Build Project #13 – My First Cutting Board

Apparently, in woodworking, a “rite of passage” is a cutting board.  There are many, many, many different styles of cutting boards.  Edge grain, end grain, cut out face grain, but the most enjoyable ones to look at seem to be the “end grain” variety.

A few weeks ago, I purchased some maple, cherry, purpleheart, and wenge wood that I thought I would eventually work into a cutting board.  For my first cutting board, I chose maple and cherry.

This would be my first time to use my new “planer” – which I bought from Butch, a guy at our church who is a phenomenal craftsman that used to build homes, and now builds custom furniture.  He had an old 10″ planer he was no longer using.  I bought it from him, and it is going to change how I do my woodworking.

For the edge grain boards, you simply cut the wood into strips, glue it together, cut it again, glue them together again, and repeat the process until you like what you have.  Here’s what I did:

I cut the maple and cherry into equal width strips.  My planer is only 10″, which means I can only make a design that is 10″.

I glued up my strips.

And after sitting overnight, I cleaned it up, ran it through the planer, and cut them into strips again.  This time, I turned them on their edge, and glued them up again, after making the pattern I wanted.  I decided to go for a fun checkerboard design.

After sitting overnight, I cut it into the final shape, trimming off the edges.  It was here that I discovered my miter gauge was horribly cheap and not square at all.  After many attempts – I ordered a new miter gauge.  I’ll show that at a later project.

After I finally got the board sides straight, I realized I needed a way to easily pick up the cutting board.  Since I still don’t have a router to cut handles into the sides of the board, I decided on making a bevel cut, so it could easily be lifted.

I sanded it down, and it started to look even better.  But the real fun is after you put the butcher block/cutting board oil on it.

Here it is in its final resting place in our kitchen.

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