Tips: Cutting Boards

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At this time, we have our Quarterly Awards and the subject is “cutting boards”.

What are your tips re: making a cutting board?

Toxins Out, Nature In - body/mind/spirit

I can attest to that, unfortunately.

Losing fingers since 1969

Guesstimate your material correctly. Err on the “more” side.
once you change your tools setup small errors creep in if you need more material.
These errors adds up during glue up.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

Sometimes it pays off to divide your glue up into section so you do not rush and make mistakes.
if you have to glue all at the same time on a complex glue up, get help.
It is very easy to flip or misplace pieces when we are racing against glue setting up.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

One more:

Clamping pressure tend to shift pieces around. especially on angled pieces.
Chevron boards are prone to slippage during clamping.
a little pressure at the time helps.

make sure all pieces stay flat. it will save you from extra sanding and thinner than intended cutting board.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

Yes, triple check your setup and measure twice:)
it save you a lot of frustration.

notice the gaps:

it wasn’t much on the right hand side but it adds up rather quickly.

another one:

what a let down on both. The cube went to recycle the other was completed and never left my bench. It serves as a reminder.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

If you are in a hurry and don’t want to wait for tite bond 3 to dry overnight I use gorilla glue and only have to wait 2 hours for it to be workable again. Not the wood gorilla glue but the yellow stuff that you need to wet the wood to activate it.

Pauls Bored

Cleaning off there excess is fun too! ;-)

Losing fingers since 1969

True that, disposable gloves are great, excess of the boards I use a card scraper to flatten one side then run thru the thickness planer

Pauls Bored

Making these things is very addictive.


Don’t be cheap with the non-hardening oil.

Over and over again, I see people talk about wiping oil onto a wood surface, then wiping off the excess. This is a total waste of time and material.

Slather the oil on and walk away. You spent a lot of time getting to this point, don’t be cheap with your time now. Let the oil soak in.

I’ve taken thick butcher blocks I acquired, cheap, and drowned them in mineral oil. As long as they’d take the oil, I kept adding. When it slowed down, I doused it again and walked away. In one instance, for a few weeks. When I came back, all the splits, cracks and separations had disappeared.

It takes time for oil to wick from cell to cell. When it disappears, it’s not evaporating. It’s wicking deeper into the wood.

The oil we retard moisture loss or gain too, because it has to get past the oil. Of course, to really be effective, you “have to be sincere about your oiling process.”

I’ve done people’s fences with non-hardening oil and the difference between them and the ones next to them is night and day. If the oil replaces moisture, the wood doesn’t shrink and crack or split. Same with cedar shakes and shingles. Too, they’ll remain more resilient, even in the hot summer.