Wood Whisperer Cutting Board

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Project by Ottacat posted 07-11-2013 01:45 PM 4231 views 8 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The image of this cutting board on my kitchen counter all ready to cut up some tomatoes are the result of a fairly long road.

I just got back into wood working this April after spending most of March insulating my garage to get ready for a shop. Like many I found The Wood Whisperer web site and watched a lot of Marc’s videos. When I got my first three tools – table saw, jointer and planer I started on the cutting board. I bought two good sized pieces of 8/4 hard maple and purple heart – enough to make enough for five boards.

The first planer I purchased was a used Delta. Unfortunately it was really bad for sniping. I got the boards ripped and glued up in the first glue up without too much trouble. However that first glue-up needs to be flattened and given I didn’t yet have any hand planes (or even a work bench at that point), I tried flattening it in the Delta planer. Well I should say I tried one. It sniped so bad that I didn’t even bother trying the rest. I put the whole load of blanks off to the side and started working on my work bench project.

After the workbench I worked on Shaker End Table (yet to post that one) and finally I came back to my cutting boards. By now I had bought a DeWalt 735 planer which was much better at handling snipe.

So I glued up the remaining 4 boards and used the DeWalt to plane them back flat. The DeWalt did leave a bit of snipe so I trace coated the blanks with a light yellow dye and sanded them completely flat with my ROS. Having the first blank dead flat top and bottom is essential to the second glue up succeeding without any gaps.

I cut the blank on my table saw and found this was a really good use for the Grr-ripper. It enabled me to use my fence to safely cut the 1 1/4” strips without any burning.

I had read about the issues flattening the boards and decided that since I didn’t have a drum sander that I would take the homemade router sled route. I built the entire sled out of a single 30” x 30” piece of 3/4” baltic birch plywood. It was very simple to make. The board is held in with wedges on one side. I picked the lowest point of the board and plunged my router down and set my depth stop. I then moved the router off the board, adjusted the depth down a hair further and locked it in place. I then used the sled to flatten the board. It is a messy but effective processes.

When done, the board still had machine marks and I took those out with my ROS using 60 grit paper and lots of time – I’d estimate 45 minutes per side, 40 minutes at 60 grit to get out the machine marks and 5 minutes to work up to 220 grit. This was the most boring and tedious part of the project.

I then finished the project with diluted GF Salad Bowl finish as per Marc’s video.

The boards are great looking when done and have been warmly received as gifts. I would like to do more but the long sanding times are a deterrent. I am considering a drum sander in the future.

9 comments so far

View Sanding2day's profile


1014 posts in 2113 days

#1 posted 07-11-2013 02:31 PM

Nice looking board, and router plane jig… Certain they were received well, great work… Thanks for sharing…

-- Dan

View Shane's profile


294 posts in 2078 days

#2 posted 07-11-2013 04:03 PM

I don’t have a planer and one way I have found that helps getting around the problem of having smooth joints on the second glue up is getting the blank as flat as possible with the ROS after the first glue up and then cutting the strips. I then joint the strips before doing the final glue up on the board (I only take off about 1/32 or less).

View freddyaudiophile's profile


58 posts in 2317 days

#3 posted 07-11-2013 11:13 PM

Really nice looking board…

Interestingly, I had a 12” Delta planer too that sniped like no other… So off on Kijiji it went. Now I have a 13” General with the helical head; very, very minimal snipe and the helical cutters are awesome in figured wood.

-- freddyaudiophile, Fredericton, NB, Canada

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2091 days

#4 posted 07-12-2013 12:15 AM

Nice looking board, the pattern is very nice….great job.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3954 days

#5 posted 07-12-2013 01:20 AM

I guess the Delta snipe issues are universal. Great looking board though : ) How much did the wood set you back ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Ottacat's profile


496 posts in 2118 days

#6 posted 07-12-2013 02:42 AM

Hey @Dusty56, thanks for the kind words. the two 8’ x 7” 8/4 boards set me back about $200. I had enough for five boards, a little wider and I might have gotten six. All depends on how thick you want them.

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3954 days

#7 posted 07-12-2013 04:15 AM

Ok , that you . I would like to try to make one of these, but money is tight right now.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2843 days

#8 posted 07-15-2013 06:40 AM

Beautiful job!
One of these is on my to do list. :-)

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3954 days

#9 posted 07-15-2013 03:18 PM

I meant to say, Thank you, not “that” you. LOL So much for my typing skills !!

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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