What to do with a box of scraps...

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Project by RusticElements posted 05-20-2008 06:24 PM 2528 views 5 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some of you may remember the deal I got a while back on a few boxes of scrap wood. Well, here’s the beginnings of making use of them.

I decided to start by making a few end grain cutting boards and a spatula. Here’s how I made the boards. Any of you can chime in here if you are more experienced with doing this (not hard) and wish to mention a different procedure.

I started by gluing a bunch of pieces of similar length and width together:


Once these were dry I ran them through the thickness planer just to make them even on both sides. I had a heck of a time with these sandwiches falling apart where the darkest wood is. I don’t know what it is but it is VERY dense and wouldn’t take the glue.

Then I glued several of them together. My band saw will only cut 5.5” high so I had to make 2 blocks. I don’t have clamps that would clamp the center of the block so I used some of the hardwood scraps to distribute the pressure.


I set the band saw to 1” and ran the blocks through. The goal is to end up with ~7/8”. You can see what’s left of the blocks in the foreground.


These where then glued together to make the boards. I only have enough clamps for 3 so you’ll see 2 dry ones on the top of the pile. I ended up with 5 all together :). I added the reddish strips to help stabilize the structure due to the dark wood not taking glue well.


Once dry they were sanded and trimmed to get what you see at the top of the page. All 5 are the same,except for the wavy edge trimming. 11 5/8” X 8 1/2” X 7/8”. The finish is Rustic Element Orange Wax.

The spatula is 16 3/4” long with the flat being 3 1/2” X 4 1/2”. The peg at the joint does have structural value but it’s not really needed – just decoration. The finish is Rustic Element Orange Wax.

I have no idea what these woods are as I am not an expert. I think the 2nd darkest is walnut, the large light ones are white oak, and the small white ones are maple. The rest I have no idea. If any of you do, let me know.

-- Michael R. Harvey - Brewster, NY - - -

16 comments so far

View Joe Weaver's profile

Joe Weaver

518 posts in 4168 days

#1 posted 05-20-2008 07:38 PM

they look great

-- Joe, Ga

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 4224 days

#2 posted 05-20-2008 08:50 PM

love the spatula.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4470 days

#3 posted 05-20-2008 09:06 PM

Nice blog and spatula and cutting boards!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Teri's profile


88 posts in 4244 days

#4 posted 05-20-2008 09:11 PM

I absolutely love the spatula! Here’s a question for ya … Are there any hardwoods that should not be used in a cutting board? Are there any that aren’t considered food-safe?

-- Teri, Kokomo, IN

View RusticElements's profile


167 posts in 4207 days

#5 posted 05-20-2008 09:39 PM

Teri, I’m not certain but, someone a few days ago posted some info on toxic woods (sorry, I don’t remember who right now) and all the info seemed to relate to dust or fume inhalation. It didn’t really say anything about contact. If I’m mistaken, I’d love to know about it.

BTW, thanx for the compliments. Looks like I’m going to have to make more spatulas like this one :).

-- Michael R. Harvey - Brewster, NY - - -

View cassy's profile


29 posts in 4514 days

#6 posted 05-20-2008 10:32 PM

From the pictures the dark wood looks like cumaru,if it is it would have to be glued with either polyeurethane glue or titebond 3. I would try titebond 3 first because it is food safe and waterproof. Very nice boards, hope this helps.

-- dave montreal

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4796 days

#7 posted 05-20-2008 10:36 PM


View RusticElements's profile


167 posts in 4207 days

#8 posted 05-20-2008 10:44 PM

Cassy, Titebond III is what I used, for the reasons you mention. It holds to it ok, it just didn’t like the stress of thickness planer.

-- Michael R. Harvey - Brewster, NY - - -

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4304 days

#9 posted 05-20-2008 11:03 PM


These are nice cutting boards. And I like the spatula as well. The blog was informative and easily followed.

Nice photography as well.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Woodhacker's profile


1139 posts in 4205 days

#10 posted 05-21-2008 02:16 AM

Michael, very nice cutting boards and a great use of scraps. I’ve been saving a bunch of mine for just this purpose, but I’ve not taken the time dig in.

Great Job! (Nice looking spatula too)

-- Martin, Kansas

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4559 days

#11 posted 05-21-2008 03:12 AM

if i remeber right you got these at a Flee Market—-it would be fun to go back there and see how much money you could get for these…I’ll bet a huge profit on your original purchase of scrap wood…OF COURSE THERE IS ADDED VALUE…these turned out really nice…I will favorite this for the future…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4728 days

#12 posted 05-21-2008 04:58 AM

Really unique cutting boards, and spatula. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View snig's profile


7 posts in 4140 days

#13 posted 05-21-2008 05:15 AM

Hey they look great, and it also looks like your the glue master.

View Grumpy's profile


25623 posts in 4333 days

#14 posted 06-01-2008 01:03 AM

Great blog Michael. Good to see you are getting use out of that wood we are all envious about.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View tommyboy's profile


27 posts in 4271 days

#15 posted 07-25-2008 12:16 AM

Hello Michael,

Nice work!
Do you find, as seasons change and humidity varies, that due to opposing grain orientations there is expansion/contraction which results in surfaces becoming uneven or glue joints being separated?

-- -tommy NJ

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