making cutting boards

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Forum topic by nate22 posted 11-17-2011 06:04 PM 2249 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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475 posts in 3051 days

11-17-2011 06:04 PM

When making cutting boards do you have to cut little squares or strips then glue them back together or can you just cut how big you want the cutting board then put a finish on it? Any informtion will help.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

3 replies so far

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3241 days

#1 posted 11-17-2011 06:10 PM

You can do it either way. The strips are mostly for show, but potentially add some stability as well. We do a lot more of multi-species cutting boards because our customers like the contrasting woods, but we sell a fair number of boards that are cut from a single board as well. When we do single board cutting boards we normally use some figured stock, such as birdseye or curly maple. If you glue strips, be sure to use a waterproof and food-safe glue, such as titebond III.



-- PaulMayer,

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21536 posts in 3281 days

#2 posted 11-18-2011 01:49 AM

Hi Nate. The reason that lots of cutting boards are made from little pieces is that they make them with end grain up which is the best surface for a cutting board. The other reason is that you can create patterns with the smaller pieces It is best to use a close grain wood for a cutting board especially for cutting meat so that you can clean it better. Open grain wood such as oak is not a good choice for that reason.

For a finish- use a food safe finish like salad bowl finish or mineral oil…...........Good Luck…......Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Saxon's profile


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#3 posted 11-21-2011 06:59 PM


This may be repeat of the above, but there are two basic styles of cutting boards – end grain and edge/face grain. End grain is typically the preferred style from a functional standpoint, as the end grain surface wears on the knife less than the edge grain surface. From what I understand, when using a sharp knife, the fibers kind of displace to either side during the cut instead of the knife cutting down into the fibers like with edge grain. However, end grain is a little more difficult to make.

I would think if you had a sufficiently large piece of wood for the size board you want to make, you could make an edge/face grain board with a single cut. As others said, cutting strips, sticks, and other shapes opens up some possibilities for multi-species boards and decorative designs. However, if you are going end grain you’re going to have to do some cutting and glue-ups. I highly recommend Wood Whisperer #7 ( on making an end-grain cutting board – great discussion on gluing strategies and finishing.

-- I'm either sleepin', fixin' airplanes or makin' sawdust.

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