Intro: Storm Trooper Cutting Board, Cheese Board, or Coasters
Here is a plan that with a bit of laser engraving, can be cut out with a scroll saw. The plan includes a JPEG and a DXF file. When both are exactly sized and overlain on top of each other. you get the detailed engraved and a line marked for scroll cutting. For the cutting board the patterns are sized to 254mm x 241mm. It is cut from a 3/4" thick piece of hard maple. For the coasters the patterns are sized to 108 mm x 103mm. They are cut from 3/8" thick hard maple. If I was to make cheese boards I would size the patterns 154mm x 146mm and cut from 1/2".thick wood.
Step 1: Get Lumber
If you are making a cutting board or a cheese board you are going to want something hard. A good white colored wood for that is eastern hard maple. If you are making coasters then many more woods are available; spruce, aspen, Baltic plywood, white pine, etc. I milled mine from maple I had stored in my shop. If you lack the tools to mill lumber then you can get 1 x 12s (3/4" x 11-1/4") hardwood at you home center. 1/4" or 3/8" Balic plywood would be great for coaster.
Step 2: Laser Engrave Your Wood
Load the data files into your laser, size then, align then, and let the cutting begin. Notice that on the cutting board there are some test cuts to set the correct speed and power of the laser cutter.
Step 3: Scroll Saw the Outline
Before cutting cover the line with plastic
packing tape. It helps lubricate the blade and keep the wood from burning. Cut with you blades of choice.
Step 4: Sand
When the laser burns away the wood it leaves a caramel residue from the burnt sugars in the wood. (Maple has a lot of sugar in it.) Now is you like the look that's great. You will what to seal it with some shellac.
To remove it, sand the surface with 120 grit sand paper. For the small pieces I move the piece over a sheet of paper on a flat surface. For the larger ones use a sanding block. Also sand the back. You will not have to sand the sides because the scroll saw blade burnishes the wood and leaves a really nice finish.
Step 5: Finish
The finish is a single coat of butcher block conditioner. cutting board oil. It is mostly mineral oil, bees and carnauba wax. (I volunteer, teaching wood working to 4 year olds at a local daycare. This is the finish I use. If a parent has concerns about it I will swallow a teaspoon of it to show how save it is. Very safe but tastes like ass.)
Butcher Block Conditioner...
Liberally apply the finish, wait 20 minutes, and wipe off the excess.
Step 6: Enjoy
They are done and ready to use. You easily make a cutting board just before a party and bring it loaded to meats and cheese. It is when you leave that you tell them its a gift. They will ask, "Did you make it"? You just tell them, "It was lumber this morning". It always impresses.
Am I the only person that thinks this Storm Trooper when turned upside down looks like Yoda? Okay, a very young, very ugly Yoda, but Yoda just the same!