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Cutting Board Wood Question

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Forum topic by Jackcarter0714 posted 04-27-2017 03:57 AM 720 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 241 days


04-27-2017 03:57 AM

Hey there fellas. I’m a bit new to wood working and carving. I have a question regarding what type of piece of wood I should use, and more importantly where to get it. I’m planning on setting out to carve a cutting board. A fairly big but thin one, I have my reasons. About 2’x2’ and around a 1/2” thick. I have all of the plans worked out. But I cannot figure out which cut of wood I would need or where to get it. I figured I would need just a big ole slab to start with, and work it down. But I cannot think of any piece of wood sold like that. Sure, the hardware stores will carry inch thick, fairly large boards, but I definitely do not trust that wood.
Is there something I am missing here? What have you fellas used in the past for cutting boards? Any help will be greatly appreciated and thanked.


7 replies so far

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

811 posts in 1280 days


#1 posted 04-27-2017 08:28 AM

A single board, 24” wide and 1/2” thick is going to cup. It won’t work well for a cutting board (and will be hard to find).

The most stable wood (of any species) will be “quarter-sawn.” A cutting board is typically made by gluing together a series of smaller boards to achieve the desired width. Thicker is also better for stability—staying flat over time.

You’ll need to be able to prep the wood for gluing, clamp, and flatten afterwards.

You need to find a source for hardwood (search “hardwoods” for your area or talk to a local cabinet shop for small amounts)

Hard maple is traditional for cutting boards, but a lot of species will work well (birch, beech, cherry, ....)

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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LittleShaver

208 posts in 459 days


#2 posted 04-27-2017 01:17 PM

Woods that are good for cutting boards are not friendly to carving. Even if you glue up strips to get to 24” wide, I think you will still have problems keeping the board flat with only 1/2 thickness.

-- Sawdust Maker

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

690 posts in 655 days


#3 posted 04-27-2017 03:16 PM

Can the design you wish to build be installed into a frame? Like others have stated, it will be practically impossible to make a board like you describe that won’t cup or twist without some kind of stiffening.

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Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 241 days


#4 posted 04-27-2017 11:08 PM

Thank you all, lads. I’ve learned much more than I thought I would from these responses. Out of necessity, I will change and redesign my project. I hope to get rolling on it in the next few weeks. I will definitely update with all of my progress.

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Ripper70

618 posts in 748 days


#5 posted 04-27-2017 11:39 PM

You can learn allot from watching this guy make his boards. You’ll be blown away too!

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3116 posts in 3070 days


#6 posted 04-28-2017 12:53 AM

+ what everyone else has said.

I suggest that you pick another project to practice on. I see questions like yours asked a lot by folks new to woodworking. They usually want to make/build something that will most likely, end in disaster.

I am not sure what you mean by “carve” a cutting board. Can you explain further. Pictures would help.

My boards are simple but they do require gluing narrow strips together, then planing them flat on both sides. For the bigger ones, I cut finger grooves and/or juice grooves using a router and a cove bit.

Here are a few samples of my boards from the past.
Good luck.
Mike

Glue up for four boards

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 241 days


#7 posted 04-29-2017 02:55 PM



+ what everyone else has said.

I suggest that you pick another project to practice on. I see questions like yours asked a lot by folks new to woodworking. They usually want to make/build something that will most likely, end in disaster.

I am not sure what you mean by “carve” a cutting board. Can you explain further. Pictures would help.

My boards are simple but they do require gluing narrow strips together, then planing them flat on both sides. For the bigger ones, I cut finger grooves and/or juice grooves using a router and a cove bit.

Here are a few samples of my boards from the past.
Good luck.
Mike

Glue up for four boards

- MT_Stringer

Hello there Mike. When I say “carve” I more broadly mean using only hand tools. I’m experienced with my tools in rough carpentry, but never in this kind of fine woodworking. Like I said, I’ll have to come back to the drawing board on this.

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