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Making a Cutting Board: A Comprehensive Guide

Making a Cutting Board: A Comprehensive Guide - Maria's Condo

Making a cutting board may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools, materials and guidance, it's entirely achievable. In this article, we'll walk you through the process of creating a cutting board and provide insights into some techniques that will make the task easier and more enjoyable.


Choosing the Right Wood

Your choice of wood is crucial when creating a cutting board. Hardwoods such as maple or walnut are ideal because they are durable and effective at keeping out food bacteria. Avoid using woods like oak, which has an open-grain structure, and exotic woods that have not been cleared for culinary use.

Preparing the Wood

Once you've chosen your wood, it's time to prepare it for the cutting board. Start by ensuring that your planer is set to remove 1/16 inch of wood at a time. Run the board through the planer several times until both faces are flat. Then, using a miter saw, crosscut the board into two equal pieces and square up the ends.

Cutting the Strips

Next, cut the board into strips. The width of the strips will vary depending on the design of your cutting board. For safety and precision, use a table saw or a thin strip ripping jig. This jig keeps your fingers away from the blade and prevents strips from getting trapped along the fence.

Gluing the Strips

Now, it's time for the glue-up. Apply a generous bead of food-safe, waterproof wood glue to both sides of every other strip. Then, clamp the assembled strips into two panels. Once the glue is dry, unclamp the panels and cut them into identically sized strips using a miter saw.

Staggering the Strips

Next, position all the strips with the end grain facing up and shift each one sideways to ensure that the glue joints in each strip are offset from the ones in the neighboring strips. This step is crucial as it ensures that the finished block won't warp or split when exposed to water.

Clamping and Cutting

To ensure a flat glue-up, use cauls during the clamping process. These can be cut from a 2x6 and taped at the edges to prevent glue from sticking. After the glue has dried, use a circular saw and edge guide to trim one side of the cutting board. Then, use a table saw to trim the other side.

Finishing the Cutting Board

Once the cutting board has been cut to size, it's time to finish it. Start by rounding over each vertical corner using a router. Next, use a cove bit in the router to rout a cove on the top and bottom edges of the cutting board.

Sanding the Cutting Board

Sand the entire cutting board using a random-orbit sander. Start with 100-grit sandpaper and work your way up to 320-grit. This will ensure a smooth, professional finish.

Applying the Finish

The final step in making a cutting board is applying the finish. A mineral oil finish is ideal for cutting boards as it brings out the wood's color, repels water, protects against stains, and won't turn rancid. Apply a generous amount of mineral oil to the cutting board, wait for about 20 minutes, then wipe off any excess. Repeat this process until the board is thoroughly saturated.

Maintaining the Cutting Board

Maintaining your cutting board is just as important as making it. Over time, the finish on the cutting board can wear away, exposing the wood to water damage. To keep your cutting board in top condition, regularly apply more mineral oil.


Making a cutting board is a fun and rewarding project. With the right tools, materials and techniques, you can create a functional and beautiful cutting board that will last for years. So why not give it a try? With this guide, you're already halfway there!


  1. What are the essential tools required for making a cutting board, and how do they contribute to the process?
  2. What are some key considerations for selecting the right type of wood for a cutting board, taking into account durability and food safety?
  3. Can you outline the step-by-step process for properly finishing and sealing a cutting board to ensure longevity and hygiene?

Marias Condo
Marias Condo

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