bread board & fiddle bow bread knife

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Project by Mainiac Matt posted 12-23-2013 11:29 PM 8101 views 5 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This year is the first time I ever made Christmas gifts, and this is my first cutting board and first time making knives.

I cheated on the cutting board as I had a cut-off from a parquet Bamboo counter given to me a few years ago. The perimeter is Honduran Mahogany (given to me by a buddy who salvaged the cutoffs from a deck). The knives have maple sandwiched between Mahogany.

The knife blades and patterns came from Kencraft and were inspired by another fellow LJ, who posted his project recently, with links to the supplier. I modified the fiddle bow design, by putting the blade in a slot with the mounting screws recessed into counter-bores.

The cutting board was designed on the fly and is sized for a loaf of bread from our bread maker. I read quite a bit about Bamboo boards being so hard they dull knives, so I raised the deck, applied a chamfered edge, and cut a slot for the blade. This way it will be easy to cut the slices with the blade cutting through into the slot and then advancing the loaf as you go. The concept is yet to be tried out, but I don’t see why it shouldn’t work. With the slot cut down to the level of the Mahogany perimeter, I wasn’t thrilled about the way this would look with the Mahogany all sliced up across the grain at that location. So I inlaid two pads of UHMW PE with double sided tape to take the slice. This pads are 1/16” above the bottom of the slot, so if used correctly, the knife shouldn’t even hit the Bamboo.

The knife handles were finished with two coats of pure Tung oil and the cutting board got a coat of Boo’s butcher block oil, which is probably just overpriced mineral oil. The Mahogany perimeter is finished with Tung oil to match the knife handles.

I may still add Maple corner splines to the Mahogany perimeter to go with the knives better, but it’s a little too close to Christmas to do that now.

If I had thought this out better, I would have designed slots into the back side to store the knives with the cutting board standing on its end. But I didn’t think of it until after I cut the slot and sized the perimeter…. so for this project it wasn’t meant to be.

I hope it’s well received as my wife isn’t so sentimental and doesn’t really like getting kitchen items as gifts. Fortunately, I have something else for her as well.

Thanks for looking.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

16 comments so far

View TheGermanJoiner's profile


847 posts in 2524 days

#1 posted 12-23-2013 11:35 PM

I love the bow knife. It’s beautiful. Good job matty boy

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

View boxcarmarty's profile


17377 posts in 3247 days

#2 posted 12-23-2013 11:38 PM

Nice hacksaw Matt…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View JL7's profile


8776 posts in 3852 days

#3 posted 12-23-2013 11:41 PM

Well done Matt….it’s unique all the way. Great gift(s)...........

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View GenerationWW's profile


521 posts in 3136 days

#4 posted 12-23-2013 11:55 PM

Great job, the bow knife is really cool!

-- list your handcrafted treasures @ for free!

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9699 posts in 3215 days

#5 posted 12-24-2013 12:04 AM

Just a side note, the blades are actually sections from a scalloped band saw blade with zero set. We used to use them at work on dedicated foam saws. They are really sharp!

Kencraft sells them with screws and paper pattern for ~$4 ea. Very nice folks to deal with.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View lightcs1776's profile


4261 posts in 2541 days

#6 posted 12-24-2013 12:06 AM

Very cool, Matt. Very nicely done.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3577 days

#7 posted 12-24-2013 01:19 AM

Nice job on the knives and CBs.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30568 posts in 3225 days

#8 posted 12-24-2013 02:06 AM

Very nice

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View clarkey's profile


468 posts in 3943 days

#9 posted 12-24-2013 02:28 AM

Looks Great Matt ! Where do you order the blades from???

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3562 days

#10 posted 12-24-2013 02:32 AM

Bread Board???
That’s not made of bread….
It’s a bamboo/mahogany board for slicing bread!!! ;^)

A nicely executed “Gift Set”!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9699 posts in 3215 days

#11 posted 12-24-2013 02:50 AM

You can get them at Kencraft

Or Rockler

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View SigThrottle's profile


14 posts in 2520 days

#12 posted 12-24-2013 05:19 PM

Well done! Those will be great gifts

View jfk4032's profile


381 posts in 3413 days

#13 posted 01-09-2014 06:15 PM

Thanks for sharing this…I wish I saw yours before I made mine, I may have modified where the knife blade mounts in as you did. Nice modification!

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9699 posts in 3215 days

#14 posted 01-09-2014 09:04 PM

I’ll change it when I make my next one (I have an extra blade and they’re just too darn fun).

I made the kerf cut to house the blade with a band saw on this one, with the side face of the knife flat on the table.

Next time around, I’m going to hand cut the kerf cut by hand with a pull saw and have the blade slide in the other way.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Steve Kreins's profile

Steve Kreins

358 posts in 2517 days

#15 posted 01-21-2014 07:30 AM

I can smell the fresh baked bread coming out of the oven now! Great job.
John 6:35

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

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