|Project by Gary Fixler||posted 03-31-2010 09:47 AM||26834 views||10 times favorited||16 comments|
The series for this project – here is quite in-depth, so I won’t recreate it here. I’ll just sum up…
I got a stack of slats from a pallet from a local bearing shop all cut up nicely in a stack of 14”-16” pieces. Sorting them, I found many that appeared to be kinds of oak. I ran these over the jointer, through the planer, and cleaned up their edges, then glued them up into a block. In the process, I figured out a few boards were white oak, many more were red oak, and as many more were a yellow wood I’ve not yet identified.
The glued-up block was jointed and planed again to parallel and square, ends cut off and saw’s unfortunate burn marks sanded away on the belt sander, set up to perfect 90°s again. Now I had a perfect block in the neighborhood of 3”x4”x13.75”. I took pictures and used them to model a replica in Google SketchUp. Now I could cut this apart virtually on my PC and try out different configurations of blocks, including end grain vs. long grain boards. I selected a style and cut the block up into 2” thick chunks with a dull 1”, 2TPI blade in my band saw, burning the cut faces to black.
Running the edges on the belt sander to flatten them (hard to get perfect), then gluing these together gave me an ugly, lumpy mess, but then running the router sled over it got it perfectly flat, and to an even thickness, flat to less than 1/128th of an inch deviation across the entire surface – not important, but nice to see.
I ran it again over the jointer to get one long and one short edge sharp and at 90° to the faces, then ran it through the circular saw on a miter sled to get the opposite edges parallel. One more kiss-pass on the jointer to remove that pesky saw burn and I had another perfect block with a new set of dimensions.
I ran it around the router table with a large roundover bit (forget the size), sanded it all up with an ROS and hand sanding down to 220 grit, marked and drilled holes for the rubber feet, hit it with the brand, oiled up the bottom with butcher block conditioner, screwed in the feet, flipped it over, and have since been conditioning the top and sides with the conditioner in multiple coats applied about once an hour, probably to a limit of 5 or 6 total coats before I put it up for sale online.
The final cutting board is 6-3/4” x 8-5/8” x a bit over 1.75” thick. It stands about a half inch higher on its rubber feet.
Thanks for reading! The whole process only took about 3 days of light work. Not bad! Having the planer back is quite a help.
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator