Ribbons in Cutting Boards

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by prospector45 posted 07-27-2014 02:52 PM 2732 reads 12 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Several years ago I saw this ribbon design at
I started by selecting the body of the design. In this case, padauk, yellow heart, aand hickory for three boards.
Then I laminated the “ribbons”
Then I cut 2” holes in the boards that make up the body of the design.

The problem for a flat boarder(cutting board) was how to create the plugs without a center hole. The first idea was wood turning but this would require a massive square of exotic wood. I also did not want to have any endgrain in the design. The major factor why turning was rejected, turning and I do not get along. It requires therapy and the therapy is way too expensive. Patrone offered a “ribbon” idea awhile ago, but that was a different style.

Then I drew 2’ circles and 1-1/4” circles on the “ribbon” material.

The 1-1/4” circle was for placement purposes only. Cutting close to the edge of the 2” line provided a plug that would be sanded to 2”. I do not have any large plug/tenon cutters, which would make the task much easier.
I had already been to my favorite machine shop to obtain several perfectly round discs, 3/4 inch thick. The disc in this case,1-1/4” was taped to a rough cut circle of “ribbon” material. Now off to the 12” disc sander and the homemade jig for creating perfectly round plugs(not quite perfect, but very, very close)

This picture shows the “ribbon” disc with the metal disc attached. I chose the metal route versus a wood disc as the wood disc could create wear spots on the edge and cause the plugs to be out of round. The steel disc will not have wear spots. The second picture shows the items ready to be sanded on the jig. The jig has a plexiglas front guide and a center strip at 90 degrees. When the part gets to the corner it is tangent to the disc creating a point where rotating the piece will create a round plug. The jig is at an angle to the sanding plate as this allows the part to start being sanded at the outside edge of the sander and then move toward the middle to achieve the designed size. All has to be aligned properly. The first several parts that were completed were “tapered” by 1 degree. Therefore, had to realign jig on the sander. It takes about 10 minutes to get everything properly aligned. The fine adjustment screw on the right side is absolutely necessary for the really final approach to the size. Once the proper size is achieved, its just a matter of rounding any remaining plugs. A fairly quick process.
Testing the fit.
Now glue the “ribbon” plug into the body.
The process starts all over again. But this time use a 2-1/4” hole saw. Use your judgement as to where to drill depending on the look you want to achieve. My first attempt at this was not the best. Some of the “ribbons” had a greater arch than others. Learning mode.
Now I drew 2-1/4” and 1-1/4” circles on the piece of wood that will match the main body of the design. Rough cut the plugs and back to the sanding operation, but a larger diameter. Same process.
Glue the 2-1/4” plug into hole.
Now cut the completed piece into individual pieces and slightly cut off the edge of each piece. Flip every other piece, align, glue, hold your breath for good results.

Square the piece and add to other woods for a cutting board.

Notes: This project chews up a lot of wood. I am sure there are other ways to accomplish the result and that is what I am relying on from the other LJ’s. The time to get the sanding accurate is tedious as most sanding. I was not the most accurate of the first but improved greatly on the second board. The third board is waiting to be completed. Lee Valley has the necessary plug/tenon cutters available, however a lot of the sizes are out of stock.

9 comments so far

View woodsmithshop's profile


1425 posts in 4828 days

#1 posted 07-27-2014 03:15 PM

great blog, quite a process, but worth it, beautiful board, very unusual.

-- Smitty!!!

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5165 days

#2 posted 07-27-2014 04:10 PM

Sweet. The results are awesome.

I have been trying to figure out how to make a sine wave template for the router for years. This just may rekindle that spirit. Then you would have different problems to solve. I love this stuff.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Julian's profile


1667 posts in 3973 days

#3 posted 07-27-2014 05:15 PM

Very cool. This ones going to my favorites. Thanks for sharing.

-- Julian

View JL7's profile


8787 posts in 4248 days

#4 posted 07-27-2014 05:22 PM

Very clever for sure, your patience and creativity has really paid off, they are stunning! Thanks for sharing….

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4617 days

#5 posted 07-27-2014 06:09 PM

Wonderful stuff and fun to see how you accomplished it. I salute your willingness to go the extra mile to make it happen.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2827 days

#6 posted 07-27-2014 10:17 PM

Amazingly detailed work!
I keep waiting on my own patience and creativity to “kick in”................still waiting…..

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View tomd's profile


2222 posts in 5053 days

#7 posted 07-28-2014 05:58 PM

Very nice work, thanks for the pictures. Well done.

-- Tom D

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

358 posts in 3844 days

#8 posted 07-29-2014 12:09 AM

Beautiful creative work! Thanks so much for the blog information. Might have to try this.

Note to SPalm: To make a sine wave template for your router, can’t you just program in an equation for sine x into your CNC software, Steve?

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

View oldstarter's profile


120 posts in 2773 days

#9 posted 07-06-2015 02:10 PM

As you say, it must use a lot of wood for this project. But well worth the sacrifice for such stunning boards.

-- Oldstarter (Dave Ashby)

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics