|Project by Ottacat||posted 07-11-2013 01:45 PM||2036 views||8 times favorited||9 comments|
The image of this cutting board on my kitchen counter all ready to cut up some tomatoes are the result of a fairly long road.
I just got back into wood working this April after spending most of March insulating my garage to get ready for a shop. Like many I found The Wood Whisperer web site and watched a lot of Marc’s videos. When I got my first three tools – table saw, jointer and planer I started on the cutting board. I bought two good sized pieces of 8/4 hard maple and purple heart – enough to make enough for five boards.
The first planer I purchased was a used Delta. Unfortunately it was really bad for sniping. I got the boards ripped and glued up in the first glue up without too much trouble. However that first glue-up needs to be flattened and given I didn’t yet have any hand planes (or even a work bench at that point), I tried flattening it in the Delta planer. Well I should say I tried one. It sniped so bad that I didn’t even bother trying the rest. I put the whole load of blanks off to the side and started working on my work bench project.
After the workbench I worked on Shaker End Table (yet to post that one) and finally I came back to my cutting boards. By now I had bought a DeWalt 735 planer which was much better at handling snipe.
So I glued up the remaining 4 boards and used the DeWalt to plane them back flat. The DeWalt did leave a bit of snipe so I trace coated the blanks with a light yellow dye and sanded them completely flat with my ROS. Having the first blank dead flat top and bottom is essential to the second glue up succeeding without any gaps.
I cut the blank on my table saw and found this was a really good use for the Grr-ripper. It enabled me to use my fence to safely cut the 1 1/4” strips without any burning.
I had read about the issues flattening the boards and decided that since I didn’t have a drum sander that I would take the homemade router sled route. I built the entire sled out of a single 30” x 30” piece of 3/4” baltic birch plywood. It was very simple to make. The board is held in with wedges on one side. I picked the lowest point of the board and plunged my router down and set my depth stop. I then moved the router off the board, adjusted the depth down a hair further and locked it in place. I then used the sled to flatten the board. It is a messy but effective processes.
When done, the board still had machine marks and I took those out with my ROS using 60 grit paper and lots of time – I’d estimate 45 minutes per side, 40 minutes at 60 grit to get out the machine marks and 5 minutes to work up to 220 grit. This was the most boring and tedious part of the project.
I then finished the project with diluted GF Salad Bowl finish as per Marc’s video.
The boards are great looking when done and have been warmly received as gifts. I would like to do more but the long sanding times are a deterrent. I am considering a drum sander in the future.