Martin Luther King SAVE THE CHILDREN cutting board and kit knives with Wenge handles

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Project by Dan'um Style posted 10-07-2007 02:45 AM 6828 views 13 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello All
Thanks for looking at my project.

yellowheart, wenge from Africa and Black cherry from Memphis.

About 12 years ago we lived in Bartlett, Tennessee which is a suburb of Memphis. In the Sunday paper we noticed a classified ad for cherry and walnut lumber @ a dollar a board foot. Never missing a wood bargain, we called, got directions and drove into southern Memphis to take a look at it. Seller met us at an old shed across the street from an old church. Shed was stuffed with rough-cut boards of cherry and walnut. Dusty, and undisturbed for many years it really looked like a mess. Not to go home empty handed my son and I dug through the pile of lumber, finding the best of the bunch. We came up with pretty big pile, about 140 bft.
When the seller was helping us load the wood into the pickup he told us about the wood. The trees came from accross the street and once were on the grounds of the Babtist Church. He said he was the minister of the church and the trees were blown down many years earlier by a tornado. When we were about done loading he told us the trees were special, .... special because Martin Luther King had once visited the church and prayed while under the trees. Story stuck to the wood and has followed it everywhere since. I made many items from that lumber, a shaker clock, a chair, dresser, boxes and now cutting boards for the save the children event.

Mockup for this cutting board was designed in sketchup … link.... shown in previous posting.

Yesturday evening, while my wife is working late, I started a batch run of cutting boards for the save the children fund raizing event. Cut strips of yellowheart and wenge left over from my FWW inspired table project … link... ( save every little stck … grin). ; enough to make about 4 cutting boards.

Board is oddly shaped and about 8×6 inches. Originally 8.5×8.5 but in my haste in the glue-up, a few of the blocks were miss aligned and when I fed the board the board throught the drum sander it was taking forever to get everything flush so I fed the board through the planer. Not usually a problem except the yellowheart squares are set in on the-end-grain. Not a good idea to run it the through the planer. End grain edges tore out like crazy. So much that the only way to salvage it was on the table saw. Lesson learned.

Will post pictures photos of the full size boards when I get em done. Could’nt wait to post this project and I had been waiting for the right time to post the knives anyway.

Knives are kits or knife blanks I bought on ebay. Handles are wenge offcuts. Fun project too.


-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

32 comments so far

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4514 days

#1 posted 10-07-2007 04:08 AM

Dan, I’m impressed at the speed which you took this from sketchup to complete project. Great story about the wood as well. Great cutting board. Really and eye catcher! I ran some purple heart through my planer once. It made a mess of it. When I find a place and some money, I’m getting a drum sander. Great work again!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Karson's profile


35197 posts in 4878 days

#2 posted 10-07-2007 04:16 AM

Great Dan. We appreciate your efforts.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4544 days

#3 posted 10-07-2007 06:04 AM

Dan your cutting boards are a cut above most. Thank you for sharing!

This message is coming to you from the State of Louisiana – which is also the home of the Undisputed #1 Team in the Nation – LSU!!

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4457 days

#4 posted 10-07-2007 08:29 AM

Dan; really great cutting boards!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4527 days

#5 posted 10-07-2007 01:21 PM

That is a really awesome cutting board Dan. Even better, the wood has a story. Nothing beats wood with a story. Thanks for sharing with us.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4639 days

#6 posted 10-07-2007 02:18 PM

how wonderful .
What a great story behind the wood. The title of the project and the story really increases the value of the cutting board.

Do you know how you are going to sell them for the STC event?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View john's profile


2380 posts in 4859 days

#7 posted 10-07-2007 04:10 PM

Beautiful job Dan and it,s even better that you made it for such a great cause.

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4555 days

#8 posted 10-07-2007 05:27 PM

amazing…great story…great results…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Atelierwoodworks's profile


108 posts in 4491 days

#9 posted 10-07-2007 05:36 PM

Great story Dan and your boards are splendid.

-- Atelierwoodworks Vaud Switzerland

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4461 days

#10 posted 10-07-2007 06:29 PM

Hello All
Thanks for the feedback ! So far I have two others completed.

Ran out of the little yellowheart squares, so will try something else. .... zebra wood ? walnut ? oak ? mahogany ? imbuia ? sapele ? mansonia ? ash ? curly maple ? anigre ? bubinga ? ... so many choices of offcuts in my collection …

Hey Debbie
Not sure how to market them. I’m thinking ebay eventually. Haven’t come up with a firm plan yet. Thinking if I wait until Christmas season, I’ll get a better price, but probably will not be able to wait that long.

Sketchup is blast. It is easy to change the materials and you can see the color combinations imediately. Like I mentioned in my mockup posting I snag jpegs of the wood from the web and use them for the material tectures. ... link … to cherry mockup

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4751 days

#11 posted 10-08-2007 01:22 AM


Another nice cutting board. What is the glue up sequence for this?

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4461 days

#12 posted 10-08-2007 01:37 AM

made 2 boards using cumaru to replace the little yellow squares. cumaru is very dense and heavy. more-so then the yellow heart. more like hard maple. the little piece that I had left was quartersawn and interesting grained.
will post photos of the finished boards an another project. they are soaking up the mineral oil now.

below is the sketchup mockup with cumaru squares

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Karson's profile


35197 posts in 4878 days

#13 posted 10-08-2007 02:05 AM

Also very nice Dan

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View DrsHobby's profile


38 posts in 4365 days

#14 posted 10-08-2007 04:05 AM

The board and the story are awesome. I am so glad to be on lumberjocks because of projects like this one. I too have tried to speed things up with a planer and an endgrain cutting board and man can those chucks fly out of the planer.
Great Job Dan

-- -Alex, St Charles, MO - "Measure twice, cut once, and go back to the lumber yard because you still screwed up."

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4461 days

#15 posted 10-08-2007 04:47 AM

This was the weekend of woven cutting boards ! Figure I got about 10 hours total labor in this project.

Good thing they are for a cause, doubt if I could get much of a hourly return for them.

Made a total of 6 cutting boards. First one is-the-one-in this posting. It really is a reject because it is a salvage job after the planer tearout train wreak.

The last five are all the correct 8.5 square size.

Two are made with the yellowheart squares.

Next two are with cumaru squares as stated in previous entry and the last one is with curly maple squares.

Of the 6 boards, only 4 are really saleable quality. One had a .005 gap in one of the butt-joints that I filled with glue and saw dust. Not as nice as I would like (will be probably be a gift for a relative). And then there is the one in this project posting.
Learned a lot from this batch run. Got the gluing / clamping process nailed down. Will probably run another possibly larger batch in the next month or-so and make good pile of boards for the event.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

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