Geoff’s Mothers Day Cutting Board Project
By Geoff Campbell from College Station, TX
Added on May 6, 2014
I have been watching The Wood Whisperer for a couple of years, and decided last year that I wanted to do some woodworking. I also wanted to give my mom something for Mother’s Day, so I acquired the bare minimum tools needed to follow Marc’s cutting board episode and managed to find a little bit of hardwood to begin the project. I wanted to use Purple Heart and Maple, but my Purple Heart board was not quite wide enough to follow the directions exactly, so I went with Walnut and Hard Maple. I soon realized that I did not have 8/4 stock like Marc suggested (I realized this after I watched Episode 4 – A Lumbering Feeling), so I downloaded CBdesigner and went to work to figure out how I could make a board of the same dimensions with wood that was only 1 ½” thick.
I ended up milling my wood down to 1 ¼” thick, but using 18” strips for the first glue-up. The widths were the same as Marc’s. After sanding the first glued piece back to flat (you can see my cutting skills aren’t yet top notch in the picture) using only a random orbit sander and a card scraper, I made my next cuts 1 ¼”, but instead of 11 of them I cut out 13 strips. I flipped every other strip and glued again. Next I sanded more—much more. It took me half a day to sand this block smooth. I also learned how very badly I need to follow Marc’s advice on the 5-cut squaring method.
From here I used my router table and stop blocks with a ¾” straight bit to cut out the handles. Then I took the router off the table and used a ¼” round over bit on the bottom, and a 3/8” bit on the top. This only left me with more sanding (by hand this time).
Finally, I used Watco butcher block oil (its similar to what Marc used) cut with about 65% mineral spirits for the finish. It took 3 coats; with the last one being wiped off right away since it wasn’t absorbing.
This is the first woodworking project I’ve ever attempted, and it was super satisfying. I appreciate Marc and everyone on here who has left a comment (they are super helpful). I hope my mom likes her Mother’s Day gift.