Cutting Board - So Educational

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Project by Bovine posted 05-13-2009 08:33 PM 1800 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I love the look of Mark Spagnuolo's Cutting Board, and I’ve heard on numerous occasions that Cutting Boards are great beginner’s projets. After completing this project, I have to agree on both counts.

I went into it with the intention that I needed to work on my basic skills—measuring, cutting, etc. It really went well with the exception of a couple major issues:

1. Lumber thickness. I couldn’t find maple and purpleheart in the thicknesses I needed. Since this was a learning project, I decided to experiment a little. I bought 3/4 inch boards and carefully glued them together to get a 1 1/2 inch board. This turned out well. I had enough even clamping pressure that the joint line really isn’t noticable. The varying grain pattern on the finished product is really only noticble on the maple and looks kind of nice.

2. The Planer Incident. I must’ve measured wrong, because after my first glue up I had one piece that was standing about 1/8” taller than the rest. No problem, I thought…I’ll just run the whole things through the planer and level it out. Not! When the planer got to that piece, it broke the whole piece from the rest and sent it flying back towards out of the planer. Luckily it’s aim is a lot like my measuring skills and it missed the mark. Lesson Learned: If you have one small piece that is standing 1/8” proud of the rest, don’t use a thickness planer to fix it.

Other than that, it was a quick project that really allowed me to practice the basics. Thanks Mark, for your design (and easy to follow video).

-- Kansas City, KS "Nothing is as permanent as a temporary solution"

6 comments so far

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 3893 days

#1 posted 05-13-2009 08:53 PM

I’ve done the same thing with the 3/4” boards. It seems to be the best way to go sometimes. It also teaches you a great deal about laminating woods.

I’ve had numerous problems trying to get my boards lined up when I glue the pieces up too. About the only thing I have ever found that works is going from a low grit (like 60) up to a medium grit (like 220) from every direction as many times as I can stand it to flatten it out. It takes time and it is damned frustrating but you get it done.

Good job with yours and have fun making some more (they make excellent gifts).

-- He said wood...

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#2 posted 05-13-2009 08:59 PM

Looks great!

I don’t have much planer experience myself, but I’ve heard some guys say you shouldn’t run through any type of glues-up assemblly.

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

View isetegija's profile


763 posts in 3542 days

#3 posted 05-13-2009 09:04 PM

A nice job.
Thanks for sharing with us Your story .

-- Not my woodworking

View a1Jim's profile


117126 posts in 3605 days

#4 posted 05-13-2009 10:54 PM

Hey Bov
This is a great board

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3676 days

#5 posted 05-13-2009 11:16 PM

nicely done, on the purpleheart you can’t see any glue lines at all.

out of curiosity – when you say you ran the board through the planer – did you run it with the endgrain facing up? did you try to make the planer plane endgrain? (if so… that is the problem, not the fact that one piece was protruding higher then the rest) if it wasn’t – then try to run the piece with the protruding part running ALONG the travel direction of the board, that way it’s being planed from the moment the blades come in contact with the board , till it leaves the planer. and not somewhere in the middle gets hit from the blade.

but def. not a good idea to run end grain thorough a planer – not good for the board, not good for the planer (can take it out of commision – google it) and def not good for the operator if he’s in the way… as you noticed.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Junji's profile


698 posts in 3410 days

#6 posted 05-14-2009 01:50 AM

Great looking cutting board.
There are always something we learn from what we do, for me every time I go to the shop, I learn from wood and tools. And I think that’s the only way we really LEARN.

-- Junji Sugita from Japan,

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