Google Sketchup - Come Along for the Ride #33: Cutting board second try

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 11-08-2008 05:21 AM 2360 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 32: Trying to get back in the swing - new project Part 33 of Google Sketchup - Come Along for the Ride series Part 34: From SU to reality »

OK – now with the able help of DaveR and Scott – I’ve managed to get some wood textures into my materials folder and have redone my cutting board.

What do you think of this layout. I’m not sure I like it – alternating cherry on top, then walnut with a maple strip between. But I honestly don’t have much of any eye for things – combinations (clothes shopping involves see what the manequins (?) are wearing and picking that! – true confession).

So here is my latest masterpiece. Please tell me honestly what you think.


Any different suggestions on design would be welcome.

Thanks in advance and again a big thanks to DaveR and Scot.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

6 comments so far

View lew's profile


12051 posts in 3749 days

#1 posted 11-08-2008 05:55 AM

Looks good from this angle, Betsy. Will the finished board be square or rectangle?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Iffy's profile


26 posts in 3919 days

#2 posted 11-08-2008 06:41 AM

I honestly think it’s pretty cool. I imagine walking up to it in person and seeing it and saying, “whoa…that is the coolest cutting board ever”. Never seen anything like it.

View grumpycarp's profile


257 posts in 3739 days

#3 posted 11-08-2008 11:22 AM

Betsy, I have no issue with the aesthetics of the design but have some reservations about its’ durability and also about needlessly complicating the glue up.

It seems from the sketch that you have multiple cross grain situations in this design. It could unintentional, an artifact of using stock material selections without orienting them to your model. If it is deliberate I would urge you to reconsider. Those wide portions laid up cross grain would be at risk of separating, especially given the moist conditions that a kitchen item like this will most certainly encounter with actual use. In fact I’d bet it would eventually delaminate just hanging on the wall. Pick one direction of wood orientation for all the pieces and stick to it.

Secondly, I can’t really see how this particular design could possibly be constructed without having at least a couple of oddly oriented interfaces with regard to movement if left as is. You might consider gluing up this form making sure to orient the grain all one way, then ripping it lengthwise, rotating the rips 90 degrees to re-orient the end grain up thus making an end grain board and gluing the bugger back together again. It might help to minimize movement by shortening and narrowing the wide sections.

From the looks of your previous posts whatever you do will be well done and thoughtful. As an aside, while I think that all the jocks are fine folks and above average in all regards I wonder about the durability of some of the projects that fail to consider wood movement. I’ve seen a few that already had large checks in the wood due to the improper joint selection for instance. And some of the more ornate cutting boards I’ve seen recently I wonder about the durability of as well. I wonder if anyone would be good enough to show their failures as well as immediate successes? I have a lab rat cutting board in “my” kitchen that sweet pea is putting to use and I will definitely post a one year update on it at its’ anniversary.

Hope this helps. FWIW I think that your design is attractive, I just have doubts about its’ longevity as drawn. Then again it might last a hundred years . . .

best regards.

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3889 days

#4 posted 11-08-2008 11:07 PM

Yep – I did not intend to have the materials look cross-grain. I used the material for color effect only. I did not even pay attention to the grain direction. But you can be sure I’ll pay attention to it when I glue up the board.

Grumpy – I’ve done some end grain boards but they require a lot more effort than a long grain board. With my health limitations, I thought a long grain board would be easier for me (i.e. I can send it through the planer instead of having to hand plane or hand sand the rough/high spots). I really do appreciate the time you took to respond to my blog.

Dave – I’ll work on fixing my model. I learn something every time I post a project and that’s what I like about our site – always learning, always teaching. It’s terrific.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View grumpycarp's profile


257 posts in 3739 days

#5 posted 11-08-2008 11:33 PM

Betsy, I’m totally with you on the end grain being more work. It’s like doing it twice. Make a board, level it then rip it apart and do the whole thing over again. A bit Sisyphean.

Good luck with your board!

View GSnyder's profile


4 posts in 3490 days

#6 posted 11-19-2008 11:00 PM

I think it’s gorgeous. My first though was, “Wow, what a fresh, classy, design for a cutting board.” The proportions are spot-on. The use of maple as the accent rather than the base material is a nice thought. Putting the most interesting pattern on the sides is a neat and different idea.

It’s a little hard to judge the dimensions from this one image, but it looks unusually thick for its length and width. Even so, I guess you can’t really thin it much without disturbing the design, since the pattern is keyed to the thickness.

When the board is finished, will the cherry and walnut really be as well distinguished as they are in the SketchUp mockup?

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