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Showcase cover image for Joining the club with a few cutting boards

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I have heard that to be considered a real woodworker, you must first make a cutting board. I have made some other pieces of furniture, but just got around to making a couple cutting boards. The first cutting board is the notorious wood whisperer design. Makes a beautiful cutting board.

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Nice entry. Welcome. On the third board, check out the grain orientation on the 2nd from the left strip. What finish do you use? This topic can REALLY start a discussion. Once you start making these it's hard to stop.
 

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I first used mineral oil, I flooded the surface until it came through the bottom. But realized that it always felt oily, even after about a week. So I went and bought Howard's cutting board conditioner and I think the wax helped hold the oil in.
 

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OK, there's a multitude of ways to seal these things. I started out with Mahoney's walnut oil but there's the alergy thing for some folks (for some all they have to do is touch the board & it's off to the races). Plus, at one show a surprise cloud burst got a couple of my boards splatter with rain water and I didn't wipe them off & it left splatter marks that I had to resand the board. I no longer use walnut oil on my boards. I now generously flood the board with 3 to 5 coats of mineral oil ($1.85 a pt at Wal Mart) and for a final coat I use a heated mineral oil bees wax mixture (about a 60/40 mix, 40 being bees wax). The bees wax gives it a real nice shine and sealing ability. I send a care sheet with each board and tell folks to oil the board about once a month or when it looks dry. I didn't ask what the woods were that you use. I stay away from certain oaks on end grain boards because of the porous water veins & I try to stay with woods of a Janka score of over 800. Good luck
 

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Jim, I am going to have to try that! As far as the wood goes. They are all make from either Hard maple, purple heart, cherry, or walnut.
 

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Good color choices. I only use purple heart for acent color because it is sooooo oily and gums up the drum sander so quickly. PLEASE tell me you're NOT using a planer on the end grain. That is so dangerous. A drum sander's the way to go for that type of operation. Cherry is probably the softest one on your list. Sapele, hickory (very reasonable price), birch & black limba are good ones to use. Black limba is only 730 on the janka but the color is so beautiful in contrast with a lighter wood. You'll find that when you put a couple of woods together and you think it will be great, you put the oil to it & then it's a, "What was I thinking" moment. Trial & error. The 2,3,4,3 pattern is just endless.
 

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I actually got a pretty good deal on a delta drum sander. Or at least I think I did. I paid $400 for the drum sander, and it came with at least 8 rolls of sand paper. I also picked up a piece of 10/4 walnut that is 11 inches wide and 10 ft long. VERY little sap wood, and maybe 1 small knot. He only charged me $25. And around here, walnut goes for roughly $9 BF.

 

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Nice cutting boards! Welcome to the club.
 
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