A cutting board provides a sturdy surface on which you can cut fruits, vegetables and other foods without damaging your countertop. You can buy a cutting board from a kitchen supply store, but you can also make one with a few simple items. Here you will learn how to make a rectangular board made from strips of wood in different colors, like this one.
Part 1 of 3: Gather the Materials
Step 1. Buy three thick wooden planks
You can make your cutting board with whatever wood you want and in any size you like, but it should be at least 2.5cm thick. The board made in this tutorial requires:
- a walnut board measuring 2.5 x 10 x 50 cm
- a maple board of 2.5 x 10 x 50 cm
- a cherry board of 2.5 x 10 x 50 cm
Step 2. Gather your craft and safety materials
This project is simple, but it takes a fairly large amount of material to complete it properly. So you need:
- wood glue
- gloves and safety glasses
- a tape measure
- a pencil
- noise-canceling headphones
- two or three clamps
Step 3. Make sure you have the necessary carpentry fixtures
You should be comfortable with the following devices and know how to use them safely:
- an eccentric sander
- a table saw
- a miter saw
- a planer
Step 4. Measure and cut the wood
Measure 1 or 2 cm more than the desired length for the cutting board. The final length is up to you. This tutorial explains how to make a 30 x 40 cm board. Whatever length you choose, leave an extra 1 or 2 cm at this point. You will plan the edges to the dimensions of your choice later.
- Whatever length you choose, be sure to cut all boards to the same length.
- You can use the table saw or the miter saw.
- Be sure to cut off any jagged edges.
Part 2 of 3: compose the cutting board
Step 1. Mark the width of the lumber
Mark the width of each strip of the cutting board with a pencil. Again, you can choose any width you want, but 2cm is a good width that is easy to work with. Mark the width of each strip of wood on the walnut, maple and cherry planks with a pencil.
The strips should run lengthwise through each plank. You will alternate strips of different types of wood to assemble the cutting board
Step 2. Cut out each strip with the table saw
Work slowly and cut the wood following your pencil lines. You should end up with three groups of perfectly even strips of wood that will look like square stakes.
- The number of strips obtained will depend on the starting width of the boards.
- If you want, you can do a variation of this method and cut strips of different widths so that your cutting board has heterogeneous stripes.
Step 3. Line up the strips of wood
Arrange them however you want. The easiest way is to alternate between cherry, maple, walnut, cherry, maple, walnut, and so on. Orient the strips so that the prettiest side is up and align them in the final position of the cutting board.
Step 4. Turn each strip clockwise
Turn each strip over so that the side is facing up. You will use wood glue to glue the strips of wood together so turn each strip so that the side where you will apply the glue is up.
Step 5. Apply a generous amount of wood glue to each strip
Use a paintbrush or your fingers to spread glue on one side of each strip of wood. The face must be completely covered with glue. Don't worry if the glue is dripping or sticking out just yet. You will clean the wood later.
Step 6. Glue the strips together
Turn the strips counterclockwise to return them to their original position, with one side glued between each piece. Line up the strips and press them against each other, being careful that they do not buckle or slip.
Step 7. Attach clamps
Put clamps on each side of the board so that the strips are snug together. This step is essential for the glue to dry properly. When attaching the clamps, make sure that the surface of the wood remains even. No tape should curl or go up. Also make sure the ends are more or less even.
Step 8. Raise the wood with the clamps
Remove the wood strips held by the worktop clamps to prevent wood glue from adhering to its surface as it dries. Stand the board upright and let the glue dry for the time recommended on the bottle.
It should take between one and three hours, but check the directions on the bottle
Part 3 of 3: finish and polish the cutting board
Step 1. Remove the clamps
Use a chisel to remove any large pieces of glue that stick out. Once the wood glue is completely dry, remove the clamps. If there are large chunks of glue on the surface of the board, gently remove them with a chisel.
Step 2. Pass the board through the planer
This will give you a perfectly even surface. You don't need to remove much, just a few millimeters. Plan both sides of the board to obtain perfectly even surfaces.
If there are any imperfections, you should be able to remove them by removing 2-3mm from each side
Step 3. Cut the edges of the board
Use the table saw or miter saw to cut the board to the exact dimensions you want. Now that all the strips are glued together, it's easy to customize the size of the board. Set your saw to the desired length (in this case, 40cm) and trim the ends of the board to match that length.
Step 4. Sand the board
Use the orbital sander to give a nice smooth surface to the board. After running it through the planer, you shouldn't need to sand much. Use 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface and edges of the board and remove any irregularities created by the saw.
Step 5. Finish the plank
Use food grade mineral oil. It will form a protective layer on the board and make it easier to clean and use. Wipe the cutting board with a damp cloth and dry it well. Use a rag to apply mineral oil to the entire surface of the board in small circular motions. Let the oil dry. Your cutting board is then ready to use.
- At the end, the board should be slightly shiny. If any areas still seem rough, dull, and poorly finished, apply a second coat of mineral oil.
- Linseed oil and beeswax are two common food grade finishes.
- A band saw is a table saw that allows you to cut curves efficiently.
- A circle trace allows you to draw curves on the material to be cut. If you want to make a cutting board with rounded edges or with a circular handle, use a circle scribe to trace the curved edges onto the wood.
- A jigsaw is an electric saw that is held in the hand and allows you to cut curves in wood.