This is 6 Huge Tips for Making a Big Cutting Board. In this post I’ll show you several things to think about when making an over sized cutting board in your shop. These will help you get better results and make better cutting boards. Happy building.
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Making a Big Cutting Board
Making a big cutting board is a lot of fun. This is one of those projects that you can pull out and show people, and they really like the way it looks. Especially when well done, a large cutting board is really attractive.
When you’re making your board however, there are some things that you need to pay attention to in order to have a successful project. It’s not just a simple matter of taking the same materials and making something gigantic.
You need to pay attention to what you’re doing, and make a couple decisions a little differently than you normally would. I’ll show you everything that you need to know, and you’ll be able to make a big cutting board that looks awesome, and works really well.
See Also: How to Make Unique Cutting Boards
Choosing the Right Wood
Whether you’re making a big cutting board or a small cutting board, you need to make sure that you choose the right wood. Making a good choice in your wood species will have several effects down the line, and they range from the way it looks to the way that it functions.
Going through the hardwood store, there are a lot of pretty decent wood species that unfortunately will not make a great cutting board. There are also some pieces that will work really well, they just may not have the same pop.
In general, most wood that isn’t brittle can be used for making a cutting board. Some of the more common species are Bamboo, Rosewood, Maple, Oak, and Poplar. You can also add other species like a Mahogany or Cedar into the mix with success as well.
See Also: Make and Sell Cutting Boards
Consider the Final Weight
Wood is heavy. For this reason, you need to consider the final weight of your over sized cutting board before you actually build it. Thankfully, there’s a really easy calculation you can use to figure all of that out.
Let’s say you are making a cutting board that 2 inches x 2 inches and 3 inches thick. All you need to do is grab one of the sticks and mill it to size, and then figure out how many of them you would need to make the cutting board.
Once you know that information, weigh that one stick and then multiply it by the number you would need. Take a look at that number and see if it is going to weigh too much. If you have trouble visualizing, stack that much wood in your hands to feel it.
A big cutting board is really cool to use, because there’s so much space. However, you don’t want to end up in a position where the cutting board is no fun to work with because it’s too heavy to move around.
See Also: Handmade Cutting Board
Control for Warp
Another thing to watch out for is wood movement and warping. Larger pieces of wood are going to be at a higher risk for wood movement over time, especially in a situation where the board gets wet and dry a lot.
It’s really important to make sure that your wood is very stable before you glue it into a cutting board. It’s also really important that your glue joints are excellent, because that’s going to be the last line of defense to hold it all together when it tries to move.
For this reason, it’s very important to use a strong wood glue that has a trusted track record for woodworking projects. Don’t waste any time or effort on a generic wood glue, and instead reach for something that’s not going to betray you down the line.
Coat those joints entirely with wood glue. Don’t leave any dry spots, and make sure you have a perfect film of glue between each piece. This will help hold them together better and keep your cutting board from warping.
See Also: The Best Food Safe Wood Glue
Too Big Can Be a Bad Thing
Big is great, but sometimes things can be too big. There is an upper limit to the size of cutting board that you really should create. If you want to make things for your own personal use that’s awesome, but if you’re trying to sell them it can get a little difficult.
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For example, at some point you really just don’t need that space anymore. Once a cutting board gets more than about three or 4 feet wide, it can be a little too much to work on, it can even be hard to find a space to lay it down.
On top of that, once a cutting board is more than a couple feet deep, it becomes painful in the lower back area to bend forward and use the far away sections. This essentially makes them a waste of space, and unnecessary.
Making something big is a lot of fun, but definitely consider how you will use it. If it’s for yourself, you’ll know exactly what your tendencies are and what type of board that you would like.
If you’re making a big cutting board to sell, try going a little bit bigger and seeing how it works. You might be surprised that you don’t have to go to much bigger in order for people to notice the difference.
See Also: 9 Trusted Tips on How to Laminate Wood
Thicker Can Make it Seem Bigger
There is something really nice about a super thick cutting board. It has a little extra weight to it, and it feels like a higher quality item than a thin cutting board. This can be used to your advantage, and it can make your boards seem bigger than they are.
On your next project, add a little bit of length and width, but also add some thickness. Make the board heavier and thicker than you normally would, and it will also feel bigger, which is the entire goal of the project.
See Also: A Beginners Guide to Woodworking
Finish With a Nice Food Grade Sealer
Once your cutting board is complete, you definitely want to finish it with a high-grade food safe finish that will bring out the beauty of the wood. The other important part of the finish is that it will help protect the cutting board from warping.
Finishes protect wood from changes in humidity. This finish will do the same, and it will help your big cutting board last as long as it possibly can. In addition, make sure that you re-oil the board as necessary, and don’t skip this part.
Larger cutting boards need a little bit more care than smaller boards do. It’s going to be up to you to determine the frequency, but definitely don’t skip any opportunities to show that board another coat of oil when needed.
Your Action Assignment
Now that you know the 6 huge tips for making a big cutting board, it’s time to get out into the shop and take action. Plan out a larger than normal cutting board, and start gathering up your materials.
Think of how you’ll use the board, and where in the house you will place it. If there is a nice section of counter top, consider filling the majority of that space with your cutting board, which can look really good as you are cooking.
Remember not to make it too big just for the sake of making it large, and apply a nice butcher block oil to keep it safe.
If you have any questions about my tips on making a bigger cutting board, please post a question and I’ll be glad to answer them. Happy building.
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