DIY Paddle Cutting Board
Cutting boards intimidated me for a while, but after getting over my fears and buying some hardwood, I found out that they are actually super fun to make and that handmade wooden cutting boards are gorgeous!
Don’t be afraid to go to your local lumber yard and ask around for some help if you have never bought hardwood before. If you have never made a cutting board and are unsure of what species of wood to buy, you should stick with either cherry, hard maple, or walnut (I went with cherry!). Those woods are pretty common, not overly expensive, and should be available at most lumber yards (or home improvement store if yours carries some). You need a wood that is not porous, so that means that you should avoid softwoods such as pine and poplar, and even a number of hardwoods like red oak and soft maple.
Follow along with the tutorial below to see how you can make your own DIY paddle cutting board! You may need to adjust the length of your cuts depending on the wood you are able to buy. Read through the instructions before you start, and always use proper safety equipment.
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- Hardwood board: cherry, hard maple, walnut (I chose cherry and love the color!)
- The board I bought was about 1 ¾” wide, 1” thick, and about 8ft long. This may vary depending on where you buy your hardwood. Some home improvement stores have hardwood, depending on where you live, but I was only able to find mine at a local lumber supply company.
- Wood glue
- Cutting board oil (mineral oil)
- Sand paper
- (5) at about 15 ½”
Step 1: Cut your wood to length
- Make (5) 15 ½” cuts along your board using your miter saw or other saw of choice (I love my Japanese pull saw). Measure your board and try to get about 5 equal strips of wood out of it.
Step 2: Straighten the edges
- Using your tool of choice (planer, jointer, router), straighten the edges of your board so that when you put the pieces together to join them they are flat and there aren’t any gaps.
Step 3: Glue and clamp
- Don’t be stingy on the glue! Load up the edges with your wood glue and clamp the boards together to make a big rectangular board, making sure the ends are flush on either end.
- Wipe off any excess glue with a damp towel and let the glue dry for about an hour.
Step 4: Plane the board
- This step is to assure that your board is smooth and flat. I used my planer to achieve this, running the board through a few times on both sides, but if you’re into hand tools you can use a hand plane. You can also use your orbital sander to make it flat and smooth all around, it just might take a little longer.
Step 5: Trace and cut your handle and corners
- You can do this a few ways, but my method for drawing my handle was using a small roll of electrical tape.
- First, I found the center of the board and drew a straight line from the top to about halfway down the middle of the board.
- Then I centered the tape on the top of that line (the top of the board) and drew a circle around it.
- Next, I measured about 4 ¼” down from the top and drew a straight line across the boards.
- Then I measured ½” from either side of the middle line (the handle line) and drew straight lines parallel to the middle line. This will make your handle about an inch wide.
- Next, I used my tape roll to draw rounded edges to smooth out the corners where the handle and the board met, and where the rounded top meets the handle. You can make these marks by lining your tape roll up with the lines that you drew.
- On each intersection where the board and the handle meet, push your tape roll into the corner and draw the little arch that will round out the handle. (first picture below)
- Do the same for the top of the handle. (second picture below)
- Cut your handle out by tracing the lines with your jig saw.
- You should also round off the corners of the board using the tape roll to draw the rounded corners, and then cut them with the jig saw.
Step 6: Drill handle hole
- Using your drill and a ½” bit, drill a hole in the center of the top of your handle, so that you board can be hung, if needed.
Step 7: Round over the edges
- Use the roundover bit for your router and smooth over the perimeter of the cutting board. I use the Ryobi Plunge Router. Do this on both sides of the board.
Step 8: Sand
- Take your orbital sander and smooth out your whole board, especially those edges that you cut with your jig saw.
- I also used a file to sand the inside of the hole I drilled.
Step 9: Finish with oil
- This is the most exciting part! Other than using your beautiful creation, of course. Protect your board with cutting board oil, such as this one, by wiping it on generously with a clean cloth. It is recommended to do a few coats, so I did 3 on this one.
- You need to oil your board often as you use it, so keep this oil for future use.
There you have it! I love this paddle cutting board that I made, and I definitely have a greater respect for it, since I made it with my own two hands. Remember to hand wash your cutting board, and re-oil it every few weeks, or more often if you use it a lot.
Let me know if you have any questions or if you plan on making this yourself, and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter here for fun updates.
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