My First Cutting Board

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Project by chevybowtieguy posted 01-17-2014 07:40 AM 1722 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my first attempt at anything remotely close to being considered fine woodworking. You will all recognize this as Steve Ramsey’s cutting board. I am fairly happy with the finished product, however I did learn some very valuable lessons with this project.

1. A planer is invaluable. I will be purchasing one in the hopefully not too distant future.

2. Quality clamps are a necessity.

3. 75% of my time is now going to be consumed by sanding.

I was pretty excited when I scored some 60 year old milled slabs of black walnut and an unknown type of maple from a CL ad for a few bucks. I knew that my first project was going to be this cutting board for my wife. My first issue made itself visible during the first glue up. The need for a planer was apparent. The problem is, I don’t have a planer as of yet. But I do have a jointer. So I thought I would just pass all of the cut to width pieces over the jointer, glue them up, and then sand them even. That was a poor assumption. My sand was not uniform and I ended up with high/low spot throughout the glued up board. I made do as I could and for the most part it worked, however a planer would have definitely been the way to go.

My next two problems came during the second and final glue up. When I turned my planks on their sides to have the end grain pointing up, I discovered the true error in my sanding fix: I would need a lot of clamping pressure to hopefully fix the uneven sides to avoid gaps in the final surface. My current clamps are from Harbor Freight. They do well enough, but over this kind of distance, they bowed and therefore caused all of my slabs to bow with the clamp. I attempted to weight them down with some landscaping blocks. To no avail. There is a slight curve to the cutting board. I have billed this to my wife as an intended feature: to allow the juice to flow away from the cutting area. She called me out on that immediately.

I finished the board with mineral oil and will continue the seasoning process over the next week. I think it turned out well and am happy and proud to post it here as my first post. I am happy to now call myself a lumberjack and look forward to many more posted projects and conversations with you all.

-- - chevybowtieguy

9 comments so far

View chevybowtieguy's profile


27 posts in 2486 days

#1 posted 01-17-2014 07:44 AM

A small blunder I missed when writing this…this is actually a Wood Whisperer design. Sorry for the misplaced credit. Steve and Mark are both good dudes and I enjoy both of their videos. Just had my wires crossed for a minute.

-- - chevybowtieguy

View chevybowtieguy's profile


27 posts in 2486 days

#2 posted 01-17-2014 07:47 AM

Wow. I need an editor I think. *Lumberjock

-- - chevybowtieguy

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3911 days

#3 posted 01-17-2014 07:52 AM

It came out well, looks good

-- Dreaming patterns

View Easystreet's profile


6 posts in 2482 days

#4 posted 01-17-2014 11:48 AM

Looking good man, I’m picking up some wood today for the same thing. I have a planer, but not a jointer, hope it works out!

View KnotCurser's profile


2036 posts in 3953 days

#5 posted 01-17-2014 01:05 PM

Really nice board – no matter who the plans came from! ;-)

I am reading all this talk about getting a planer and seeing an end-grain board, so I have to say this:

WARNING: Do NOT use a planer to flatten an end-grain cutting board! VERY bad and dangerous things can happen if you plane end-grain wood!!!!! Of course you can use it during the first glue-up when the board is edge-grain.



-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View Max's profile


55999 posts in 5158 days

#6 posted 01-17-2014 07:59 PM

I think your board turned out very nice. Maple and Walnut is always a good combination of woods.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View chevybowtieguy's profile


27 posts in 2486 days

#7 posted 01-17-2014 09:33 PM

Thank you all for your comments.

KnotCurser: Thank you for that advice. My thoughts were to use the planer after the first glue up to ensure completely flat surfaces in preparation for the second glue up and then sanding the final surface. Chalk that up to one lesson I won’t have to learn the hard way.

Max: Maple and Walnut sort of look like they were made for each other don’t they?

-- - chevybowtieguy

View Vince's profile


1272 posts in 4314 days

#8 posted 01-17-2014 10:06 PM

Nice work

-- Vince

View LateNightWoodworking's profile


10 posts in 2476 days

#9 posted 01-18-2014 03:25 AM

Nice work… Cutting boards are a great way to err, cut your teeth in wood working… If you like cutting boards see or go to his you tube page… his designs and work process will blow you away…. he’s one of the few who plane end grain but he does it by gluing a sacrificial strip on each end, and then saws them off after the board is done… saves a lot of time sanding in this manner, but I do understand that many wood workers don’t advise running end grain thru a planer… but you should check MTMWood out before coming to your own decision.

-- In search of the subtle mind...

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