Do you know how to make a cutting board that actually gives a professional look? Is it possible to make one at home? Yes of course, with the right equipment and materials we can make a cutting board easily.
Cutting board is a piece of essential equipment in any kitchen. Although cutting boards can be purchased from the market easily, they don’t last long.
The issues that are normally seen are with its losing balance and scuffed up areas. It doesn’t cost much and neither takes too much time to make a cutting board at home. And sometimes its a good DIY project for those who want to make unique things out of the ordinary.
A wood strip is mainly required and the process to carve a fully functioning cutting board is described below. You may need to take proper measurements and handle the equipment carefully to avoid design flaws and issues.
Here is the complete process that you will be following in order to get a professionally designed and ready to use cutting board from scratch. Make sure you have everything ready to start carving the board:
Video Credit: Paoson WoodWorking
- Harwood strip
- Wood glue
- Mineral oil
- Beeswax and oil blend
- Glue brush
- Table saw
- Miter saw
- Round-over bit
Steps to make a cutting board:
1. Preparing for the Cutting Board:
You need to flatten up your chosen wood strip. It could be 8 inches wide ideally but may vary. If a wood strip is too wide for the jointer surface, so have it cut roughly to the length of 2 cutting boards.
Put the wood on top of the table saw. This would show if your wood strip is flat or not. If you experience it rocking a bit then remove some part of wood on either end using a block plane. Keep on repeating this until it sits stable on top of the table with no wobbling.
2. Smoothing surfaces through planer:
The wood strip should then be run through the planer having one face flat. The direction should be the one where the grains are seen going downhill. This will restrict the blades’ planer not to result in any tear-out. Such a cutting board doesn’t require to have any specific thickness. So plane it until you get two smooth and parallel surfaces.
3. Joint and crosscut:
In this step, join one edge and the other should be ripped off over the table saw. Only the required amount should be scuffed so that you are able to establish parallel smooth edges. By employing a crosscut luge over the table saw, have your both hands squared just ahead of cutting the subject boards to their whole length.
4. Carving a Handle:
A handle grip is more than a handy feature and it helps especially when you are looking to lift it. You can do this by drilling a hole in one corner of the board. A 1-inch round-over bot could be used.
5. Surfacing the face of the board:
A glassy surface of the cutting board is highly desirable. If not, then it would just be a piece of raw wood. Therefore, you need to put in the elbow grease for ensuring this. The board is already very smooth when treated with a planer. So, now you should use 150 grit paper and employing an orbit sander. Each pass would help in covering up the scratches formed through the previous pass.
In the end, the surface wouldn’t have any spirals or marks. Repeat the process with the 220 grit once you are done with the edges and the board itself. For the sake of sanding the inside of the handling hole, use a spindle sander. However, sandpaper can also be used, being swathed around a dowel.
6. Smoothing the edges:
Rough edges should be smoothened and rounded. The sandpaper can do the job in this regard. The corners could be done with the use of a block plane. Hold it at an angle of 45 degrees and use consistent number of passes for all edges. A block plane is good to give good faceted edges. Still, it is not perfect and keeps you reminding that it is a handmade board.
7. Raising the grain:
When moisture stays long over the wood strips then they tend to swell up. This gives you a fuzzy and rough feeling of the cutting board surface. This could be done by raising the grain, which eventually forces the wood fibers to stand up. It then allows you to sand them off with ease while making the surface much parallel and smoother.
The wood strip sanded to 220 grit, you should then wipe the surface using a damp towel. This will ensure the surface to be wet, but not flooded with water. Make the board stand vertically on the side until it dries up completely. After this, sand again the complete length of the board using a 220 grit sandpaper. This extra step would give a surprisingly awesome finish to the cutting board.
8. Oiling the cutting board:
This is the final step in the cutting board preparing process. In order to protect the board from water, a mineral oil (food grade) finish is inevitable. Such oil is readily available in grocery stores and even at pharmacies.
In order to do this, flood the entire surface of the cutting board with mineral oil. Let the oil stay there, while wood is soaked in it for a few minutes. Wipe off the surface then and allow it to dry, preferably overnight. This oiling process should be repeated a couple of times. You may also use oil & beeswax that forms a butter type mixture.
As you can see that a DIY cutting board can be made at home. The process requires mainly a wood strip and a few other tools such as a saw, sandpaper, and other supporting stuff. All you need to do is to ensure every step carefully and none of the above steps are optional. It is just that you could find alternate ways of doing this.