Sometimes I just want to play around in the garage and get my hands dirty. We generally recommend cutting meats and messy things on your plastic board, but if you’re dedicated to using only one board in your kitchen, you’d do well to invest in a mat to cover this board for juicy foods. We are constantly being asked if we can build a butcher block for something other than a top. This type of butcher block keeps costs down due to the short wood pieces that can be used.
Using a square, we cut the excess off the ends, with a circular saw… cutting the length down to size. Your knife won’t gouge the plastic on most chops and slices, but when it does cut in, it locks your knife in place as if it’s cutting on a rail. It doesn’t need to stop with a cutting board though, use this DIY Cutting Board Kit to create anything you can imagine. Wax is not necessary when using drying oils, such as linseed or tung, but it will give a beautiful glossy finish to your board.
Again, I would take better care of them but if you have kids or college students or anyone who doesn’t remember: water and butcher blocks are friends’ you could be in trouble. Using board cream or mineral oil, oil it once daily for the first week, once weekly for the first month, and once monthly after that, or whenever it looks dry. The best part about this is when it wears out, you can sand it down and apply new oil, and you’ll have a brand new board again.
Look at how nice at smooth the surface of the board ends up being – all of the bubbles, cracks, divots, and valleys have been smoothed out. Using the end-grain of the wood to make the cutting boards gives them a little more visual interest than simply cutting the wood with the grain. Butcher block can be made out of nearly any wood—or any combination of woods—configured with its grain showing on the flat, on the edge, or on the end.
Stand each one of the boards on its edge so that the wet side of one board is touching the dry side of the next board. Keep your thumb on the lower left corner of the board and always keep your hands behind the blade. That said, a good-quality wooden cutting board, like this Ironwood acacia end grain board or this teak board , requires a bit of maintenance from time to time to stay in tip-top cutting shape. Nearly 115 years experience building quality butcher block assures you of a kitchen countertop that will last a lifetime.
A face grain board is the cheapest to make and buy but has a very high degree of warping and splitting over time. The modern butcher block was developed in the 1880s and was called at the time The Sanitary Meat Block”. You can play with or adapt this formula – cutting different widths to get a variable striping on your final board – if you want. I actually started to calculate how much it would cost per cutting board to buy a counter top specifically to chop into cutting boards (for Christmas presents?), but then I stopped because I thought probably no one would do that.
Wood cutting surfaces will wear faster and can potentially crack if exposed to too much moisture, or if they are too dry. What a sweet story.i have VERY little counter space and want my hubby to make me a bread board for the stove. Pour a generous helping of food grade mineral oil or coconut oil on the board and rub it around in soft circular motions. The edge grain is turned up. Blended grain offers a harmonious blend of heartwood, sap, natural mineral, and grain.
He’ll focus on mortise and tenon joints and provide you a few ways of cutting them. To deal with the warping, simply turn the board upside down every periodically and the warp will flatten out and then reverse. IKEA’s Legitim chopping board ($2) is 13½ by 9½ inches of quarter-inch-thin polyethylene. As an alternative to leaving the wood unfinished or oiled, countertops away from the sink — and not used for cutting — could be finished with any finish you choose.
For millennia, boat and furniture makers have used teak for its moisture-fighting properties, and that’s exactly why this teak board excels beyond every other wood board we tried. In the end, it’s a matter of personal preference, and mostly depends on how much you value the durability and the esthetics of your cutting board. Let stand 2-3 minutes and wipe the board with a damp cloth, then let it dry standing on its long side. March 31, 2014: Updated with our findings for why we do not recommend composite cutting boards. I’m planning on buying plain wood from the store and make my own boards, in desired size.
Our solid hardwood butcher block tops are hand made from ‘Select & Better’ grade hardwood lumber harvested locally from the Upper Mississippi River Valley. I totally have a small piece of this countertop left in our garage and now I think it must become a cutting board. We spent $750 for butcher block and all the other options were in the thousands…multiple thousands. I recommend at least a 1×10 but if you want to make it chunkier and you only have a 2×12….go for it. Next up, run a bead of wood glue on the edges of your boards (one board at a time) and glue them all together.
In the end, we found that form, function, and feel were a better guide to picking out a good cutting board than a strict focus on knife edge retention. Our Boardsmith has feet with all the advantages conferred by ventilation, plus the advantage that you can tuck a second knife and a board knife (scraper) under the board. If you have leftover wood like I do, you can also make some cutting boards with it. I’m thinking those would be fun Christmas presents.
For a cutting board with rounded edges or a round knob on the handle, use the circle guide to trace the edges onto the wood. Titebond II (blue label) passes the ANSI Type II water resistance specification, and it’s a fine glue to use on cutting boards. Turn the board upside down and lay the treated surface over wood or plastic supports on the 4 sides, and repeat the previous step for the back of the board. Our custom butcher blocks are in use around the country because we make strength and durability a priority.
Knife expert Chad Ward told us that while he lacks for definitive proof, he suspects that a softer board will be easier on your edges than the harder board. Since 2005 I’ve also cooked most of the meals for my household, which has given me ample opportunity to think about rectangular cutting surfaces. If you choose to make your design symmetrical, start from the center and work your way towards the edge. Repeat this oiling every week to keep your board well conditioned and to keep it from drying out- especially if you live in a very arid climate like here in Colorado!
Once the board is dry, repeat the sanding with the medium-grit sandpaper (in our case, the 120) to continue smoothing the board. I set the fence roughly by eye and then cut a short trial cut at the end of one board. The refuse is then leached and composted at Build It Green’s BIGNYC composting project in Queens. Or you can use a router to make a shallow cut into the plywood in the counter, to make a base to support the cutting board or butcher block.
The logical place for a cutting board is right next to a sink where you can wash vegetables, chop them, and scrape the scraps directly into the garbage disposal. A citrus solvent will have the benefit of giving a nice smell to the mix during the application, while eliminating any petroleum-based material to be used on your board and minimize environmental impacts. I have followed your wonderful directions (about a week ago) and there is still an oil residue on the cutting board. I have my Grandmother’s board that came from Hungary 100 years ago and it is in need of some loving.
These instruments allow you to achieve a high level of precision, and help to make sure everything goes together at glue-up time. In fact, some of the pieces I used featured uneven grain that shut-down even a 2-horsepower table saw when used with a planer or fine-toothed blade. Regardless of the material, regular maintenance of a cutting board is important.