Refining a design

  • Advertise with us
Project by PebbleCreek posted 12-18-2008 05:46 PM 2103 views 16 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve enjoyed making these boards as gifts for the season, and they have provided me with the unexpected opportunity to refine the design, while practiceing my basic woodworking skills. I’ve added the sliding dovetail to attach the handle to the board. It’s my first all wood joint and after making 4 of them now I’m starting to get results I like.

The boards in the photo are Cocobolo/Maple, and Walnut/Maple. I’ve been staring at the Cocobolo in the local woodworking store for months now, every time shaking my head deciding to pass on such an expensive board. This last week I spotted a 1lf board in the cut bin so I splurged and picked it up. What a fun wood to work with, so dramatic when it’s finished.

Still have ideas for variations on these boards, changes you could make to the cutting board side. Plaid or herringbone patterns, engraving around the handles and such. Not going to making any more for the time being, after a month of making small things I’m really looking to try something big next.

Thanks for checking out my latest project.

11 comments so far

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4323 days

#1 posted 12-18-2008 07:17 PM

Beautiful design and combination of woods. On the sliding dovetail, did you glue any portion of it at all?

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 3792 days

#2 posted 12-18-2008 09:49 PM

very pretty. I like the dovetail. the cocobolo really get ones attention.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 3933 days

#3 posted 12-18-2008 09:52 PM

Those are super cool. So you going to tell us about the dove tails and how you did it?


View KzooPackFan's profile


23 posts in 3500 days

#4 posted 12-18-2008 10:33 PM

Those are some very nice boards.

View PebbleCreek's profile


63 posts in 3533 days

#5 posted 12-18-2008 10:57 PM

The dovetails are glued in place. Some where tight enough that you could have let the joint hold it, but since these are cutting boards I didn’t want any small gaps for water to get into. Glueing seemed the right move.

I made the dovetails on the router table. First cutting a 1/4” channel in the slot side, working by 1/8 – 1/4 increaments bringing it upto “almost” the depth of the dovetail. Then swap out for the 1/2” dovetail bit, set the finial height and cut the slot side in one pass. I leave the dovetail bit where it is, since the hieght is set “perfectly” for the channel and switch to cutting the tail. I will set the fence so that it’s only taking small bites at a pass, and cut both sides of the board. I use a scrap piece of wood as a pusher to prevent it from blowing out on the back end of the cut. Move the fence back a bit, and cut both sides again. Just repeating this process and checking the joint each pass as it gets close. Some sort of micro-adjust on the fence would be nice; on my table I ever so slightly tap on the fence with my knuckel as the tail gets close to the right size. Which is a bit of a hit-or-miss thing.

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3729 days

#6 posted 12-18-2008 11:15 PM

I’m not too good at dovetails, but these are very nice. I might have to start.

I’m making a few cutting boards this week for gifts, and they are missing something. When I saw these, I knew they were missing a hole to grab it by.

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

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3577 days

#7 posted 12-18-2008 11:19 PM

Those are really pretty. Would enhance any kitchen. Well done!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Bob42's profile


456 posts in 3840 days

#8 posted 12-19-2008 12:20 AM

Very Nice!!
I love the dovetail. The wood grain and colors really compliment each other. Nice design.

What did you use as a finish?

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3832 days

#9 posted 12-19-2008 12:36 AM

Great looking boards. The joint in the closeup looks perfect. Nice work!


View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3738 days

#10 posted 12-19-2008 01:22 AM

I thought that your first boards were nice , but you’ve topped yourself here : ) Happy Holidays : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Douglas Krueger's profile

Douglas Krueger

416 posts in 3773 days

#11 posted 12-19-2008 03:07 AM

Professional looking boards with a great combination of woods. I am a sliding dovetail virgin as well but have recently been eyeing a sexy router for my defloration.

-- I can so I wood but why are my learning curves always circles

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics