How to make a Hardwood Cutting Board

I decided to make a hardwood cutting board using easily available pre-cut and pre-glued and planed hardwood boards from my hardware store. For the wood, I chose to use European Beech, however they also had oak boards available. I liked the deeper colour of the beech more than I did the oak. You can usually find these pieces in the pre-cut wood area of the store, close to the wooden hand rails and steps.

European Beech plank

Since the boards were pre-glued and already planed, it was only necessary to cut them to size and sand them. I cut the board in half so that I can make two cutting boards from one piece of board. They came out to around 40 centimeters each (around 16 inches). I used my circular saw and a multi-tooth wood cutting blade.

Cutting board to size

Since I didn’t care for a super smooth finish, I sanded the boards down using 220 grit sandpaper. In my opinion, a cutting board is a piece of wood which will get quite a bit of use and wear. There is no need for a super smooth finish.

Sanding with 220 Grit

With the sanding finished, I cleaned the board with a water and solvent spray and allowed the pieces to dry. I then began to rub them down with walnut oil. Walnut oil is a food safe oil that can be used to penetrate the wood and give it a nice finish. It is also a drying oil.

I allowed around 1 hour in between each coat of oil for it to dry. I applied a total of 3 coats of walnut oil. The deep penetrating action of the walnut oil makes for a good seal.

Sealing with walnut oil

However, for the final coat, I needed a bit more sealing power. I decided to make a walnut oil and beeswax mixture. This was done by heating the walnut oil over a medium heat bain marie (water bath). Once the oil was hot, I dissolved an equal amount of beeswax into the oil. When it was all melted in, I allowed the mixture to cool and harden.

Making walnut oil and beeswax mixture

The final coat of the sealant was done with the walnut beeswax mixture. This provided for a good seal that would hold out well with the cutting board.

The cutting board in action

Tags:

cutting board, diy, woodworking

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