My take on a "live edge" cutting board

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Project by JoesBetterHalf posted 12-23-2013 05:01 AM 8905 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I will start this off by saying I HATE the average live edge cutting board. Nothing says hard work like a sanded and oiled slab of wood. To me, that’s just cheating. Anyone can make one. I swore I would never make one.

But then…

Our local Woodcraft got some walnut slabs in and I was convinced by one of the awesome employees to buy one. It sat around the house and then moved into the garage where it sat for a few days.

Today, while my husband was out with the little one, I decided to play around with it.

I used the jig saw to cut off a piece that was a manageable length (About 16”). Removed the bark (by far, my favorite part). Ran it through the planer since it was rough cut. Then off to the cross cut sled it went. Trimmed the end up a bit and flipped it around to saw the piece in half (roughly). I used pieces of wood left over from other projects for the stripes. Glued and clamped… popped out of the clamps once and then clamped again. Once the glue had set it was hand planed and sanded.

It looked so nice that I decided to make a second one before I even finished the first. This one was made with a better design (photo #1). I used the same procedure to make this one, but I added an awesome center stripe of birdseye maple, canarywood, and wenge.

Once planed, I finished both boards at the same time. I drilled a 1 1/2” in the upper left corner of both boards and routed the hole. I rounded the corners of each board on the band saw. Sanded the end grain down and rounded over the edges with the sander a bit. I sanded the remainder of the bark off by hand. Oiled, but not yet waxed since somehow my wax mix has disappeared and I will have to make another batch tomorrow.

After making these, I actually love “live edge”... my live edge. I had fun making them too and that’s what really matters.

Looking forward to making a few more.


9 comments so far

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3128 days

#1 posted 12-23-2013 05:05 AM

She even jointed them with my Stanley No. 7


View a1Jim's profile


118142 posts in 4456 days

#2 posted 12-23-2013 06:14 AM

View degoose's profile


7279 posts in 4234 days

#3 posted 12-23-2013 07:57 AM

I love these.. Great combination of live and laminated…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View michelletwo's profile


2786 posts in 3895 days

#4 posted 12-23-2013 11:39 AM

I like the story, as well as the board!

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 3476 days

#5 posted 12-23-2013 01:16 PM

Kasie; I have always felt the same way about seeing someone taking a live edge board and calling it a cutting board. You have put a little twist and hard work into making a nice live edge CB. As I write this I am planning my next project (cheese/bread boards) and I am looking at a piece a figured black walnut and birds eyed maple from an end piece. I was thinking of combining them, but seeing your project gave me some ideas. Thanks.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View CFrye's profile


11081 posts in 2719 days

#6 posted 12-23-2013 02:11 PM

The figure in the walnut of the second board is great Kasie! Love the Birdseye maple as well. You and Joe have both put your stamps on live edge. You got great results with that #7! Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Lanaug's profile


188 posts in 3088 days

#7 posted 12-23-2013 02:56 PM

nice boards, those stripes are a good mix of contrasting woods.

View JoesBetterHalf's profile


162 posts in 2830 days

#8 posted 12-23-2013 06:53 PM

Thank you all for your kind words! :)


View wiser1934's profile


530 posts in 4026 days

#9 posted 12-24-2013 02:23 AM

beautiful work, kasie. the ones you made I like. good job

-- wiser1934, new york

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