Cutting Board & Serving Tray: Curly Maple, Walnut, Pink Lyptus

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Project by Jonathan posted 09-11-2010 08:20 PM 5256 views 9 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this to be both a cutting board and a serving tray, taking the same care on both sides. The side with my personal brand on it is meant to be the “utilitarian” cutting board side.

Board Details:
Wood Species: curly maple/tiger maple, walnut, pink lyptus
Dimensions: 15-15/16” long, by 10-11/32” wide, by 11/16” thick
Curly Maple: 2-3/4” wide, times 2-pieces
Walnut: 3/32” wide, times 2-pieces (dimensioned on drum sander)
Pink Lyptus: 4-17/32” wide, one piece
Hand-sanded 120-150-220
Finish: 7-coats General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish. The first 4-coats were thinned 50-70% with mineral spirits for better penetration and applied using a rag. The final 3-coats, full-strength, were applied using a sponge brush. (The underside actually only received 6-total coats… 4-thinned coats, then 2-full-strength coats.) After the SBF cured for about a week, I used 0000 steel wool to rub in George’s Club House Wax, followed by hand buffing it out with a clean cloth.

20-Step Board Construction Process:
1. Hand-select wood for grain pattern, orientation, and placement, paying special attention to the centering of the pink lyptus grain.
2. Cut wood to length and width.
3. Glue up wood with Titebond III and plenty of clamps.
4. Scrape glue squeezeout off board.
5. Run board through drum sander to bring all surfaces to same thickness, etc.
6. Crosscut ends to final length.
7. Freehand a 5/32” deep cove on underside with my router.
8. Handsand all surfaces 120-150-220, including slightly rounding over top edges and corners by hand, then apply brand to underside.
9. Vacuum dust off surface, then throughly clean with mineral spirits until paper towel shows no dust.
10. Apply 4-coats of SBF, thinned with mineral spirits 50-70% for deeper penetration, 6-12 hours apart. Final 3-coats of SBF applied 6-12 hours apart, not thinned at all. Final coat of SBF applied to sides and top, not bottom.
11. Let SBF cure for almost a week.
12. Notice some dust and a few cloth fragments embedded in finish.
13. Panic/Swear.
14. Attempt to wetsand marks out using 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper and water.
15. Clean with mineral spirits.
16. Notice it looks better, but not up to my own personal high standards.
17. Panic/Swear.
18. Think about resanding down to bare wood, then starting over, this time with the mineral oil soak, followed by wax/sigh of frustration.
19. Come to senses… is there another way that won’t take so long?
20. Use 0000 steel wool and handrub George’s Club House Wax (blend of mineral oil and beeswax) into board for about 10-minutes, really working it in, followed by 5-10 minutes of hand-buffing out wax with clean cloth. There’s that’s all better! And super-smooth too!

This board is a thank you gift for someone, so I hope they not only enjoy it, but also actually end up using 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 jack1's profile


2130 posts in 4511 days

#1 posted 09-11-2010 08:23 PM

Nice lamination and finish. I’d had to be the first to cut something on it… ;0)

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View degoose's profile


7255 posts in 3838 days

#2 posted 09-11-2010 09:35 PM

So simple and yet so elegant… grain, timber selection, proportion… all excellent…Joints are tight and I just love the lustre all that hand rubbing creates…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4172 days

#3 posted 09-11-2010 10:44 PM

Now that’s my idea of a nice board …Simply beautiful and beautifully simple to create. The combination of wood colors really compliment each other and your finish is way beyond anything I would use on a cutting board that might get used.
Keep up the good work !!

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

View los's profile


49 posts in 4034 days

#4 posted 09-12-2010 02:08 AM


Great board! Love the wood selection and the finish in the last picture is perfect!

View Richard's profile


11298 posts in 3517 days

#5 posted 09-12-2010 04:58 AM

Nice cutting board.

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3534 days

#6 posted 09-12-2010 05:48 PM

Thank you for all the kind words guys.

I figure, I need to master the basics before delving into more advanced designs and techniques.

I don’t know that this board will actually be cut on, but hopefully it’ll at least see some use as an hor dourves tray.

-- 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 3609 days

#7 posted 09-25-2010 05:23 AM

And guess what? I received that board in the mail today, courtesy of Jonanthan. Thank you so much, we’ve never had anything like it! It will be well used.


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