Design cutting boards with excel.

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Project by newTim posted 11-08-2008 04:44 AM 4362 views 30 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So like everyone else at Lumberjocks I’ve started making some cutting boards. I wanted to come up with a way to quickly see how a design might turn out and here are some screen shots. You can go to to download a copy of the file.

It helps to think in terms of rows and columns, each row being the same color/pattern, and each column being a cross section of the rows. Use the rectangle tool from the drawing toolbar to make a horizontal stripe. By double clicking on that object or by right clicking on it you can view a window from which you can set the exact width and length, and you can even fill it in with patterns and colors. You can use Ctrl.+ Left Click to drag a copy to another location. After you make a bunch of stripes you then select each one, just Ctrl+Click on each and, here’s the trick, choose paste special as picture in an empty part of the sheet. You then resize that picture like a column. The new column should be a cross section or checkerboard-type pattern of your rows. Then all you have to do is make some copies of that column and line them up against each other using the same technique as the rows.

Here’s the fun part, all you have to do is click on any of the columns, grab the rotate handle and flip it around just like you would if you were assembling a real board. It sounds like a lot of work but it only takes about five minutes to design a cutting board.

-- tim hill

13 comments so far

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4058 days

#1 posted 11-08-2008 05:02 AM

That’s just awesome! Downloading it now.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View lew's profile (online now)


12099 posts in 3777 days

#2 posted 11-08-2008 05:43 AM

Thanks for the file!

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

View Rxmpo's profile


268 posts in 3767 days

#3 posted 11-08-2008 07:53 AM

This is fantastic! Thank you for the file.

View newTim's profile


608 posts in 3629 days

#4 posted 11-08-2008 08:16 AM

You’re welcome. I just updated the file with another design. You can go nuts with this. Remember… at your final cut… the width of the cut will become the thickness of the final board and the thickness will become the width of each cross section. I’ll be putting the first coat of finish tomorrow on my first Spagnuolo and will be milling up a bunch of different stock so I can keep the process going. Pictures to follow.

-- tim hill

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3612 days

#5 posted 11-08-2008 08:16 AM

Thanks for sharing.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Ampeater's profile


440 posts in 3769 days

#6 posted 11-08-2008 01:25 PM

I have downloaded the file. Thanks.

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

View Pathpounder's profile


98 posts in 3915 days

#7 posted 11-08-2008 03:29 PM

Thanks for the file Tim.

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3702 days

#8 posted 11-08-2008 05:58 PM

I’ve never even thought about using Excel for this. Thanks for the ideas.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View Bureaucrat's profile


18339 posts in 3674 days

#9 posted 11-08-2008 10:29 PM

Thanks for posting this. I downloaded the files and grabbed a couple of bookmarks as well!

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4240 days

#10 posted 11-09-2008 05:51 AM

Cool! Thanks!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Wingstress's profile


337 posts in 3537 days

#11 posted 11-09-2008 06:26 AM

Well done Sir!!!!!!!!!!

-- Tom, Simsbury, CT

View Chefdavid's profile


255 posts in 2877 days

#12 posted 08-13-2010 03:18 AM

I tried to find the file on your website. Is it still there? If it is still available I would love to get it!! Thanks!

-- Become a fan on Facebook...

View newTim's profile


608 posts in 3629 days

#13 posted 08-13-2010 05:15 AM

Chefdavid… I will send you the file, but you’re in luck. Shortly after I started using excel to design cutting boards, jayman7 wrote an actual program that is amazing. Here's the link

-- tim hill

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