Text Resize

  • -A
  • +A
  • Your rating: None (1 vote)

    Smart, Stylish Cutting Boards






    more on woodworking safety

    Tools and Materials

    Nicely designed cutting boards add a touch of custom woodwork to your kitchen. 

    A cutting board is a good destination for short or narrow offcuts of attractive wood. And if you use templates to make your boards, as I do, you can churn out a stack of gifts.


    While any slab of wood can be used as a cutting board, there is more to this topic than first meets the eye. You want a safe surface for food preparation, and one that will stand up to sharp blades and lots of moisture. There are also issues of form and function: The goal is a board that is both beautiful and suited to its specific purpose, whether for slicing meat, bread and cheese, or fruits and vegetables, or just for serving.

    This project originally appeared in the March/April 2006  issue of Fine Woodworking (FWW #183).


    How to Make

    Choose shape, size, and wood species

    Avoid soft or oily speciesclick to enlargeFinished boards

    Avoid soft or oily species: The first step is selecting the wood. Cutting boards are pretty simple as woodworking projects go, so more emphasis is placed on the wood’s appearance as one of the primary design factors. Durability is another concern. Hard maple is the traditional choice for making a cutting board, but nearly any hardwood will stand up well in the home kitchen. Most woods are safe for kitchen use, though there are a few to avoid. Stay away from the rosewoods, such as cocobolo, and don’t use olivewood, yew, or sassafras. Basically, avoid any wood that is known to cause allergic reactions or that has a high oil content, making gluing more difficult. It may seem obvious, but avoid softer woods like poplar, pine, and fir that will not hold up well to chopping and slicing. Deep cuts and cracks are potential homes for bacteria. If you want to err as far as possible on the side of caution, stick with hard maple. It’s a little tougher to work with, but it creates a smooth, durable cutting board, and it’s available with a wide range of figure, such as quilted, curly, and bird’s eye.

    Avoid soft or oily speciesclick to enlargeCutting board styles

    Form starts with function: Cutting boards can be made in any shape, from basic rectangles and rounds to whimsical shapes or characters. There are no hard-and-fast rules. Traditionally, however, cutting boards are designed around their intended uses. Boards designed for cutting meats can be round or rectangular, but should be designed to take a pounding. End-grain boards work well: Their durability and thickness are suited to the abuses of heavy chopping and cutting, while the extra mass keeps the board from sliding around the counter. End grain also has less of a dulling effect on knife blades than edge or face grain. Because of the extra weight, it’s a good idea to incorporate some form of handle or fingerhold into a meatcutting board. A thick, end-grain board might also be appropriate for cutting firm cheeses. Boards used for cutting fruits and vegetables tend to be round or square. I’ve found a medium size of about 12 in. is convenient. Because there will be constant contact with liquids, edge-grain boards work well. Quartersawn lumber will allow for a thin but stable board with plenty of durability. Quartersawn stock often is narrow, which opens the door to using striped patterns of alternating woods. A juice groove should be part of any board intended for cutting meats or fruits and vegetables (see below for instructions). A juice groove is simply a recess cut or routed into the board’s surface to collect liquids and prevent them from running onto the counter or floor. For breads and cheeses I often make rectangular boards that resemble a loaf of bread or block of cheese, with a lighter profile and an elegant handle. Bread and cheese boards don’t take as much abuse as meat boards, and therefore don’t have to be quite as tied down by their purpose. Figured woods and highly sculptured profiles and handles are common. Without constant water contact, face grain will hold up just fine. If you have room, it’s nice to have some boards dedicated to serving. These can be made from figured wood or can incorporate elegant design features that you wouldn’t necessarily use in a basic cutting board. These boards are great for serving breads, cheeses, or even appetizers. In creating some of these designs, I was particularly inspired by the cutting boards of Edward Wohl, a Wisconsin woodworker. Lighter boards can have hanging holes incorporated into their designs, either in the handle or in the body. Holes make storage easier and safer, and they can turn a stylish board into a wall decoration.

    An easy router project

    Avoid soft or oily speciesclick to enlargeWork out your template

    Start with a template: Once you've brainstormed wood types and cutting board shapes and sizes, create a template. A template will allow you to fine-tune the shape and work out any tricky details before cutting into your good wood. Trace the shape onto the stock. You can also plan a juice groove for your cutting board. Use the first template to make an outside template, which will guide a top-bearing, roundnose router bit or a router outfitted with a template guide. Be sure to craft the juice groove before cutting the perimeter of the board.

    Avoid soft or oily speciesclick to enlargeBoards with raised handles

    Pan handles and glue-up: You might want to include a raised pan handle on your cutting board. This would require an additional layer of stock when gluing up, and some hand-shaping.

    Avoid soft or oily speciesclick to enlargeHandle glue-up

    A note on glue: A note on glue: I have found the best results with high-grade polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glues, such as Titebond II and III, which contain a catalyst and are considered cross-linking glues. The catalyst creates a stronger bond than standard PVA glues. And Titebond II and III glues (when dry) are approved by the FDA for indirect food contact. However, with any PVA, if you routinely submerge your cutting boards in water, you risk the glue joints failing eventually. Generally, a wooden cutting board should not be submerged in water or put in the dishwasher. It should be cleaned with warm water and soap, toweled dry, and left to air-dry further, preferably not lying on a flat surface.

    Avoid soft or oily speciesclick to enlargeJuice grooves and a fingerhold

    Add a juice groove: Any cutting board meant for fruits and vegetables should include a juice groove. You can rout one into your cutting board by using the first template to make an outside template, which will guide a top-bearing, roundnose router bit or a router outfitted with a template guide. Be sure to craft the juice groove before cutting the perimeter of the board.

    Avoid soft or oily speciesclick to enlargeShape the edges

    Saw and shape the edges: Next, saw and rout the perimeter. Saw close to the line before routing with a bearing-guided, flush-cutting bit. Shape the edges with the same bearing-guided bit, and flip the board to complete the profile. Here, a bit makes a partial roundover on this board.

    Sand finely for a blotch-free oil finish: Since many of the boards are made with figured woods, I like to do most of my heavy sanding or scraping while the board still is a wide slab, before it is shaped. If you try to do a lot of sanding afterward, it will be harder to hold onto the workpiece and you’ll likely create a low spot somewhere or round over crisp edges. After the board is sanded to P150-grit paper, cut and shape the profile. Then sand the board to 400-grit for a blotch-free oil finish. For a really smooth finish on end grain, go to P600 grit.

    Two food-safe finishes: Like construction, finishing is straightforward. Flood the board with oil and let dry, wiping off the excess after 20 minutes. Mineral oil is the traditional choice. Look for mineral oil that meets the standard set by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) organization, labeled “USP grade” or “meets USP standards.” Mineral oil comes in different viscosities, typically light, medium, and heavy. A lighter grade will provide slightly better penetration as an initial coat. A word of caution: Mineral oil can weep from the board for days, so let the board sit on paper or an old towel to catch the excess. An alternative finish is walnut oil, which is applied in the same manner as mineral oil. The advantage of walnut oil is that it actually dries after a day or two, whereas mineral oil never completely dries. Both finishes are easily renewable.

    Avoid soft or oily speciesclick to enlargeRubber feet for the cutting board

    More great and practical details: For both comfort and safety, consider adding rubber feet and fingerholds to your cutting board. A raised cutting board improves airflow, and a dry board is inhospitable to bacteria. Improve group by routing fingerholds into a thick cutting board. Photos and drawings by Kelly J. Dunton



    jameskelly

    Comments

    I really enjoyed reading this

    stuartlittle1122
    stuartlittle1122 stuartlittle writes:

    I really enjoyed reading this post, big fan. Keep up the good work andplease tell me when can you publish more articles or where can I read more on the subject?             buy targeted twitter followers no follow back

    Thanks for posting this info.

    davidalan1122
    davidalan1122 davidalan1122 writes:

    Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts.        do my homework for me

    I think this is an

    ashleydanielle
    ashley danielle writes:

    I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.          https://rebelmouse.com/reviewstinnitusmiracle/

    This blog contains so many

    albinamuro2
    albina muro2 writes:

    This blog contains so many interesting stuff that makes me want to visit again and again. Look forward for more interesting updates.  click now

    Great! Thanks for your

    albinamuro2
    albina muro2 writes:

    Great! Thanks for your documents, its been very helpful. Thanks again for sharing your information.  plastic brochure holders

    Thanks for this great

    albinamuro2
    albina muro2 writes:

    Thanks for this great website. I am trying to read some more posts but I cant get your website to display properly in my website.  self directed IRA

     Thanks for your publication;

    albinamuro2
    albina muro2 writes:

     Thanks for your publication; wild style. Many thanks sharing your article.  Eye Secrets

    What a fantabulous post this

    ashleydanielle
    ashley danielle writes:

    What a fantabulous post this has been. Never seen this kind of useful post. I am grateful to you and expect more number of posts like these. Thank you very much.       mua balo

    some times we need to learn

    albinamuro2
    albina muro2 writes:

    some times we need to learn English more to understand these comments. but over all, you are great.  New York on page search engine optimization

    Thanks for the post and great

    tdtgc123
    tdtgc123 tdtgc writes: Thanks for sharing the info, keep up the good work going.... I really enjoyed exploring your site. good resource... rebelmouse

    I admire the valuable

    leo messi
    leo messi writes:

    I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else!spesifikasi dan harga ponsel

    These boards were made in a

    Georgegregory99
    George Gregory writes:

    These boards were made in a very innovative way as I could get myself a couple of these board very soon. Thanks for the share.

    Regards,

    medium.com best web hosting reviews | wordpress.com Moroccan argan oil | vitamin c serum bitly.com | seo in phoenix medium.com | seo in san francisco medium.com

    Just admiring your work and

    ashleydanielle
    ashley danielle writes:


    Just admiring your work and wondering how you managed this blog so well. It’s so remarkable that I can't afford to not go through this valuable information whenever I surf the internet     taxi obergurgl

    I simply want to tell you

    Mitsodimi365
    Mitsos Dimi writes:

    I simply want to tell you that I am new to weblog and definitely liked this blog site. https://archive.org/details/PregnancyMiracleBookLisaOlson

    Yeah, I even had one of this

    Tony_wify
    Tony Wify writes:

    Yeah, I even had one of this cutting board. Yes, I agree this is very stylish and comfortable. I've been using from about 1 year. Thanks for posting.

    Regards,

    play.google.com

    H

    husher123
    ewa oayo writes:

    Hi Good Day! I'd like to say thank you for posting this blog. Your site offered some useful equipment that we can work with. But making our own equipment such as cutting boar can save our money. I'd like you to visit this <a href="http://www.dieselcatbogota.com">kobelco colombia</a> 

    Excellent article. Very

    thscp1122
    thscp thscp writes:

    Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking.

    photobooth

    This is my first time i visit

    ashleydanielle
    ashley danielle writes:

    This is my first time i visit here and I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially it's discussion, thank you.

    trick photography and special effects pdf

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZNUwRUwcQ4

    anthonygoodwin
    anthony goodwin writes:

    This such a nice cutting tool that you published on your blogs.Thank you

    Id card passbook

    ocpfsd1
    ocpfsd1 ocpfsd1 writes:

    Excellent understand personally, This is just what We needed. Cheers regarding expressing this excellent write-up! That's very intriguing Smile I like reading in addition to We are always trying to find beneficial information similar to this! to visit on Id card passbook

    best photo recovery software

    monchy
    monchy gayle writes:

    This such a nice cutting tool that you published on your blogs.Thank you

    http://photo-recovery-software-review.toptenreviews.com/disk-doctors-photo-recovery-review.html

    Well this is very interesting

    Jenniferfodter
    Jenifer Foster writes: Well this is very interesting post, i like the momentum of words in the post. Keep sharing the nice stuff. http://filerecoverysoftwares.com/en/About

    un poquito de pan con queso

    doncheto
    don cheto writes:

    un poquito de pan con queso para desayunar, y luego para comer, enciendo la computadora, abro el navegador y entro en la guía de restaurantes en barcelona by linux. Y si lo que buscas son mexicanas cogiendo pues entra en nuestro site adulto.

    This is a really great effort

    Harga Sewa Murah Jakarta
    writes:

    Happy to see your blog as it is just what I’ve looking for and excited to read Sewa Sofa all the posts. I am looking forward to another great article from you. It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this Sewa Tenda Jakarta helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Google. You have made my day! Sewa Sofa Jakarta Thank you again. Thank you for another informative blog. Where else could I get that kind of info written in such a perfect way? I have a project Sewa Kursi Jakarta that I am just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information. All the contents you mentioned in post is Sewa Alat Pesta Jakarta too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts.Thanks. Your article has piqued a lot of Penyewaan Sofa VIP positive interest. I can see why since you have done such a good job of making it interesting.

    Making your own cutting

    alex6112
    Miguel Munoz writes:

    Making your own cutting boards can really help you save some money!Thanks for the advice!

    bitcoin casino

    Another dog breed that is

    petgrooming3
    David Lim writes:

    Another dog breed that is well known throughout Europe is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These dogs have the distinction of being one of the first “toy dog” breeds to be introduced in Europe. When we say “toy dog”, we mean dogs that are smaller in size but identical to their larger relatives in every other respect. The King Charles Spaniel first appeared when European traders bred spaniels to toy dogs from the Orient. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

    enjoying what i'm reading

    sophisticated_sandy
    Sandryne Perry writes: I enjoy reading all that I have seen so far... I'll post my finish work soon.

    enjoying what i'm reading

    sophisticated_sandy
    Sandryne Perry writes: I enjoy reading all that I have seen so far... I'll post my finish works soon.

    Your website offered us with

    biyahe
    pilipinas bi biyahe writes:

    Your website offered us with useful details to work with. Each & every guidelines of your publish are amazing. Thanks a lot for discussing. Keep writing a weblog.

    fly fishing

    This posting is marvelous and

    cara123
    cara` mel writes:

    This posting is marvelous and what a fantastic research that you have done. It has helped me a lot. thank you very much.

    detroit diesel colombia

    I prefer to buy it, it is

    franjonando
    franjo nando writes:

    I prefer to buy it, it is simplier for me! I will be back with yacht reviews

    Login or register to post comments