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Lee's Wood Projects - How to Make a Cutting Board
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One way to "spruce-up" your kitchen is to replace that old wood cutting board with a new laminated one. It is a simple project to make, and the various laminates can enhance the interest and beauty of your custom cutting board. Woods of two or more contrasting colors works best. Be sure to use hardwoods with beautiful grain patterns to create the greatest interest.

Cutting Board
Click On Image to See Larger Scalable Drawing

Technical Information for Building a Wooden Cutting Board

A . Materials List:

Board Strips
3/4" x 7/8" x 18"
Black Walnut

White Ash
White Ash

Board Strips
3/4" x 7/8" x 18"
Front Edge
3/4" x 1 1/2" x 15 3/4"
1/8" x 1/2" x 14"

B. Cutting Procedures:

  1. Joint one edge of a 3/4"x 9" x 18 1/2" Walnut board. Repeat process for a 3/4 x 9" x 18 1/2" Ash board.
  2. Adjust table saw fence 1 1/8" from the inside edge of the blade.
  3. Cut eight 1 1/8" wide board strips (A) from the Walnut.
  4. Cut eight 1 1/8" wide board strips (B) from the Ash.
  5. Joint board strips (A) & (B) on each edge until they are 7/8" wide.
  6. Place board strips (A) & (B) alternately in two bar clamps.
  7. Place a bead of wood glue on each edge of the board strips (A) & (B) and spread the glue evenly so that all parts of the wood are covered. (Do not place glue on the two outer edges!)
  8. Clamp the board strips tight. Make sure all boards are flat. Clean up excess glue with a damp paper towel or rag. Allow glue to dry for 24 hours.
  9. Remove clamps and place cutting board in the planer and make a trim cut on each side. Be sure the cutting board is smooth and flush on both sides.
  10. Trim both ends of the cutting board with a radial arm saw until it measures 18".
  11. Joint both edges of a 3/4" x 1 5/8" x 16" Ash board until it is 1 1/2" wide to make front edge (C).
  12. Plane thickness of front edge (C) to match thickness of the cutting board.
  13. Adjust table saw fence approximately 9/32" from the inside edge of the blade. Raise the blade to cut a depth of approximately 5/16".
  14. Place a pencil mark on the fence 2" beyond the center of the saw blade. Also clamp a wood stop on table saw bed 13 3/4" from the center of the saw blade.
  15. Make a blind spline cut in the front edge (C) by turning on the saw and tilting the leading end of the front edge (C) and placing it in line with the mark on the fence, and then gently push the board down on the blade. Using a push stick continue to push the board to the wood stop. Turn off the saw and remove the board.
  16. Repeat the process in step #15, using one end of the cutting board.
  17. To make the spline (D) place a 1/2" x 14" piece of hardwood on a slightly larger board and plane to1/8" thick.
  18. Place wood glue in the groove of the cutting board and tap the spline in place. Place glue in the groove of the front edge (C) and clamp onto the cutting board with two bar clamps. The spline should be hidden on both sides.
  19. When glue is dry remove clamps and trim ends if the front edge (C) to match flush with each side of the cutting board.
  20. Install a 45 degree chamfer bit in a hand router and chamfer all four edges approximately 1/8" on both sides of the cutting board.
  21. Install a 1/2" wide half round bit in a hand router and route a finger pull groove across the bottom side of the front edge (C) approximately 1/8" deep and 3/4" from the outer edge.

C. Sanding Procedure:

  1. Use and orbital hand sander with 80 grit sandpaper and rough sand both sides of the cutting board.
  2. Replace the 80 grit with 120 grit sandpaper and continue to sand.
  3. Finish sand using 220 grit sandpaper.
  4. Hand sand the edges and finger pull groove with 220 grit sandpaper.
  5. Remove dust with a tack rag.

D. Finish Procedure:

  1. Use a rag to apply mineral oil to all surfaces of the cutting board.
  2. Other types of finishes may be caustic and vegetable oil may become rancid.

Notes: This cutting board plan is designed as a pull-out board for a kitchen cabinet.

*Congratulations, your wood cutting board is finished and ready to use!

Also learn how to make a wooden spice rack for your kitchen.