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Thread: Cutting board practice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Lafayette, Indiana

    Cutting board practice

    So, last night I decided to try a practice run on making a cutting board. I had some 3/4 square oak pieces laying around and decided that would be good to "practice with. I know oak is not good for end grain boards and I do not plan on using it......this was just a practice run for me to see what issues I might run into when making them. I will leave these as long grain boards. I glued up two different boards. The first one is just all oak strips. The second one I added some walnut strips between each layer....just to be different.
    The glue up process went ok however I do see a slight bow in the one that is just all oak, and I clamped them up to set over night.
    So today I removed them from the clamps. I do see one piece that has a slight void along the strip. Maybe I can add glue to some sawdust and fill in???
    The board that I added the walnut strips to needed the walnut strips shaved down as they were taller than the oak to start. I decided that this would be a good chance to try out the hand planes I got from Jim and Larry. First I tried the larger plane . It cut great but plugged up very quick. After cleaning it out a few times I switched to the smaller plane and it worked very well and I could keep planning and the shavings just floated out of it. Now I suppose it has to do with the angle of the blade and the job it is being used for. I'll have to do more research to learn more about these tools.
    Anyway, all the walnut smoothed down real nice and now I think they are ready to run through the planner.
    I learned that each piece must have smooth edges. This is not easy with only a bandsaw in my shop. Where in the world am I going to put a tablesaw. Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Tom Baugues; 10-12-2012 at 07:15 PM.
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    I believe if you had a void in between strips, the boards werent perfectly jointed/flat.
    this is where a jointer comes in very handy indeed.
    Id also recommend trimming your pieces to similar sizes so you can avoid all that planing of different height boards.
    (unless that is what you want to do, then go for it. I try for time saving when making boards)

    btw, the oak walnut board, oil it up, and use it as a bread board when you put a loaf of bread out with dinner, looks great, adds a nice touch, or let the wife use it for hot pots.
    Human Test Dummy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Allen you are probably right. I will be sure to run everything through the jointer in future boards. This is what I need to learn and why I practiced.

    Also, I read to just use plain minerial oil on these. I read to just go to the supermarket and buy the house brand. That it works just as well as buying "butcher block oil". I walked all through our Walmart today and could not fine minerial oil anywhere. I'll have to keep looking...maybe a drugstore?
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Looks like a good start, Tom. I'll second Allen's suggestion about jointing the pieces to be sure they are flat and true. (I sidestep that part by using a table saw with a good blade, but understand that's not an option for you.)

    Also, the advice you were given about house brand mineral oil is correct. You'll usually find it in the laxative section. Of course there are some people who don't like the idea of putting a laxative on a cutting board, but the only way you're going to actually ingest any appreciable amount of the oil would be if you ate the cutting board itself.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    falcon heights, minnesota
    don't forget the old honeymoon rule for seasoning a cutting board. coat it with oil once a day for a week, then once a week for a month, then once a month after that. it will keep the board nicely sealed.
    benedictione omnes bene

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Way to go Tom. Looks to me like you hooked on the planes now. Trust Larry and Jim to do that. Give a man a plane and you got him hooked on hand tools.

    The bigger plane of your two is actually a smoother plane hence it jamming up. What you gonna find out fast is that you aint got nearly enough planes. Them two old boys was just getting you to get your feet wet. Its like the spinny vortex. There are two more i would be looking for if i were you. First look for a #7 jointer plane. Its very handy and will help you flatten those boards out since its got a long long base by comparison to the rest of the planes. Then look to find a #5 Jackplane. You could also look to find a scrub plane but i aint in the league them two you mentioned are so i cannot tell you the number. The Jackplane is kinda like a general purpose plane since its longer than the smoother and can be adjusted to cover quiet a range of uses. This as i understand it was the plane of choice for carpenters given its multi use. If you look to use your small block plane for what you doing you gonna find it soon gets tiring on the fun side on such large area given its size.

    So sequence would be use the Jackplane/Scub plane to knock off the rough stuff. Then jointer plane to flatten the whole board and then your smoother to get close to finish.

    Consider that up to now you been practicing on the flat with the grain. When you get to end grain its gonna be a whole new kettle of fish cutting perpendicular to the grain thats when you gonna want a nice sharp stanley #7. Finding one at a good price is a job though i paid a premium for mine in an ebay bidding war. Got carried away. Best person i can think of for advice on hunting is Steve Southwood. Hes the king of plain procurement in my view.

    Dont think the jointer plane is a waste of money, remember that you only have a jointer machine with a limited width to joint. So in any glue up where width exceeds what you can manage on your jointer these planes come in real handy, also think of a true woodworkers workbench, the only way i know of other than having a wide belt sander to flatten a bench would be with a jointer plane or i suppose a router with a carridge but thats a real schlep.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Well I did as Allen suggested and got some minerial oil (intestinal lubricate) as it's called on the bottle and wiped the board with it. It really brings out the color of the wood AND highlights my mistakes. So ok, not bad for my first one. I learned a few things from it which was the plan. So I've already started cutting strips for the next one. I expect it to be much better.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

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