|Project by splintergroup||posted 02-02-2015 04:47 PM||2562 views||34 times favorited||12 comments|
I find myself making a lot of these things. It probably comes from the infinite variety you can create plus the relatively simple construction.
I’ve done the “inlay” many times. It produces some nice effects and has that “wow” factor that makes these good sellers. There is a video from Fine Woodworking magazine that runs down one method to create this effect. It is time lapsed and the camera man seems to have photographed with the poor woodworker mounted on a carousel, but it’s worth a look if you want to make one and don’t get motion sickness.
Several things I do different. I use a drum sander versus a planer, I use a 1/4” masonite template and a router table with a bushing, and I use a different technique for finger grooves.
The video shows an elaborate router guide for the finger grooves. This works fine of course, but unless you are making many boards all of the same dimensions, it is easier just to use a bearing guided bit. I use an Amana 543004, part of a family of flute bits (54302/04/06/08). The bearing guide makes grooving trivial.
One thing I struggle with on making cutting boards is how will the user lift the board off the counter? The flute grooves are one way if the board is thick enough. I’ve also tried round-over edges, feet, and inset handles. The handles and feet look aesthetically the best, but are more work. Grooves/round-overs are simple, but plain. With these boards I ran the edges over a table saw rip blade, basically the same method used to make table saw cove moulding. This was done before curving the edges and can be seen in several of the photos showing the underside of the boards.
The photos don’t really show it, but the boards are almost double the thickness of the edge you can easily see. I believe bread boards need to be thick (1” +), they stay flatter this way. Coving ends up being the most work. Lots of time spent with setup and cutting and even more time spent sanding the cove (think of hand sanding rough cut end grain, ugh!). I’ll come up with an easier sanding method before I try many more of these.
The boards stats are fairly basic.
One uses a main body made from Cherry with the inlay being Maple, Walnut, and Tamarisk (from the firewood pile). The other board uses a Cherry and Walnut body with maple splines. The splines are to help hold things together otherwise there would be too much end-grain glue joints for my taste. The inlay is Maple/Tamarisk (center) and Walnut/Tamarisk on the edges. Finish is a good soaking in mineral oil.
Both boards spend over a week in the sun to darken the Cherry.
Some day I’ll learn to pick better contrasting inlays.