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First Projects #1: A Cutting Board

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Blog entry by TimInIndiana posted 01-24-2018 09:21 PM 581 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Being new to the hobby, and really getting geared up in the couple of months leading up to Christmas, it seemed appropriate to make a cutting board as my first project. It’s a rite of passage I hear.

I’m coming at this perhaps a little backwards. First, I joined my local maker shop which has great equipment: table saw, jointer, planer, band saw, disc/belt sander, lathe, miter saw, dust collection, CNC machine, etc. It’s overwhelming to go there and have literally NO experience on those machines. I did take the required safety classes, but haven’t attempted too much in the way of projects.

In short order I decided I wanted procure some nice hardwood lumber in rough sawn state. Dressing and dimensioning seemed like a rewarding part of the project. Plus, I have a couple of nearby hardwood lumber purveyors near me; one is about 15 miles away and the other about 45 miles. Out of the bargain bin I picked out some interesting pieces – a thick chunk of walnut, some maple, and a small sassafras board. I didn’t have a specific project in mind, but was thinking about cutting boards and coasters. Really easing into it.

I left the saw mill feeling proud of my purchase and took it straight to the maker shop, where I reveled in my success at jointing and planing my new lumber.

Imagine my disappointment when I discovered a few days later that my boards were no longer dead flat! A very basic lesson in wood movement was learned that day.

Realizing that I could benefit from some professional instruction in wood movement, design, and tool usage in general, I signed up for a local woodworking class. Three hours a week for 8 weeks; I am making a small coffee table in cherry. This class will give me exposure to the band saw, jointer, planer, table saw, mortise & tenon joinery, hand planing and scraping, and sharpening hand tools. I don’t expect come out an expert, but will be in a better place than when I started! The third session is tonight.

In the mean time, I’m starting to accumulate my own tools. So far I have purchased a table saw (used Craftsman 113.298762 that I picked up for $40) and a Millers Falls No. 9 hand plane (that I have yet to do anything with). I have a single chisel, but no means to sharpen it at the moment.

Back to the cutting board. Here’s start of the first project I’m doing myself, using the tools at the maker shop. It’s walnut, maple, and purple heart. The walnut I picked up while traveling in Michigan; the maple is from my local mill, and the purple heart was from a small board I grabbed at Woodcraft. That one was expensive. I’ve attempted to round over the edge a little bit on the router table. The dimensions 11-3/4” wide, 15-1/4” long, and 1-1/2” thick. I used A LOT of tite bond 3 glue. As you can tell from the pictures, I haven’t finished it yet. Still have a bit of sanding to do, then will probably just go with mineral oil for the finish.

Thanks for reading! (And yes, this post is a bit disorganized, which reflects my entry into the hobby quite nicely.)



3 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4038 posts in 2406 days


#1 posted 01-25-2018 12:49 PM

You are making a good start. Taking a class will give you some great help.

View Kelster58's profile

Kelster58

755 posts in 958 days


#2 posted 03-10-2018 03:44 PM

That is a very nice 1st project….Great Job!! Welcome to Lumberjocks…..

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View Kelster58's profile

Kelster58

755 posts in 958 days


#3 posted 03-10-2018 03:50 PM

That is a very nice 1st project….Great Job!! Welcome to Lumberjocks…..

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

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