What dimension lumber do you cutting board people start out with?

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Forum topic by ScottKaye posted 04-03-2014 09:58 PM 876 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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443 posts in 1043 days

04-03-2014 09:58 PM

I want to make a few cutting boards and since this is the first time trying out my skills in this area, I have no idea what dimension stock I need to buy. The first cutting board I think will be your basic end grain checker board pattern. Id like to also try my hand at the end grain 3D boards as well. I have a bunch of 4/4 stock laying around, but to me 1” squares (if i’m lucky) are kind of on the small side. What say you? 6/4 or 8/4?


-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

13 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


2017 posts in 1347 days

#1 posted 04-03-2014 11:11 PM

Scott, just to get the responses started, you could laminate your 1” stock to make 2” stock. I did that to make this board from 3/4” material. The board measures 11.5” square so the individual squares are slightly less than 1.5”. Good luck with your projects.

-- Art

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29 posts in 619 days

#2 posted 04-03-2014 11:35 PM

Depends on the design. I use 4/4, 5/4, 8/4 and 12/4. Mostly 4/4 though.

-- Reinventing the "Wheel", one 800mg Ibuprofen at a time.....

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Shawn Masterson

1270 posts in 1039 days

#3 posted 04-03-2014 11:44 PM

I haven’t started making them yet, but I believe a lot of people just make them out of whatever they have laying around.

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Monte Pittman

18618 posts in 1428 days

#4 posted 04-04-2014 12:06 AM

On the few that I have made, I started with 4/4 boards.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View paxorion's profile (online now)


1090 posts in 1136 days

#5 posted 04-04-2014 12:28 AM

So far I’ve only used 4/4 and 6/4 material.

-- paxorion

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


669 posts in 667 days

#6 posted 04-04-2014 12:38 AM

There’s a cutting board designer if you google that, you can use it free for like a week i think. But you can put in the thickness of your stock then put in how thick you want the final thing to be. Once you get it down to what you want it to be it’ll give you directions on what sizes to cut everything down to and all that, i found it pretty helpful, takes some of the thinking out of it haha

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443 posts in 1043 days

#7 posted 04-04-2014 12:20 PM

Thanks for all the replies. I wasn’t a fan of gluing up 2 4/4 boards but I suppose if I do a good job matching the grain I can get by with it.
@gixxerjoe04 thanks for the heads up on the cutting board designer. I didn’t know that existed.. Cool tool. Here is the link

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View bigblockyeti's profile


2529 posts in 811 days

#8 posted 04-04-2014 12:40 PM

With the few that I’ve made, I started with 4/4, and ended up with stock about 7/8” after milling, glue up and final planing. The individual strips were between 1 1/4” and 2 1/4” wide. The finished boards are about 1 1/4” thick. I also keep the layout so there are no longitudinal seams to give the boards a little more strength in the event one was dropped.

View TimBridge's profile


36 posts in 663 days

#9 posted 04-04-2014 12:44 PM

I use 2 4/4 and laminate them together. I’d love to start with 8/4, but there is no place close to me that sells 8/4 and I’ve yet to make the trip to the lumberyard in my area that does.

Here is a link to another Cutting Board Designer application. This one is totally free and has the same features.

-- Tim Bridge, Northern NJ,"Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't." Pete Seeger

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443 posts in 1043 days

#10 posted 04-04-2014 04:42 PM

@timbridge. The program you linked looks even better, but I couldn’t get it to work. I even followed the instructions on how to install the .ocx file and still had no luck

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View BigMig's profile


337 posts in 1704 days

#11 posted 04-04-2014 06:28 PM

I’ve started w 6/4 and 8/4 and these dimensions make nice, big squares and rectangles. Plus – then there are fewer glue joints to fuss over.

Party on!

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

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34 posts in 1770 days

#12 posted 04-04-2014 06:45 PM

I started with 7/8

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Mike Throckmorton

116 posts in 755 days

#13 posted 04-04-2014 08:22 PM

Choose your stock based on what your desired end goal is.

I’ve bought a big 8/4 board of maple for the specific purpose of making my own personal 24”x20” cutting board that no one else in the house chooses to try to deal with. Has its own nice black walnut storage mount on the wall. When I get old (older) and decrepit (more decrepit) I will probably be unable to get it down to use it. Oh well.

I’ve also just grabbed stock lying around and adjusted my end goal to match the reasonable potential of the stock I picked.

-- You are never complete, you just draw a line where done is and stop at that line.

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