We're getting settled into the new shop, and with that comes trying to carve some time to actually build some stuff. Lucky for me I have a ton of scrap wood I simply could not part with from my last building, so I packed it all into huge trash cans and brought it with me. Even though cutting boards aren’t my favorite project, I find that I end up making a bunch of them around the holidays. Friends and family love them, and they're always nice to have around.
Cutting boards are something every woodworker makes at some point in their life. For me, they were a huge part of the beginning of my business. When I started building I had a lot of requests for boards and they became a staple in my arsenal. I am always seeing amazing displays of boards and awesome new "designs" all over the internet. So when it comes to making some for this year, I decided to just get crazy with it and make a bunch of different styles. Long grain, end grain, and even one with some awesome curves from the bandsaw. I finished them off with Butcher Block Oil and they turned out pretty sweet -- check it out!
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When getting started, start by laying out your scraps of wood. I had a lot of scrap wood, so I started by organizing the scraps themselves by color. Once organized, I lined up each board with the respective scrap wood I wanted it to include. This is where, in most cases, you’ll be able to incorporate various design details. Add in a strip of different colored wood or two, taking the time to intentionally choose the orientation of each piece of wood.
Once you’ve laid out your wood how you’d like, it’s time to glue up your board. I do this using wood glue and clamps, flipping each piece away from me (except for the last one), painting a layer of glue on the face, and flipping the pieces back into proper orientation before lining them up and clamping.
Once your glued-up slabs are dry, remove from clamps and mill the slab itself. I typically start this process with a hand plane then move to the planer to get a flat finish. I’ll also cut the edges to size on a band saw or jigsaw.
Once milled and cut to size, it’s time to finish her out! Begin by rounding out the edges with a router and sanding to approximately 120 grit with an orbital sander or by hand. Once smooth, finish off with butcher block oil to bring out the rich tones of the wood. And there you have it: a simple scrap wood cutting board! Be sure to watch the video for fun design tricks I played with.
If you liked this project, check out some other home projects!
If you want to see me make more stuff like this leave a comment and tell me what you wanna see!
Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.