Drunken Cutting Boards (part 2)

Second set of cutting boards complete - photo by Benjamin Wang

It has been a very busy couple of weeks. I have too many projects going on around the house and workshop right now. I am making progress on all of them, but it would be nice to have a couple more get completely finished.

The cutting boards are moving along. It is a learning experience as they get made. I made a set of them for my cousin’s wedding, but haven’t yet made any for our own house. I’m also walking a group (one at a time) though making the boards.  It is a lot more nerve wracking to be helping someone else on their project. However, I think we will be able to get 4 cutting boards each (two pairs) from the lumber I ordered. There may even be enough for a spare pair – in case we mess up one of them.

The first step was to glue up the maple into panels big enough for each board. That was done in the first drunken cutting board posting.  James Russell and I made up the first half of the blanks, and we made the first 4 boards.  Benjamin Wang and I made the second set of postings (and Ben took pictures to document the steps).

After the glue-up, we paired up boards – one of the purpleheart and one maple. The boards were squared up on the tablesaw, and planed to the same thickness. The boards were taped together with double sided tape. Ben figured out to use blue painters tape first to prevent the double sided tape from leaving residue on the wood – based on a suggestion from a worker at one of the big box stores.

Two pairs of boards matched for cutting - photo by Benjamin Wang

The pairs of boards were then run through the bandsaw and cut into wavy strips.  The cuts were then very carefully sanded to try to remove the bandsaw marks without changing the shape of the cuts.

One pair of boards after the first cut and sanding - photo by Benjamin Wang

After the boards were sanded, we carefully separated the pairs, and placed the boards back on top of each other in the same order they were cut, with the maple on the top and the purpleheart on the bottom. We then took every other strip of wood and swapped the top (maple) with the matching bottom (purpleheart) to give the first part of the wavy pattern.

The top and bottom boards were then (being careful to keep them in order) separated. We then added thin strips of cherry between the pieces and glued up the boards.


One board (of a pair) ready to glue up with cherry strips between the pieces - photo by Benjamin Wang

The boards were clamped up and left to glue overnight. The next day, we cleaned up the boards, cutting off the excess cherry, and planing the boards (carefully) to a standard thickness.

A pair of boards glued up drying. Each person is making two pairs. Photo by Benjamin Wang

The next step was to again pair up the boards and repeat the cuts in the other direction. We didn’t get any pictures of this step.  I’ll try to photograph it when I make the next set of cutting boards.

Overall, this hasn’t been a terrible project. It takes a couple of hours for each pair of boards to be made, and each set we make gets a little easier. I can’t take credit for this idea and method – I got it off a posting at lumberjocks.com.

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