11 Tips for Making Bread/Cutting Boards
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boards are quick and easy projects that make great gifts for
birthdays, holidays, house-warmings, weddings, and more. Here
are 11 great tips for doing a better job when making these
Choosing the right wood. When making bread/cutting boards,
choose close-grained hardwoods such as maple, cherry, walnut,
birch, etc. for maximum durability. Using strips of contrasting
woods enhances the appearance of these boards.
Grain direction. For stability, it's best to arrange your
boards so the wood grain of each is going in the same direction.
Vertical annual rings, where possible, are best.
Cutting your wood strips. Rip all wood strips to exactly
the same width, making them about 1/16" wider than the thickness
of the cutting board you're making. Once they're ripped, run
each edge over the jointer, removing 1/32" in each pass.
For added strength...it's sometimes a good idea to run
a 1/4" - 20 threaded steel rod through your cutting board
from side-to-side. This is especially important to help avoid
warpage and separation when making large, countertop boards
that are over 15" wide. A rod every 6" to 8" is a good idea.
Drill all your rod holes on a drill press, using stops to
be sure each hole is in exactly the same location.
On your two outside pieces of stock, do not drill a
¼" through-hole for your rod ends. Instead, drill a 3/8" to
7/16" deep counterbore to conceal the tightening bolts on
each end of each rod.
Choose the right glue. Always use a waterproof glue for
bread/cutting boards. Titebond II® makes a good choice,
as does two-part resorcinol epoxy glue. If you're using resorcinol,
be sure to scrub all excess glue off your surfaces before
it dries. If you leave hard glue on the surface, then run
your assembled board through a thickness planer, it could
nick your planer knives.
Smooth all board surfaces. If you have a thickness planer,
run both surfaces of your board through the planer before
proceeding. If you don't have a thickness planer, you can
smooth your surfaces with a Hand
Scraper, Belt Sander, Pad Sander or any combination of
Round all board corners for a softer appearance. Once
you've glued your board together and allowed the glue to set-up
thoroughly, it is recommended that you radius all board corners
to help avoid chipping them or breaking the corners off your
finished project. Do this on your bandsaw or scrollsaw, then
smooth them carefully on the disc sander.
Add a gutter to contain liquids. Use a 3-in-1
Router Bit or unpiloted core box bit to form a gutter
around all sides of your board, about 3/4" in from its edges.
This gutter will help contain blood from meats or any other
Round-over all board edges. Use a Round-Over
Router Bit to roll all board edges for an
improved appearance and better feel when handling the board.
Perform a final, light hand sanding...to remove any fuzzy
surfaces or edges. Follow-up by using a tack cloth to remove
any dust or residue before applying your finish.
Apply the correct finish. Always finish boards such as
these (and all wooden utensils that are designed to come in
contact with food products) with an appropriate finish such
Bowl Finish or Preserve