A lot of us like to be crafty around the house. Especially in these times when everyone has stuck at home anyways, trying to take on handy projects like making your own cutting board is fun. I know you are eager to know how to make a simple cutting board at home, I will walk you through the process step by step.
But, I will first take some time to make sure that you choose the right wood to take on the task because it is absolutely crucial to do so, for the job.
What Wood Should I Use?
Think of what are the things you are going to do on that cutting board. You are going to cut veggies, cut some fruits, and other fun things. But what all of that cutting has in similar that they will release some sort of juice, well most of them will.
So, if you don’t choose the right wood, that ‘juicy’ (pun intended) problem can lead to bacteria infestation. I am sure you are not a fan of that.
Plus, I personally prefer to use a separate cutting board for meat, either red or white — just a personal preference. If you don’t do that, you have to choose a wood that can handle the force that comes with chopping meat. Meaning the wood has to be sturdy enough.
Judging from all angles, you should choose maple, cherry, or walnut. Those seem like the best bet for the job. You see, to get a great performing cutting board, you need to choose a closed-grained dense hardwood. And these three kinds of wood type checks all the right boxes.
The Whole Process
Now, onto the actual making process of the cutting board! Let’s head right to it.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
You will need to have a cutting vessel. Duh! For that, I recommend using a milter saw or a circular saw, but any regular saw will do great if you want to keep the design super minimalistic and simple.
You will also need a power drill. Because most of the well-functioning cutting boards come with a hole or hook to hang it before and after use. Hence, you need a power drill to make that hole.
Sandpapers are also a must. And if you have a sander, then that is even better. 120 grit sandpapers are the most optimum for the job — a measuring tape for measuring the right sizes.
If you want some sleek groves, then a router is also needed. To top everything off and seal the deal, a wood finishing oil is your last ingredient for this recipe.
Listen, it’s a cutting board, so don’t stress it too much. Don’t have everything I mentioned? No sweat! Just manage to cut the wood and sand it, and that can pretty much be it.
Step 2: Choose the Right Wood and Board
Yes, I have explained separately that wood selection is a crucial step of the process in detail. But I told you only about what type of wood you should choose.
In this step, you should look at the board you’re about to use carefully. Make sure that the board is flat. Otherwise, the outcome would not be very great.
Step 3: Cut the Wood
In this step, we are going to make our cut. At first, start cutting in a way so that you are left with a 16-inch longboard. A preferable width for cutting boards is 8 inches. However, it all depends on you and your needs. I am just letting you know what the industry averages for the category are.
Make sure that you mark everything beforehand. Otherwise, one wrong cut at the wrong place can ruin the entire board.
Step 4: Round the Sides (or Not)
In this step, you can use the router mentioned above. And smooth out the edges a little bit. This will make sure that there are no sharp edges on the cutting board. If you are a fan of the straight look, that is also fine.
Step 5: Drill a Hanging Hole
All the standard cutting boards in the market come with a pre-drilled hole for ease of hanging the piece on the wall. So, use a drilling machine to do the job. Of course, mark the hole before you actually go ham with the drill itself. A candid hole is never a good idea, always measure first.
Step 6: Customize (Optional)
Yes, I know that you are making a simple cutting board. But I am throwing this option in here just in case. If you want to customize or label your cutting board, this is the time you do it. A laser cut or carving the wood to engrave your name or to just label is a great idea but not mandatory at all.
It will make a great gift for anyone if you choose to customize it. But for a simple cutting board, this step is a hundred percent optional.
Step 7: Sand it Down
This is a non-skippable step. Sand every nook and cranny well. Sanding down the piece will make sure there are no stray wood chips hanging out to cut you later. Also, sanding will make sure the board is smooth and ready to soak in the oil coming on the next step.
If you want your brand new cutting board to look brand new, then sand down the board. Use a 120 grit paper for better results. You can either use a sander or the manual way, which is using your hands and sandpaper is also fine. As the surface is pretty small, it won’t be much of a problem.
Step 8: Oil the Finished Product
The final step is to oil your finished product. This will pretty much seal the deal. You can use Natchez Solution wood oil. This is what the experts recommend. Oiling makes sure that the wood is protected, also the shiny finish is aesthetically pleasing.
You can also use mineral oil, beeswax oil, or lemon oil for this task. Moreover, you can find any of these in your local hardware store or online. Let the oil seep in very well by letting it rest for a couple of hours.
Now that you know how to make a simple cutting board, you have the option to make some low-cost holiday gifts!
It is a great gift, and as it’s handmade, it can be a very sweet of a gift too. You know, the thought counts the most. Gift yourself a beautiful piece of art this holiday using my tips.
Practice more if the first one doesn’t come out perfect. It will be at one point.