this too, but didn't know that is what it was called.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Your cutting boards look excellent. Thank you for all the great tips too!

    Did you snap any photos along the way as you made these? If you had some you could add in additional steps, that would be great to show the details of the process. Just a thought! :)

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Hi and thanks, yea thats the hard part, i make so many things that i forget to take pictures of the process, will try to do it as much as i can !

    Thanks !


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Understandable! Documenting the making process is a whole project in itself, aside from the making of the actual item.

    I was right there several years ago, and when I found this site I slowly started adding in time for documentation.

    I've found it adds a few whole new layers to the inherent joys of making. For one, getting feedback from people around the world is incredible, but it's also really fun to see other people duplicate your work based on your instructions.

    Another thing I love, is that the tutorials I've made act sort of as a living journal of my work. It's fun to go back and see how I did stuff. Plus it's a great way to store patterns, dimensions, and instructions for myself! I've gone back and used my own tutorials several times to duplicate project (after several years between making the same item, having a personally-made guide really cuts down on the "figure it out again" time!)

    Anyhow, sorry for the ramble!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Exactly, very important as well and be aware of toxins naturally occurring in different types of exotic woods.