Kody Boards

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Project by arudson posted 10-15-2012 01:16 AM 6127 views 24 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are my attempts at some Kody boards.

Like many here on this site, there is something about cutting boards that has gotten under my skin. From early 2010 until the summer of 2011, I was all about cutting boards. Any interesting design I came upon had to be pursued. I replicated many of the designs of the Lumberjock elite’s and always marveled at their creativity and skill.

The thing that had always eluded me was juice grooves. I read about how some use templates to route these grooves and others went free form. Some commented about tool marks and burning problems while others had even less desirable results. Although I really wanted to make juice grooves in my boards, I was too scared to take the risk, especially since they are made late in the process after so much effort has already gone into the board.

In the fall of 2011 I decided to make a CNC machine. My initial motivations were that it could be used to make juice grooves and perhaps gift plaques for retiring co-workers. I completed my CNC build in late January of 2012 and became enthralled in the learning about CNC design, processing and all that my new toy could do. All my woodworking time was directed to CNC based projects. When I saw Kody’s recent post featuring juice grooves and gently arced edges, I knew I had found something that could bring me back to cutting boards while making use of my CNC machine for the original reason I made it (although I now know that a CNC machine is much much more than just a juice groover).

For my Kody boards I stayed pretty close to the original designs. I had some problem with the sliding dovetails so bailed on that. I used my CNC machine to carve the juice grooves and etch a line for the arced edges which were cut proud at the band saw and sanded to form at the belt sander.

In all I’m happy with how these turned out and happy to be returning the wonderful world of cutting boards.

What went well:

  • Species selection – this was the first time I used Yellow Heart and Padouk and they were very easy to work with although Padouck is rather expensive – $13.50/bf at my LLS (local lumber shop).
  • I had my saw blade sharpened just before this project which I’m sure helped.
  • Routing the grooves for the hand holds right after planing and before any edge shaping.
  • Juice groove – the CNC made easy work of this with no burning and a pretty smooth finish
  • Finishing – got’a love mineral oil.

What was tricky:

  • The sliding dovetail – I had a lot of tear out making the tail in Purple Heart for what I call Kody #2. I started with a straight grove, then one pass with the dovetail bit – all good to this point. Making a second pass to slightly enlarge the width of the tail slot I experienced a lot of chip out; so much so that in the end I decided to forgo the sliding dovetail and do a more simple lamination.
  • Etching a line for the edge shaping worked out well except my longitudinal alignment was bit out on one board causing slightly more material to be marked for removed on one side. This resulted in one hand hold being less deep then the other and a small effect on symmetry.
  • During final sanding (especially of the juice groove) the red sanding dust from the Padouk slightly tinted the Maple. I tried to deep the dust removed from the work piece so it wouldn’t get worked into the Maple but in a few cases there is some tinting.
What to do differently next time:
  • On the kody #1 board, the one with the double row of maple squares, I should have paid more attention to the initial preparation of the laminated pieces (Maple-Purple Heart-Maple) and also been more careful in the final glue up. I intended for the small maple pieces to all be square.
  • I had originally decided to only lightly ease the hard edges of the board but late in the process changed my mind and rounded over with a small diameter bit. My normal practice is to back route when I do these profiles to avoid chip out. It has been so long since I’ve made a cutting board that I forgot this and conventional routing yielded a few chip outs although I was mostly able to mask these with extra sanding. I won’t forget this next time.

The cutting board bug has bit again and I am already working on some new boards – of course all will have a juice groove and at least some curved edges. Even with a drum sanding (which I didn’t use on the Cody boards as they were fractions of an inch too wide for my baby drum), the amount of finish sanding for cutting boards is a drag for sure. If any one has discovered a way to make this easier and quicker I’m all ears.

19 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile


9098 posts in 3861 days

#1 posted 10-15-2012 02:10 AM

Amazing work.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30651 posts in 3622 days

#2 posted 10-15-2012 02:32 AM

Really nice job

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 4230 days

#3 posted 10-15-2012 03:18 AM

More Cutting Board Art! Nicely done and great write-up to boot!!

-- Smitty

View sras's profile


6426 posts in 4413 days

#4 posted 10-15-2012 03:59 AM

A very nice set of boards! I don’t think they get any better.

I’m thinking about using a router sled to flatten my next cutting boards…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3359 days

#5 posted 10-15-2012 04:18 AM


Newby question: what the heck is a CNC? I searched the site, but still can’t figure out what it is.


-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View kody's profile


180 posts in 3562 days

#6 posted 10-15-2012 06:10 AM

This is so awesome you took these projects to heart and the CNC sounds like the easiest way to do the blood line by far. I’m so sorry the sliding dovetail didn’t work out for you. That was a massive challenge for me and took me many hours. You did a fantastic job on both of them, they’re beautiful and THANK YOU for calling them the Kody boards, that’s cool. I’ve been working on a very nice maple burl table so I haven’t had time to make any more cutting boards lately but Christmas is right around the corner and I can’t make enough of those. Thanks again and keep up the fantastic work :)

View Foegk's profile


29 posts in 3584 days

#7 posted 10-15-2012 06:30 AM

A fine looking job and keep them comming

-- Bryan

View Chris McDowell's profile

Chris McDowell

645 posts in 3436 days

#8 posted 10-15-2012 09:52 AM

These look amazing. Great job!

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

View mloy365's profile


448 posts in 4414 days

#9 posted 10-15-2012 11:23 AM

That is a winner!

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5166 days

#10 posted 10-15-2012 12:14 PM

Oh boy, these are just great. And what a great finish.

Welcome to the club. Now it will be fun to see what you do next. A new tool with all kinds of possibilities.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Michael Wilson's profile

Michael Wilson

588 posts in 3774 days

#11 posted 10-15-2012 01:18 PM

Ok those are just insane. Well done.

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4972 days

#12 posted 10-15-2012 04:27 PM

Really nice boards , full of interesting colors : )

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

View Spoontaneous's profile


1340 posts in 4614 days

#13 posted 10-15-2012 10:17 PM

Really, really pretty.

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View tomd's profile


2222 posts in 5054 days

#14 posted 10-16-2012 12:20 AM

Great looking boards, very unique, nice work.

-- Tom D

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 3472 days

#15 posted 10-16-2012 02:49 AM

There are an awful lot of cutting boards here on LJs, but these are still amongst the best I have seen. Amazing !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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