The first step in building an easy butcher block cutting board is understanding what kind of wood is the best to use. The second step is deciding on which style you prefer, End or Cross Grain.
Hardwood – 6 Most Common Types
- Maple – Very durable quality, resists abrasion and affordable. Great for heavy-use areas like countertops & cutting boards.
- Teak – Tropical hardwood, very sturdy with an exotic look that resists moisture.
- Black Walnut – Strong hardwood with a beautiful color.
- Oak – Durable and resists warping.
- Cherry – Classic American wood that is rich in color used mostly in pianos & furniture due to it’s durability & strength.
- Hickory – Strongest American wood, also known as “Hercules“.
Type of Cutting Board – End Grain or Cross Grain
End Grain is where the grain is exposed when a piece is cut across the growth rings. Cross Grain is the opposite. Both styles make great cutting boards.
Now that you have decided on which wood to use and the style you prefer, let’s get to building. You can make your cutting board with one type of wood or alternate to add color and dimension. Determine what size you want to make and adjust the materials below to meet your measurements.
Materials Needed – Plan for a 25 x 36
- 9 – 1 x 2 x 36 Hardwood – I used three different types of wood, see images below. I laid the strips down so the 2″ was the width, not the height.
- 1 – 7″ x 36 – Just to be different, I used one piece for the middle instead of cutting strips
- Wood Glue – [easyazon_link identifier=”B0002YQ378″ locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”n” tag=”lipst0b-20″ cart=”y” cloak=”y” localize=”y” popups=”y”]Titebond III Wood Glue 4 oz[/easyazon_link]
- Clamps – [easyazon_link identifier=”B00P4CBE22″ locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”n” tag=”lipst0b-20″ cart=”y” cloak=”y” localize=”y” popups=”y”]DEWALT DWHT83195 Large Trigger Clamp with 36 inch Bar[/easyazon_link]
- Sandpaper – 220 Grit to start, then you could go with a lower grit if 220 isn’t abrasive enough.
- Sander – [easyazon_link identifier=”B001NIRNWG” locale=”US” nw=”n” nf=”n” tag=”lipst0b-20″ cart=”y” cloak=”y” localize=”y” popups=”y”]Ridgid R2601 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander[/easyazon_link]
- Planer – [easyazon_link identifier=”B00V4DJ6AC” locale=”US” nw=”n” nf=”n” tag=”lipst0b-20″ cart=”y” cloak=”y” localize=”y” popups=”y”]Bosch PL2632K Planer with Carrying Case, 3 1/4″[/easyazon_link]
- Saw – My favorite is the VersaCut see my 3 Best Circular Saws – Comparison Chart – Click Here ⇒
- Butcher Block Oil or Wax – I use [easyazon_link identifier=”B00XWRV7EG” locale=”US” nw=”n” nf=”n” tag=”lipst0b-20″ cart=”y” cloak=”y” localize=”y” popups=”y”]Howard Butcher Block Conditioner, Enriched with Orange Oils, Food Grade Mineral Oil with Vitamin E Butcher Block Oil & Conditioner, Bamboo, Butcher Bloch Counter Tops, 12oz size[/easyazon_link]
Step by Step Instructions
- Cut wood pieces to 2″ wide strips unless they are already cut from when you bought them.
- Start at one side and glue the pieces together. I found it was the easiest to have someone help, that way you both can start from the outside and work your way into the middle. Make sure you clamp pieces together tight but not too tight. If you notice the pieces starting to buckle, release a little tension from the clamp.
- Let glue set for 24 hours. Don’t skimp on this part, it really needs to dry for 24 hours.
- Plane the glued cutting board. I have a hand Planer which is the one I mentioned above in the Materials section. Be sure to set whatever Planer you have to the smallest depth. You don’t want to take off too much of the wood, just enough to make sure the cutting board pieces are level. Start with 1/32″ up to 1/16″, if that isn’t enough then adjust up a little more.
- Sand all four sides of the cutting board, start with 220 grit sand paper.
- With a damp, not wet cloth, wipe down the cutting board after sanding. Let dry and then add your Butcher Block Oil or Wax. I love Howard Butcher Block Conditioner, it brings great color out of the wood and protects it from moisture settling into the wood.
This image below is during the glue drying process, before the Butcher Block Oil/Wax was applied.
This image below is after the Butcher Block Oil/Wax was applied. The color changes tremendously, so keep that in mind when choosing which hardwoods you want to use.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and please let me know if you have questions or comments.