Walnut and Hard Maple End-Grain Cutting Board/Butcher Block

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Project by Jonathan posted 01-22-2012 10:42 PM 3257 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this end grain cutting board for some good friends of ours. I don’t know that there’s a definitive definition of what constitutes calling a cutting board a “butcher block,” but I’d say this is as close as I’ve come, so far, as this is the thickest, heaviest board I’ve made to-date. This was made for a professional chef, so it has to be robust and sturdy.

I originally made this board larger, but had to cut it down a bit (as seen in photo 3), as she does not have very much counter space in her kitchen at home. So now I will be using the cutoff section of the original board to make her a second, smaller board, meant to be used as a bread board/appetizer tray, or a bowl for dry goods if she turns it over, as I’m going to hollow-out the underside to make it a multi-purpose piece. I’ll post a link to that matching piece once it’s completed. The knife present in the first picture is an 8-inch chef’s knife, for scale.

I strategically placed the 2-walnut “lines” going through the middle, rather than staggering them, as they are meant to be reference lines. The chef does a lot of public demonstrations and filming, so she isn’t always staring down at the board, as she’s focused elsewhere. These reference lines will allow her to simply glance down to make sure she’s got things where she wants, rather than having to focus on it, kind of like tape markers that are placed on stages for performers to easily get their bearings. As long as she’s near or between the 2-lines, she won’t have to worry about being too close to the edge of the board.

Board Details:

Wood Species: 8/4-hard maple, 5/4-walnut and 4/4-walnut
Glue: Titebond III
Weight: 13-pounds, 2-ounces, or 6.0-kilograms
Length: 17-3/32”, or 447mm
Width: 14-17/32”, or 369mm
Thickness: varies between 2” to 2-1/64”, or 51mm-52mm
Total Height With Feet:about 2-3/8”, or about 60mm
Feet: came from Ace Hardware, and I swapped in stainless steel screws to avoid rusting
Sanding: 80-120-150-180-220-grit
Edges:1/2”-cove bit used for underside handles also makes the board appear lighter on its feet, 1/4”-roundover bit used on top edges, then all other edges were lightly rounded over by hand
Finish: numerous coats of mineral oil, followed by George’s Club House Wax for the final coat (mostly beeswax, with some mineral oil blended together)

A special thanks to Todd for lending me his ROS so I could finish this. I need to replace a part or two on mine, or upgrade with a new one.

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

8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4732 days

#1 posted 01-22-2012 10:43 PM

Very well done Jonathan ,great design.


View degoose's profile


7284 posts in 4510 days

#2 posted 01-22-2012 11:05 PM

Fabulous and I liked the way you staged the first photo…
The cove all round the underside is a nice addition..

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4206 days

#3 posted 01-22-2012 11:15 PM

Jim and Larry, thank you for the positive feedback. That means a lot coming from you two. My wife also really likes the cove going all the way around the underside.

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

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4490 days

#4 posted 01-23-2012 02:35 AM

This is really a fine looking board Jonathan. The design is simple but visually very effective, and the workmanship looks 100% professional to me.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 4223 days

#5 posted 01-23-2012 04:34 PM

Very nice, beautiful work!! Great design and craftsmanship.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4206 days

#6 posted 01-23-2012 05:29 PM

Mike and Jack, thank you!

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

View Philzoel's profile


303 posts in 3499 days

#7 posted 01-24-2012 12:56 AM

Very nice board. i like the symmetry top to bottom. The ones that never settle down drive me crazy. This is more modern looking. The first picture is so sharp it looks 3D.

-- Phil Zoeller louisville, KY

View Grit's profile


44 posts in 3737 days

#8 posted 01-24-2012 02:55 AM


This is really beautiful. Simple, aesthetically pleasing, detailed, and functional.

Great job!


-- "Be more human."

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