Your kitchen isn’t complete without a good cutting board. If you’re someone who loves to make fresh meals daily, a solid cutting board is a vital arsenal to make your tasks much easier.
You can create beautiful cutting board designs using handsaw, glue, planer, and of course, wood pieces. Well, what if you’ve got no planer. Can you still make a cutting board? Yes!
In this article, we’ll show you how you can make a cutting board without a planer, the right tools to use, how best to care for your cutting boards, and many more. Read on!
Step 1: Prepare And Cut Your Wood:
Firstly, to have a nice cutting board, you need to make sure that your wood edges are smooth. This smoothness will prevent bacteria from entering through the holes.
However, it’s a little trickier when you want to smooth your edges without a planer. But, the solution is right here; Use a jointer, belt sander, or a miter saw to flatten out the faces of the board.
Cut your scrap wood pieces to a thickness of about 12 inches and a length of 16 inches. Then smooth them out with a belt sander.
Pick different or identical wood pieces to create your pattern and designs. Make your board a little bigger than you want it to be so you may cut and sand it down without affecting the finishing.
Step 2: Create Your Design Layout:
Arrange your wood pieces next to one another. Try the different wood shades and textures to come up with a design you like.
You can use different wood pieces to modify your patterns before gluing your board together. Afterward, you can patch any cracks in the bottom of the board with wood filler.
Step 3: Drill A Hole In The Handle:
If you’d love to hang your cutting boards or hold them conveniently, then you should consider drilling a hole. For example, you can drill a 34-inch diameter hole in the handle of your board.
However, make sure there are at least 12 inches of wood between the hole and the outer edge of the handle.
Step 4: Glue Your Cutting Boards:
Starting from the right, rotate each piece 90 degrees to stand on its narrow side, except the last piece on the left, which remains flat.
Then, using a glue brush, apply enough wood glue to the pieces facing upwards.
Now, rotate the pieces 90 degrees back to their original flat position with parallel clamps perpendicular to the glue direction.Finally, hold down your newly glued pieces together with two or three bar clamps to keep one side of the wood as flat as possible.
You can wipe away the excess glue with hot water and a soft towel. Then, allow the boards to air dry for at least 24 hours.
Step 5: Finally, Sand And Clean Your Cutting Board:
Sand your cutting board with 100, 220, or 800 grit sandpaper. Then, choose a wood finish that creates a protective layer and penetrates the wood fibers.
Start by cleaning down your board with liquid paraffin. Then apply a generous amount of wood conditioners for a shiny finishing. Finally, allow the finish to dry for at least 48hours.
The best wood finishes are beeswax, Danish or linseed oil, Carnauba wax, walnut oil, shellac, and mineral oil.
Materials For Making A Cutting Board
As you’ve known, you’ll need a few woodworking tools to create a cutting board at home. Below are the common tools you’ll need and their functions.
You need different pieces of non-porous hardwood components. Lumber is the backbone of your cutting boards. They are obtained from sawmill logs and are for structural purposes.
You need glue to join the pieces of wood together. However, since your cutting boards are for food materials, it’s best to use FDA-approved sealant.
Hand Plane or Jointer:
An excellent cutting board has no holes between the wood pieces. It would be best to plane all sides of the squares with a hand plane or a jointer.
A jointer is a valuable tool because it saves time and it mills a board flat.
Hand Saw or Table Saw:
You need a saw to make a cutting board from many wood pieces. A table saw is preferable because using a hand saw for hardwoods like walnut or maple can be exhausting and time-consuming.
Orbit or belt sander:
Sandpaper alone will not work. You need these two to smoothen the cutting board so that you can have a moisture-resistant surface. You can use the 100-grit sandpaper first, then 220-grit sandpaper.
You need clamps to join all wood strips while gluing them together.
When using power equipment like an orbit sander or a table saw, you should always wear ear protection plugs.
Face Shield or Safety Goggles:
While making your cutting board, protect your face and eyes with safety goggles or a face shield, especially when working with power or a hand saw.
Please use work gloves while clamping, assembling, gluing, or sanding the cutting board. However, never use gloves while handling the table saw.
Hand Gloves reduce your gripping force, resulting in an accident if the saw blade hooks on the limbs.
What Is The Fastest Drying Cutting Board Glue?
Well, Titebond is among the fastest-drying and thickest cutting board glue. It’s rated as one of the best options to fill wood cracks and is ideal for permeable and semi-permeable materials.
The glue gives a neat finish trim, baseboards, crown molding, window casings, and other professional outlooks.Titebond adhesive gives a strong firm tack and quick set time while allowing for the realignment of wood pieces.
In addition, Titebond has good heat resistance, a non-offensive odor and is unaffected by coatings.
What Type Of Wood Is Ideal For Cutting Boards?
If you need a cutting board that is long-lasting, scratch-resistant, and stain-resistant, then go for hardwood with a closed grain. The best wood species for your cutting board are maple, walnut, cherry, ash, and beech.
Maple’s neutral color and delicate grain make it a natural fit for any kitchen.
Maple gives a superb cutting surface that does not destroy a sharp cutting edge, as its narrow pores and dense closed-grain helps to keep germs away.
However, the lighter-toned maple surface makes it difficult to hide stains. Therefore, it’s not advisable to place turmeric roots or freshly sliced beets on your maple cutting board.
Another popular choice is walnut, which is practically the opposite of maple. Walnut is one of the softest closed-grain hardwoods, making it ideal for cutlery.
You’ll love to use walnut because of its deep, dark color, which may easily hide everyday stains while also giving your countertop a stylish appearance.
Cherry is the best hardwood option if you’re fascinated by colors. Whatever you do with a thick slab of rich red cherry wood comes out fantastic.
Cutting boards made of ash are superb. Despite being ring-porous, ash produces a firm, lasting cutting surface. It also has a lovely lighter color, which makes it an incredible asset to any kitchen.
Beech is a hardwood that shares many features with maple. It’s very efficient at keeping dirt out. Although beech has a soft-pink tone, the color darkens to a stunning red tone with time.
What Are the Best Tips To Clean My Cutting Boards?
A well-maintained cutting board can last for 4 to 7years. Below are the best maintenance tips to follow to have a durable cutting board.
Clean properly after each use:
Wipe your board with soapy water immediately after use, and never soak it in the dishwasher.
If you soak your board in warm water, they will warp. Instead, dry thoroughly with a soft towel or clean cloth. Using a food-clean weak bleach may help remove stains faster. However, it will discolor your boards with time.
Treat with wood conditioners:
You should treat your cutting boards with wood finishes instead of oils. Cooking oils like canola, vegetable, or coconut oil tend to become rancid over time.
Mineral oil is the best choice for conditioning wooden cutting boards because it’s flavorless, odorless, and is resistant to corrosion.
Sand down your board as it ages:
With time, your cutting board may wear out due to constant usage. You can sand down the surface of your cutting board with san dpaper to expose a new layer of wood if it becomes severely worn out.
Get rid of odors with lemon juice:
Scrub your board with lemon juice and baking soda if it starts to smell. Then, you can wipe the board’s surface withwhite vinegar or freshly cut lemon.
A handcrafted cutting board adds warmth and natural attributes to a kitchen. You can make a chef-worthy board that any foodie would enjoy using basic home tools and hardwood pieces.
Although woodworking projects can be stressful, it’s much easier than you might think to make a cutting board.
Give your kitchen the warmth it deserves using tools like a handsaw, wood pieces, glue, and a planer. Remember, if you’ve got no planer, use a belt sander, jointer, or miter saw.