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A friend asked me if I could "help him with a cutting board problem." I wasn't sure what this meant, but he brought me five pieces of a cutting board. His wife had run it through the dishwasher and the glue came apart. Pictures 2, 4, and 6 are the old cutting board. It's oak, and serviceable enough, but I figured they could use an upgrade, so after re-gluing, planing it smooth, and refinishing the old board (with metal-free BLO), I started working on a new cutting board using some hickory and butternut that I had in the shop, roughly basing he board on this one from Pop Woodworking. I tongue and grooved the three boards together, then got it to the right thickness (removed almost 1/4" of hickory with a scrub plane), cut tenons using a rabbet plane, and mortises using my combination plane, cut a finger groove with a moulding plane, pegged on the breadboard ends, and finished that with linseed oil.

I tested using white pore-filler on the back of the hickory, but didn't have the time to prep the surface as well as I should have, so scratch that idea. But the hickory and butternut look pretty good now, and should look even better as they age.

Gallery

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Nice work on the referb.
Isn't that wood a little too porous for a cutting board? Tight grain like maple I think would be better suited. What are your thoughts?
 

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The pores in hickory are a little worrisome, but I'm planning to do some pore-filling with a 1# cut of shellac after the food grade linseed oil has cured (I'll sand it back after each coat of shellac, so all it will be doing is filling pores, rather than trying to provide a film finish).

I also filled a couple holes near the knot in the hickory with CA and sawdust.

The old cutting board is red oak, which is even more porous, so I figure even hickory is an improvement on that.
 

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They look great to me.
 

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Thanks Tony & Ralph! I would have liked to have more time to get the hickory surface almost glassy and all the pores filled, but I tell myself that the first time someone chops on the board, the surface will get dinged. There are still a few small tear-out spots I would have liked to plane smooth, but it turns out harder woods are harder to work, too. Who knew?!
 

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Nice of you to redo the board and even better to make them a new one. That hickory can be tricky but well worth the effort. Nice work Dave.
 

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Thanks, Dave. He's going to make the brass pins to hold the blade in my turning saw, so I figure it'll be a fair swap.
 

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You did a nice job on this rehab project. Nice work!
 
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