We are nearing the holiday season and what better time to make a cutting board than right now. This is a simple edge grain cutting board with accents that can easily be made in a weekend! It's totally customizable depending on what wood you use for the cutting board and accent strips. They are a lot of fun to make and would make awesome gifts for the holiday season as well.
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Step 1: Materials Needed
Sand Paper 80/180/220
Mineral Oil or salad bowl finish
Step 2: Cuts and Glue-up
The final dimensions of the board are 9" wide by 12" long a 3/4" thick. I started the project by ripping the maple and one strip of oak into 1 inch wide strips. Then I took one of the maple strips and the oak strip and cut two Oak strips at 1/4" wide and one maple the same width. I don't currently own a drum sander so I taped a piece of 180 grit sand paper to my table saw top and sanded the edges of the thin strips to remove the saw blade marks before the glue-up. The glue-up is pretty simple, just flip all the pieces on to their faces and smear a good water proof glue on to all the pieces, then flip each piece back on their side to form the edge grain look and clamp them all into place until dry. While the glue is still wet is a good time to take a damp cloth and wipe away any excess glue before it drys.
Step 3: Planing and Sanding
The next process for the board is to run it through the planer to clean up the board and get it down to your final thickness. I Then used my cut off sled to clean the edges up nice and square. Before sanding the board it's a good idea to clean up the edges of the board and get it to the final length you want. If you have a drum sander as mentioned above then the next step is pretty easy, if not then break out your sander and go to town. I started with 80 grit and worked my way up to 220 grit before heading to the router table.
Step 4: Routing the Profiles
I wanted to add a chamfer around the bottom and round over the top. I cut the chamfer first being careful to cut the end grain first to prevent and tear out problems that may occur when routing end grain. I used a test piece of pine to get the exact size of chamfer that I wanted. Once that was done I swapped out the bit for a round over bit. This was made easier by the fact that I own a router life and was able to easily change the bit from atop the table. Just like the chamfer, I first tested the cut to get that right amount of round over.
Step 5: Finishing the Board
I gave the board one final hand sand of 320 grit to clean up any edges or any swirls for the orbital sander before applying the finish. I used regular mineral oil to finish my board, available at any super market or drug store. Make sure if you go this route that you use 100% mineral oil. You can also use salad bowl finish if you like. I soaked the board first in the mineral oil in a cooking pan for an hour or so and then let it dry on it's own till the next day. I then wiped one more coat on the board before wiping it dry with a clean cloth. It's a good idea to keep your board out of standing water and re-oil your board periodically to keep it in good shape.
Step 6: Watch the Video!
For a better understanding of how this board goes together, watch the video!
At last now you can admire your handy work. I was definitely proud of my first cutting board and I already wanna make another one!