On The Chopping Block

In lue of a Font Friday post or a Weekend Guide, I’m sharing a piece I’ve been working on every morning for the past week. I don’t recommend using power tools earlier than 7am due to sleepiness levels, but sometimes it’s the best way to start the day!

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To start this project, I began with lots of different types of scrap wood. Always save your scarp wood, as cutting boards don’t require much wood and it’s a great way to save the scrap from ending up in a landfill. After planning the wood, cutting down and cleaning it up a bit I was able to play with the color/grain variations and create the design I wanted. For this project I wanted it to look like controlled-randomness. With the dark and light pieces mixed among each other.

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After a lot of very speedy gluing (it dries so fast!) I clamped the wood (in a level way) and then wiped the access glue. Because this will be used for food preparation, I used a special waterproof glue meant to withstand the food and washing of it after. You don’t want gaps where bacteria can get trapped and make you sick over time.

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After the glue dries (allow several hours) it’s ready to be planned and sanded down to perfection. It’s starting to look like a board now!

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This was my first time routering the edge of wood. I’ll admit, I was so sure I was going to ruin it, so I practiced a lot on some scrap wood. Thankfully burn marks and errors can be pretty easily sanded away afterword.

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Here it is above, with a smooth edge and sanded to perfection. No more burn marks, just gorgeous wood. Once the dust is wiped/blown away, it’s time for oil!

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Look at the difference the oil makes! The goal with the oil is to get the wood fully saturated, because if it’s full of oil it won’t absorb any food bacteria. It really brings out the colors of the piece too and it’s super fun to apply. You can see from the reflection above, I put a lot of oil on which is good. Keep reapplying the oil every 2 hours until it’s no longer absorbing the oil (because it’s reached its saturation point), wipe away the excess oil and you’re done!

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5 thoughts on “On The Chopping Block

    • Thanks! I started with it at 1.5″ thick (which was pretty heavy), knowing I would probably sand it down to 1.25″. That still felt heavy so we sanded it down to 1.125″ which was a good size. You want it to be a little heavy so it doesn’t slide around on a sleek countertop while cutting, but I needed it to be a weight that someone older could easily move around the kitchen. I think I ended up with the right balance.

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