Cutting Boards, Holiday Procrastination

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Project by USCJeff posted 12-31-2007 04:32 AM 2208 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Having never done a cutting board project, I now realize it takes a little longer than I anticipated. The pictures show the boards unfinished. The last coat went on them 4 hours before I presented them. Had to let them know to wait a week before using them!

Anyways, the species are all different on each board. From the top left in the first picture (clockwise), I used Purple Heart and Maple, Peruvian Walnut and W. Oak, P. Walnut and Cherry, and Brazilian Walnut and Ash. I was very pleased with all the combinations. The white oak/walnut combo wasn’t my favorite as the pores were very apparent. I’ll need to account for them next time. I ended up using many coats of a butcher block equivalent to finish them. These are not end grain boards as is typical, but they will only see limited use. The purple heart board was about 1.5” thick. The others are from 3/4” stock sanded and planed slightly thinner. The thick board is the way I’ll go next time. Very solid and stable. The project showed me that some of my tools were not set within acceptable tolerances. This was apparent when joining the boards. Got to buy a jointer! The table saw jigs are decent, but not the same. I ended up going to a jointing plane after noticing the slight gaps left from the table saw jointing jig. My biscuit jointer is being held hostage by a friend that keeps “forgetting” to return it (not to mention 2 pipe clamps and a book, grrr). I used dowels for one board, splines for two of them, and butt joints with no strength or alignment aids for the small one.

I have liked how Mot has listed what he used on his projects, and will do the same:

Milling and Dimensioning:

Grizzly 1023 Table Saw (used jointing jig as well)
12.5” Delta Planer #7 Jointing Plane #4 Bench Plane
10” Miter Saw

Finish Prep:
Bosch Random OS (grit P100 – P220)
Belt/Disk Sander (bench top)
Card Scraper
Mineral Spirits and tack cloth to remove dust

Wood Conditioner on all
Many coats (maybe 6 or 7?) of Butcher Block equivalent
I used a cherry washcoat on the cherry board to somewhat disguise the sap/heartwood contrast

-- Jeff, South Carolina

7 comments so far

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4270 days

#1 posted 12-31-2007 04:44 AM

beautimus, looks very cool. People gonna love em. Wait and see. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View TreeBones's profile


1827 posts in 4047 days

#2 posted 12-31-2007 06:34 AM

Very nice, maybe this is the final kick in the rear I needed to start my cutting boards, “Ouch”.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4089 days

#3 posted 12-31-2007 07:04 AM

Great looking boards – I think the Purpleheart/Maple combination if my personal favorite – but they all look great.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4060 days

#4 posted 01-01-2008 12:31 AM

Jeff, I like the tool list concept, (obviously.) When we look at projects like this, there are two ways to go about them. The way you are most comfortable, based on your training, skill and experience. And the way that someone else does them for fear of stepping outside of the box, or part of your initial training and skill development. I like the comments you made on accounting for something you didn’t realize you needed to account for. That’s an excellent description of the process.

A jointer is a really nice addition to the shop and does allow for accurate glue lines in joining. I was also interested in your comment on your tools not being set to tolerances that you needed. How would you have known if you hadn’t of done a project that pointed that out? The use of hand tools must have added a further sense of accomplishment to this project. It does for mine. I love the sound and power of a spinning hunk of carbide, however the serenity of dimensioning stock in a vise with a hand plane is pretty hard to duplicate anywhere else in life.

Great work, and great information in this listing!


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

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4424 days

#5 posted 01-01-2008 02:11 AM

Great job Jeff. A nice set of boards.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View kevinw's profile


195 posts in 3763 days

#6 posted 12-04-2008 01:56 PM

What is butcher block equivalent?

-- Kevin, Blue Springs, MO

View fred4999's profile


107 posts in 3508 days

#7 posted 12-04-2008 05:06 PM

Great work, I downloaded your spreadsheet and will try and use it. On another note, I agree with the guys, I try not to loan out tools, books, all my prized possessions. I have a Wood-Mizer sawmill and one of my neighbors wanted to borrow it, I wanted to say, hey loan me your wife, but I did offer to saw any logs he brought to my house. Keep up the good work! Regards,

-- Fred, Georgia

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