Monday, March 2, 2015

How I Made a Wooden Cutting Board

When Nick and I got our first place together my dad made me a beautiful wooden cutting board.  It's something I use often and will always cherish.  It grew in me a love for sturdy wooden cutting boards.  I've been searching for another, larger board, for a while when Nick suggested we make one! This was the perfect solution as it enabled me to make the exact size and shape I wanted.  It also allowed me to test out the wood burning pen Nick had given me a few moths ago.  Double fun!  I thought I'd share my process, in case you'd like to make one too...
The first step is to carefully select your wood type.  I found that the top three recommended woods for food-safe cutting boards are Maple, Walnut, and Cherry as they are hard woods that provide the least porous surface. 
( I didn't have access to any of these three at the time, so I chose a piece of red oak.  Red oak has gotten mixed reviews for cutting board material because it tends to have long open grain.  I felt safe using it since the main purpose of my board will be serving, rather than a lot of food preparation.  I'll use my new board for things like loaves of bread or baked goods.  I, personally, also never allow raw meat to come into contact with my boards, so that lessens my concern over the grain as well.)
I began with a 3/4" thick piece of 8 x 16" wood.  Then I traced a large round cake plate onto the lower half of the wood, the same size that I wanted the cutting board to be.  To make the handle, I traced the shape I wanted onto a piece of paper first to test and then used the paper cut-out as a template to outline the handle on the wood, making sure it was centered at the top of my circle.


Nick was already working on some cabinets outside with the saw so he kindly cut the shape out with a jigsaw for me.  Then he drilled a small hole in the handle.  I sanded the whole thing down, careful to work in the direction of the grain.  I made sanded the edges and handle nice and smooth too.
After working a little pattern onto the edges with my new wood burner (lots of fun, but a little more practice couldn't hurt, as you can see 'wink wink'), I cleaned my board thoroughly and began to apply the fist coat of food-safe mineral oil.  I let that dry for 30 minutes and applied 4 more coats, working it in with the grain (the same direction).
I love my new board, I can just picture a nice, big, crusty, round loaf of fresh bread sitting in its center, can't you?  I know it will just get better looking with age and use too.

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2 comments:

  1. Lovely! I wasn't aware that there is such a thing as cutting board oil.

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  2. This is a supremely cool idea! And it looks so easy. Yours turned out really lovely- I like the leaf pattern you put around the edges.

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