Help with a cutting board

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Forum topic by Cory posted 11-28-2009 04:18 AM 1346 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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760 posts in 3446 days

11-28-2009 04:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question cutting board planing

It’s that time of year and I’m getting ready to build my first cutting board as a christmas gift. This is probably a stupid question, but I need to ask it: Should I plane the boards before I rip and assemble them, or should I just wait until I’ve got them in their first/second glue up?

The lumber I bought is 4/4 and has been skip planed, so it’s in relatively good shape. The edges are a little rough, so I’m going to straighten them out for the glue up, but I didn’t know if it made sense to plane them then, too. I thought I’d be able to kill two birds with one stone if I plane them to final thickness and remove any squeeze out after they’re assemebled.

Please let me know if this is a bad idea.


-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

6 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5911 posts in 3221 days

#1 posted 11-28-2009 04:32 AM

Cory: It really all depends on how thick you want them to be. I just made a couple myself, and here’s what I did: I first planed them down from rough to get the thickness I wanted. Then I ripped them to the width I needed, jointed each face to get a good tight fit, either glued them laying flat, or standing on edge(your choice). I made mine a little over-sized to trim to length and width. Clamped them up for a bout 3-4 hrs..
Took a scraper and removed the excess glue, and scraped them pretty good. Then started with 80 grit s.p., and worked down to 220. Rounded over the edges, sanded smooth again, and applied about 3-4 coats of mineral oil, wiping between coats. May put some more on—depends . Hope this helped a little. Keep on keeping on.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3311 days

#2 posted 11-28-2009 04:38 AM

Hey Cory, you could straight line your lumber to get a good edge for glue up, if your planer is wide enough you can glue up your boards first, then plan to your final thickness. I make sure I scrape all excess glue off before I run it through the planer. If your cutting boards are going to end up wider then your planer can handle, you can glue up two panels first, plane them to your thickness and glue the two panels together and then you will only have one seam to worry about getting flush. Hope this will help you out some and good luck. Sounds like someone is going to have a very Merry Christmas!!

-- John @

View jaydub's profile


63 posts in 3141 days

#3 posted 11-29-2009 12:06 AM

I’ve only been at it a couple of years, but have found that there can be a lot of precision worked into glue-up. The cutting board I just finished came from re-sawn 5/4 stock that I then thickness planed to a uniform 3/8” Edges jointed. At glue up time (always stressful for me, for any kind of panel/tabletop) I don’t go really firm with the clamps until I’ve mated the top surfaces as best I can, and I’ll use some really straight stuff clamped across the joints to make help keep them in place. (I also throw some blue painters tape over those braces so the glue doesn’t stick to them).

So the cutting board I finished – or more precisely, I haven’t actually “finished”. Is mineral oil the way to go, Rick? It’s actually for making pasta dough – has a lip around sides and back, so ingredients can be mixed in place – I would guess it needs to be nice and dry to the touch. Will the mineral oil work for me, in your opinion?

LJ rules!

-- happiness is a sharp plane iron

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5911 posts in 3221 days

#4 posted 11-29-2009 01:22 AM

Hey jaydub: Sounds like you got a good project going there. Can’t go wrong with a cutting board for gifts.
I use mineral oil on mine, but you can use Salad Bowl oil(?). There’s not a whole lot of olis you can put on c.b.’s that food safe, and it has to be food safe. I usually put 1 good coat of m.o. on, let it soak in for about 15-20 minutes, wipe it down, and repeat with about 2 more coats, wipeing down good in between coats.
Should be good to go once it drys. The mineral oil will work great for you !!!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)'s profile

Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)

176 posts in 3977 days

#5 posted 11-29-2009 01:48 AM


It all depends on the type of board you are going for. If you are only doing alternating strips, you can just glue it and run it thru the planner after you scrap the glue. If you are going to do a more stylish board, then you need to do a proper sizing (on all 4 sides) just like you would do for a nice table top or leg.

View jaydub's profile


63 posts in 3141 days

#6 posted 11-29-2009 06:23 PM

Thanks, Rick! It’s an interesting one that I figured would be great for my Italian “second mother.” We have some mineral oil in the house already, so I’ll definitely give it a try. Keep your eyes peeled for pics of the finished product.


-- happiness is a sharp plane iron

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