Project: Cutting Boards

So in the fall I decided to make some cutting boards to give as Christmas presents. As is usual when it comes to my woodworking projects I grossly underestimated the time and effort it would take. (So please forgive me if you're family and you didn't get a board! I ended up with fewer than I had planned.)

Overall I was quite happy with how they turned out. They're made out of walnut, cherry, and maple and are put together with the end grain facing up. Because they're made on the end-grain, I couldn't run them through the planer to even out the surface because it would have chipped them like crazy. So there was A LOT of sanding involved (way, WAY too much sanding). But I think it was worth it in the end.

End grain cutting boards are more durable than normal boards because it's the hardest edge of the wood. They're also easier on your knives because the blades will slip in between the wood fibers like in between the bristles of a paintbrush and so to a certain extent they're self-healing. I used glue that's been FDA-approved as food safe and finished them with several coats of mineral oil.

(By the way, if you have a wooden cutting board that's looking dry or thrashed you can sand the surface with a light grit sandpaper and then rub on a couple coats of mineral oil (available at drug stores in the, um, laxative section) and it should really refresh it.)

I'm getting excited about this upcoming semester of woodworking class. It starts at the end of the month and my good friend Kristin is going to take the class with me which will be very fun. I'm planning on making some small boxes because I want to improve my joinery skills and also have the chance to work with some exotic woods which I can only afford to buy in small quantities. My goal is to have detail plans drawn up before class starts which should cut down on class time wasted waffling over dimensions and such.

P.S. - Oh, and to those of you who received a cutting board, remember that if you put it in the dishwasher I will HUNT YOU DOWN. Happy new year! xoxo.

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