Update: 7 september 2010. As I do not have a lot of spare time for woodworking at the moment, I am submitting this blog for the contest, I hope you guys don’t mind that it is a little old
Here is a link to the final projects-
After several e-mails requesting the plans for the Dan Walters cutting board I copied I decided to put some information together to get people started.
The first thing to decide is what size of board you want as this will dictate the stock you need. Or the stock you have will dictate what size cutting board you can make.
Stock selection: you need to have a good contrast between the different woods used. The wood selected should also be hard woods, but not necessarily too hard. OAK, ASH and BEECH are very hard and durable, but Cherry, Mahogany and Alder are hard wood s, they are not so durable.
When the stock is selected for use, the first thing to do is prepare a plan so you know what size to cut/prepare everything!
You can get a better picture from here ( http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi/Boards/Ken%20Walters%20-%20Latice%20-1.jpg)
The plan above it what I used for the layout of the larger of the two boards I made.
Before we start cutting wood, the saw blade must be exactly 90° to the bed of the table saw. The mitre gauge must be exactly 90° to the saw blade, even a 0.1° error will show up in the final product.
Here you can see the prepared stock, with the walnut glued to the Ash. The stock is thicknessed on the planer at the same time, with the same settings. The stock is then ripped on the table saw again using the same settings – we have to be micrometer perfect.
Now we can start to cross cut. Ensure that the length of the crosscut is exactly the same as the width of the stock.
Cut enough square parts as per your plan, in my case 8 Ash & Walnut and 24 Bird Cherry
Next set up the length of the long pieces 15 in total. You need to be accurate here, just setting 4 ½” is not enough. Take the long piece against 3 of the blocks you have cut and check that they are perfectly flush.
So before we continue we have to clean up the blocks. Small whispers of fibre as shown below will play havoc with your assembly. I used 180 grain sand paper for this, be careful not to round the corners.
AFTER Really clean edges
The blocks are assembled and to check for the fit before applying the glue.
I stopped taking photographs at this point. The glue a used on the first board was polyurethane and the second a D3 waterproof PVA. The open time of the polyurethane is better for this assembly.
Apply glue to the mating surfaces and clamp. I laid the whole piece out on a sheet of plastic (to stop the glue sticking to my workbench) and clamped in the vertical and horizontal axis.
If everything is cut exactly correctly, then the blocks should not lift under pressure, if they do – using a block of wood and a mallet tap the back down to be flush with the adjacent blocks.
You could add a lot and I mean a lot of weight on top of the blocks to keep them in place (about 50lb/25kg per block)
Leave it to dry, overnight is always good, then you can remove the clamps and start the clean up.
I used my belt sander with 60 grit to start, then 80 and finally 120, grain, then went onto my random orbit sander and started with 120, then 180, and finally 240. Then onto my small oscillating finishing sander with 240 and 320 grit – do this on both sides.
WARNING – If you use the belt sander the wood will get quite hot, if you have used PVA glue, this may reactivate the glue softening it, this can cause the stresses in the wood to bow, buckle you flat finish, if this does happen just place a clamping caule over the high spot whilst the wood is still hot, correct the error and wait for the for the board to cool down, it will flatten out again (PVA glue can be reactivated with heat many days after it cures).
So both sides of the board are now flat and parallel! Now start the finishing in accordance with the instructions on the packet/Tin. Take your time and you will end up with a work of art, that is too good cut fillet steak on.
I hoped this helped those of you who just needed a little guidance.
-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)