If you’ve got some old scrap wood lying around, why not use it to make your very own DIY wood cutting board. Not only is the project cheap and easy to finish, it’s also a great gift for pretty much anyone old enough to use a knife.
Weekend Project: Make Your Very Own Edge Grain Wood Cutting Board
Wood Cutting Board Tools
- Pipe clamps
- Toggle clamps
- Painter’s tripod or pyramid
- Heavy-duty rip Blade
Wood Cutting Board Materials
- Scrap wood
- Mineral oil with waxes
- Mineral oil
- Wood glue
First things first, you have to decide on the type of wood you want to use. The one we’re using in this guide is walnut.
You can also use maple, cherry, or any other hardwood that has a tight grain pattern.
You also have to decide on the kind of wood cutting board you want to make. These can either be a face grain, edge grain, or end grain cutting board.
Face grain cutting boards are those that have the face of the board on top.
The face is often the most decorative part of the board, which gives it an awesome look. Plus, if you’re working with lumber that has a similar width, these are relatively easy to make.
However, face grain cutting boards also show knife marks more than the other kinds of cutting boards. They can also dull your knives pretty quickly since they don’t have much give.
Edge grain cutting boards, the ones we’re making today, have the edge of the board facing up. They’re sturdy, less likely to warp, and give the user more control over the width of the overall board.
However, they also tend to dull knives over time and show those marks pretty prominently.
Finally, end grain cutting boards are when you crosscut edge grain cutting boards and align them so the end of the board is the one facing up.
They are best for your knife and are the least likely to show knife marks, but they do take a while to sand and can split or crack apart if not glued properly.
Again, for this one, we’re going to make an edge grain wood cutting board.
Start by taking a piece of walnut and chopping it up using your miter saw. Go for a measurement of about 15-16 inches.
Once you’ve chopped your wood up, clean each of the edges with your jointer jig at your table saw.
With an edge on every board cleaned up, take that edge and reference it against your table saw’s fence before cutting them into strips. The width of every strip should represent the cutting board’s overall height when the wood cutting board is done.
This time, go for a measurement of about an inch and three quarters. This should be enough since you’ll remove some of that thickness when you take it to the planer later on.
Step 4: Flatten Your Boards
While you want your boards to be flat enough and ready for gluing together after ripping them into smaller pieces, this is highly unlikely. You might notice some gaps between the pieces which you’ll want to take care of as early as now.
Forcing them together with glue and clamps might give you issues down the road. Eventually, there’s a chance that the wooden cutting board might come apart or split up and that’s definitely something you don’t want happening.
Take the extra five minutes to take out your jointer and run them all through. Afterward, use your planer and run them through again.
They should now be nice and flat – ready to be glued up together.
Step 5: Glue Them Together
With your pieces now set, you’re ready to glue them up together. Make sure to use waterproof glue for this project.
When clamping, make sure to put equal clamping pressure all the way through. To do this, put two clamps on the top and two more on the bottom.
Clamp them together just tight enough to squeeze out the glue from the top and bottom. Avoid overtightening as this may lead to warping in your board later on.
Clean the glue off of the wood and leave it to dry for a couple of hours. You can set it aside overnight before rewarding yourself with a bottle of beer for finishing the first half of the project.
Step 6: Smoothen and Clean The Edges
With the glue now dry, put your wood cutting board through your planer again. Afterward, take it to your table saw and clean the edges up using your crosscut jig.
Step 7: Engrave and Remove Sharp Edges
For that personal touch, you can add an engraving to your wood cutting board at this point. Once that’s done, you can also add a chamfer along all of its sides to remove any of those sharp edges.
Step 8: Sand Your Wood Cutting Board
You’re almost done. Now, it’s time to sand.
Start off at 120 grit and slowly work your way up to 220 grit. Remember to use a protective mask for this step.
Once you’re done with your first round of sanding, spray the entire thing down with water to raise the little fibers up and ready it for another round of sanding. Let it dry completely before you sand it again up to 220 grit the next time.
This should help you make it super smooth and avoid those unpleasant surprises the first time you use it. Remember: sand, spray down, and sand again.
Step 9: Coat With Wood Finish
Now for the finishing touches, just apply some finish to give life to your wood cutting board and add that elegant and classy feel to it.
Use mineral oil and season your new board with at least three to four coats. In other words, just put a coat on, wait for about 20-30 minutes, wipe the excess off, rinse, and repeat.
You can finish things off using another conditioner that has both mineral oil and some waxes. Keep a bottle of this conditioner handy.
A wood cutting board tends to dry up over time. As soon as you start seeing that, just put a coat of the conditioner on and it should rejuvenate the thing.
Can’t decide on the type of wood to use for your wood cutting board? Best Stuff shows us the pros and cons of some of the best types of wood for your cutting board in the video below:
Making a wood cutting board is a cheap and easy-to-build weekend project to scratch your DIY itch. It has an elegant finish that makes it great for personal use and even as a gift for any occasion.
Do you have other questions about how to make your very own wood cutting board? Ask us in the comments section below!
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