Several bread boards

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Project by splintergroup posted 02-02-2015 04:47 PM 3181 views 34 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I find myself making a lot of these things. It probably comes from the infinite variety you can create plus the relatively simple construction.

I’ve done the “inlay” many times. It produces some nice effects and has that “wow” factor that makes these good sellers. There is a video from Fine Woodworking magazine that runs down one method to create this effect. It is time lapsed and the camera man seems to have photographed with the poor woodworker mounted on a carousel, but it’s worth a look if you want to make one and don’t get motion sickness.

Several things I do different. I use a drum sander versus a planer, I use a 1/4” masonite template and a router table with a bushing, and I use a different technique for finger grooves.

The video shows an elaborate router guide for the finger grooves. This works fine of course, but unless you are making many boards all of the same dimensions, it is easier just to use a bearing guided bit. I use an Amana 543004, part of a family of flute bits (54302/04/06/08). The bearing guide makes grooving trivial.

One thing I struggle with on making cutting boards is how will the user lift the board off the counter? The flute grooves are one way if the board is thick enough. I’ve also tried round-over edges, feet, and inset handles. The handles and feet look aesthetically the best, but are more work. Grooves/round-overs are simple, but plain. With these boards I ran the edges over a table saw rip blade, basically the same method used to make table saw cove moulding. This was done before curving the edges and can be seen in several of the photos showing the underside of the boards.
The photos don’t really show it, but the boards are almost double the thickness of the edge you can easily see. I believe bread boards need to be thick (1” +), they stay flatter this way. Coving ends up being the most work. Lots of time spent with setup and cutting and even more time spent sanding the cove (think of hand sanding rough cut end grain, ugh!). I’ll come up with an easier sanding method before I try many more of these.

The boards stats are fairly basic.
One uses a main body made from Cherry with the inlay being Maple, Walnut, and Tamarisk (from the firewood pile). The other board uses a Cherry and Walnut body with maple splines. The splines are to help hold things together otherwise there would be too much end-grain glue joints for my taste. The inlay is Maple/Tamarisk (center) and Walnut/Tamarisk on the edges. Finish is a good soaking in mineral oil.

Both boards spend over a week in the sun to darken the Cherry.

Some day I’ll learn to pick better contrasting inlays.

12 comments so far

View TexUSAF's profile


112 posts in 2384 days

#1 posted 02-02-2015 05:48 PM

Those are all really great looking. Thanks for sharing.

View splintergroup's profile


2726 posts in 1639 days

#2 posted 02-02-2015 06:03 PM

Thank you for the interest!

View Mambrax's profile


161 posts in 1909 days

#3 posted 02-02-2015 07:21 PM

freaking awesome !!!!! very tastefully done.

-- Let's do the best we can !

View Marty 529's profile

Marty 529

344 posts in 2137 days

#4 posted 02-02-2015 07:44 PM

This video with Scotty Lewis was the same one that inspired me to make my board this way. I would guess that they did the video with a dolly on a curved track or with a steady cam. I love the video, tho I would have thrown in some other moves besides spinning around the worker. Anyway, your boards are beautiful. As I practice with my machines I’ll have to try this technique again :)

-- Marty, Ohio

View splintergroup's profile


2726 posts in 1639 days

#5 posted 02-02-2015 07:53 PM

Thanks guys!

Just to clarify, Scotty Lewis uses a fluting bit with a bearing in the video, but the finger grooves are cut with a special curved fence.
When I cut finger grooves, I already have a 1/4” masonite template to cut the end curve profile of the board and I simply double-sided tape the template back on to provide a guide for the router bit bearing.

View Bud_3's profile


899 posts in 1641 days

#6 posted 02-03-2015 12:29 AM

Joints between boards are perfect.they look good.

-- Personality and character of a man is like wood,you must polish it to shine.....

View crashman's profile


146 posts in 2762 days

#7 posted 02-03-2015 01:57 AM

Very nice!!!! Made a couple of these “Ribbon” type boards for my nieces, they were well received.
good job on yours….....................Jack

-- Jack R. Ellis

View michelletwo's profile


2781 posts in 3433 days

#8 posted 02-03-2015 12:35 PM

especially like pics 4-5-6..a very eye-grabbing design. thanks for the link & for sharing these super boards.

View Joe Weaver's profile

Joe Weaver

518 posts in 4103 days

#9 posted 02-03-2015 12:42 PM

wow the boards are beautiful

-- Joe, Ga

View Albert's profile


527 posts in 4006 days

#10 posted 02-03-2015 01:28 PM

These are very nice, thanks for sharing

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

803 posts in 4325 days

#11 posted 02-04-2015 11:20 AM

I absolutely love these designs. Thanks for sharing.

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View TheShoug's profile


3 posts in 1619 days

#12 posted 02-13-2015 03:45 AM

Thank you for the link. I plan on making a cutting board as a wedding gift for a relative later this year. Will have to look into this more

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