Monday, March 26, 2018

Walnut and Maple Cutting Board

Recently I made this beautiful cane out of Walnut and Maple woods.


These woods were bought separately and laminated together with the light Maple wood in between the 2 dark Walnuts woods.


The cane was made out of the solid piece of laminated wood, and cut out on the table saw and band saw.


This left a good amount of scrap laminated wood.


So I decided to try and make a cutting board out of what's left.  I measured the piece I had and redrew it in Sketchup.


From this piece I can cut 4 strips at .75".


These strips can then be laminated to give a piece that's about 5.25" wide.


I can cut the new laminated piece in half giving me a cutting board that is roughly 12" long by 10.5" wide.


But before doing anything I need to square up the board...


...because one end was not cut squarely (on the band saw).


The miter saw makes this quick and easy.


Next I ran the board through my table saw...


...making four .75" strips.


Now it's time to cut the strips down smaller.  I set up a stop block on my miter saw...


...and cut the strips in half.


I have 8 usable strips now and some extra.


But I think I'm only going to use 7 of the strips for this cutting board.


To laminate these strips together I'm going to use my pipe clamps, which are my favorite for gluing up boards.


I added glue to the edges of the strips...


...spread the glue...


...and lined up the strips, clamping them securely.


I used a mallet to keep the strips flat and lined up as best as I could.  Then it was time to let the glue dry for a few hours.


While the glue dried I set up my surface planer.  This will smooth up both sides of the cutting board.


The surface planer makes a big mess, so I was sure to attach my shop vac to the planer.


When the glue dried I removed the clamps.  The top is looking good.


The bottom has some glue stuck to it, but that will be removed shortly.


My bar clamps also had glue on them, so I cleaned them off with a damp rag...


...and put them back on their wall rack (I'm a big fan of cleaning up and putting things back after use).


Then I ran the cutting board through the surface planer.


Unfortunately (but not expectantly) I had some snipe on the board.
(Snipe, in woodworking, is a noticeably deeper cut on the leading and/or trailing end of a board after having passed through a thickness planer or jointer - Wikipedia).


But before I started sanding the board to remove the snipe, I trimmed the short edges on the table saw with my cross-cutting sled.


Then I spent a lot of time sanding away the snipe with some 60-grit sandpaper on my random orbital sander.


When I couldn't see anymore snipe, I decided to route the edges on the router table.  For this cutting board I set up a 1/4" roundover bit.


Then I passed the top and bottom through, giving the edges a nice rounded profile.


Then a little more sanding to smooth out the rounded edges.


Because I had to remove the snipe from the boards, my sanding left the surface uneven again.  It's very slight, but I want my cutting board to be as flat as possible.  


Using a level I can see the high points and low points on the board.


I used a pencil to mark the high areas...


...and then sanded them down with the sander.


This took some time.  But the results are worth it.  Nice and flat.


Next I sanded some more with some fine sandpaper - 220 grit.


For all the rounded edges I sanded by hand.


Now all that's left is to apply some butcher's block oil - which I need to buy.


I didn't quite know what to do with some of the leftover pieces of laminated board, I glued and clamped 4 of the small ones together.  I figured I could make a small box with it.


For the bottom I used some leftover maple - also glued and clamped on.


I rounded all the edges on the router table...


...and sanded everything flush on the belt sander.


Still have some sanding to do to make it look nice, but this blog entry isn't about this box.


So I finally went out and bought the butcher block oil.  This gives a nice, food-safe finish to the board.


Before I applied the oil, I cleaned the dust with a little lacquer thinner.  I used this instead of a damp rag because water makes the fibers in this wood expand quickly, making the wood rough.  The lacquer thinner evaporates very fast and doesn't effect the wood.  Ideally I would have liked to use a tack cloth, but I didn't have one and couldn't find it at the store.


Then I prepped my workbench for applying oil.  I have a tarp down and the cutting board is sitting on some risers.


I applied the first coat and was amazed how vibrant the wood became.


It just looks marvelous.


Below is a comparison of the treated wood next to that box I was making that is untreated.


I let the cutting board dry overnight.


The next morning I brought my cutting board in and placed it on my kitchen island.


This thing came out great!


It may not be a very large cutting boards, but it will definitely come in use.


Thanks for reading!

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