First Fundraising Item: Also My First Regular Cutting Board

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Project by Jonathan posted 07-27-2010 04:18 PM 2689 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been blogging about making items for a fundraising event that will take place in a couple of days, this Thursday, July 29th. It is a fundraising event for my wife, as she will be participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure in the middle of November in San Diego.

If you’re interested, the blog about these items starts here:

There will be a drawing held at the fundraiser, and this is the first item I’ve completed for the drawing. I’m still working on the others.

This cutting board/serving board/serving tray (whatever you want to call it) is made of cherry, walnut, and curly maple. I always try to hand-select the pieces of wood and cut out what I feel will be the best grain, color, etc. for the project. Here I cut out this section of curly maple, as I liked the extra shimmer of this part of the board, as well as the flow of the grain. I tried to keep the walnut as strictly a contrasting color, rather than choosing any wild or wavy grain. And the cherry, I chose for it’s grain orientation (I especially like the edge grain).

I also made this useable on both sides, not attaching any feet, and keeping my brand down in a corner. That way, they can cut on one side and serve on the other if they want to (and I’ll make that suggestion so they don’t chop up both sides of the board). I put the brand on the less attractive side (cutting board side), leaving the other side as the presentation side.

*Board Details:
-Wood: All of the stock was 4/4 to start with, with the cherry and walnut being 13/16” and the curly maple 15/16”
-Overall Length: 15-3/4”
-Overall Width: 12-3/16”
-Final Thickness: 25/32”
-Cherry Width: 1-7/16” (times 2-pieces)
-Walnut Width: 2-1/8” (times 2-pieces)
-Curly Maple Width: 5”
-Freehand routed 45-degree chamfer on bottom edge
-Freehand routed 1/4-roundover on top edge, with a slightly tapered lip

Tools Used:
-Titebond III with plenty of clamps
-Beltsander (small Porter Cable)
-Drum Sander (a new acquisition, and something I would not part with!)
-Random Orbital Sander
-Hand sanded through 120-150-220-grit
-Router (handheld… no table yet)
-My new personal brand
-Shop vacuum and mineral spirits to remove sawdust before finishing

Finish Applied:
-A dozen or so coats of mineral oil over the course of a week
-George’s Club House Wax (a mix of mineral oil and beeswax) for the top coat

New skills, tools, etc. used on this project:
-The personal brand. I think this is going to take a little getting used to. You have to make sure you hold it on long enough because it’s impossible to set it back down for a second try in the exact same spot. However, mine seems to be a touch higher where my name is at? Either that, or I’m consistently putting too much motion/pressure back towards me when setting it down and slowly rocking it around? I’d rather go a touch too deep on this, than too light, as you can always handsand around the brand to virtually eliminate any brown heat marks, but you can’t go back and reapply (not realistically, at least).
-Drum Sander. Wow, these things are amazing! Once you figure out the infeed and outfeed snipe issues, they are a pleasure to use. I would get rid of plenty of other things before I’d get rid of this! I fed this board through on a few passes and it was fantastic. I ran several things through at once during the first day I had it because I just couldn’t let it sit there!
-George’s Club House Wax. This is a mineral oil and beeswax combo that is more wax than oil, as it is in a solid form. Seems to work fine and smells good enough to eat, although I don’t think that’s a good idea. ;-)

Things I’d do differently:
-I did not put any grips/handles on the side as I thought the wood was probably not thick enough for this. If all of the stock would’ve been 15/16”, I think it would’ve been fine. There is the slight chamfer, but not enough to really slide your fingers underneath the board.
-The board would’ve been 16” long, which was the intent, but I was attempting to thickness plane the curly maple down a bit on the tablesaw (raise blade up, stand board on edge, feed board through tablesaw very carefully) before the glue-up and moved the stock a touch at the very beginning of the pass, putting a gouge in the maple. I had to cut the board a touch shorter to eliminate that mistake. Now that I have the drum sander though, this will be a thing of the past.
-I don’t care for the couple of mineral streaks in the curly maple, and feel it detracts from this particular piece. Next time, I’d either cut the board slightly narrower, or use a different piece of stock.

I will probably post back on here after the fundraiser is over.

I’m very proud of my wife for taking on this challenge and want to help her in any way I can, be it fundraising, training, moral support, you name it!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

7 comments so far

View GaryD's profile


623 posts in 3850 days

#1 posted 07-27-2010 04:54 PM

Jonathan, nice board. Really nice that is going to help find a cure. Been there done that with my mom and my sister. Both are survivors….. In the middle of making my first board for my wife right now. Just to hot to get in the workshop for very long though. Again really nice work, hope it brings in lots of money for them.

-- Gary, Little River,SC I've Learned that the Lord didn't do it all in one day and neither can I

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3555 days

#2 posted 07-27-2010 04:56 PM

We see a lot of cutting boards at this site.

This one strikes me as being clean and simple and very well done. Nothing fancy – just good high quality workmanship.

I particularly like how you showed off that beautiful maple in the middle.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3531 days

#3 posted 07-28-2010 03:33 PM

Gary, unfortunately it seems like pretty much everybody has had a loved one or friend deal with this disease. Good luck with your first board! Is it going to be an end grain, face grain, or edge grain board? Thank you for the kind words as well.

Rich, I will certainly take that as a complement! I always have some idea or other floating around in my head, whether fancy, or simple, but the execution part is sometimes the trickiest… like when you want it to be 16” long, but accidentally take a 1/2” chunk of maple out with the tablesaw. And if you like the grain on this board, wait until you see the serving tray that the Waterlox is curing on right now. I’ll have it put together tonight or tomorrow morning and should have pictures up either tomorrow or Friday. I also need to snap some pictures today of the three soap dishes (red oak and pink lyptus).

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3531 days

#4 posted 07-30-2010 03:46 PM

Fundraiser took place last night, which reminds me, I still have to post the soap dishes that went along with the soap from Jordan.

Turnout was a little lighter than we thought it would be, but we considered it a success overall.

The lady that won this cutting board was definitely happy to get it.

You know what she said though? “It’s too nice to cut on! I’m just going to put it on a shelf.” I labeled it as a serving tray too.

I guess I’ll take that as a complement!

On a sidenote, people expressed more interest in the cutting board than they did the drink tray. It was pretty lopsided. I guess people just don’t use drink trays anymore? Even the owner of the restaurant we held the fundraiser at introduced herself to me as I walked in the door, said the tray was beautiful, and that I was hired. It was pretty funny.

So, for future reference, cutting boards are, in general, much more popular than serving trays. Maybe it’s because people use cutting boards on a regular basis, so it is a familiar item to them, compared to a tray, which is more formal?

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3606 days

#5 posted 07-30-2010 09:58 PM

I wouldn’t want to cut on this! I’d frame it perhaps.


View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3531 days

#6 posted 07-31-2010 03:14 AM

Jordan, you are too kind.

Thank you for the praise.

I think I’ll definitely be making more of these, with various woods, patterns, etc. It was enjoyable and I really liked the finished product.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4169 days

#7 posted 12-05-2010 07:34 AM

Picture perfect !!

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

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