Cutting boards/serving trays - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 09:38 AM
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Michael I would say you can make a cutting board or two with the tools you have and you will learn a lot about the tools you have and which ones are best for the job but it will take more time than it would if you had more tools to chose from.

I would say the table saw would be the first power tool to add to your shop and as Bob pointed out get a good one to start with instead of getting one that will save money but will never give you good results. I don't mean you need to buy a $4000 table saw but buy one that is a proven quality saw. A good table saw will up your cutting board game by quite a bit.

You will be able to quickly joint boards, cut stock to width and length and it will save time and material costs.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 10:12 AM
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Michael; I'm not sure we addressed the circ. saw usefulness issue, did we?
If your saw is properly plumbed and squared...the blade and sole plate...and you have a really decent SHARP blade, you can do some very acceptable work with it. There are a ton of posts here in the archives on using cutting guides and jigs. A lot of us more 'aged' members use the circ. saw for cutting up 4x8 plywood. The fun of packing a sheet of 3/4" around the shop has lost it's charm...
The key is to have your saw as tuned and accurate as you can make it. That, and to repeat myself, the correct, SHARP, blade.
It should cut like the proverbial hot knife through butter; virtually no resistance.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 10:55 AM
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First Mike, please fill out the rest of your profile when you get a chance and list the tools you have. Some of us check that before we tell you how to do things to see if you have the tools you need to do it that way.

The tools you need are scalable to the size of the projects you do. For example I work on some fairly large projects at times so my tables saw is a Unisaw with a 5' long outfeed table. My jointer is an 8" with a 6' bed. Planer is a 2hp 16", etc. If you stick to small projects like cutting boards then you can scale way down from that. For example a short 4" jointer is good enough and old ones show up with some regularity on buy and sells, Craig's List, etc for $100 or less. You'll have to clean the rust off most likely but there are some good threads here about that, one especially good one by David Falkner. For planing something that small you could use a router on skis instead which Harry Sinclair covered, or build a sled which uses a router which has also been covered. (If your cutting boards are wider than 12" most planers aren't wide enough anyway to plane the finished board flat.) Just like old jointers, want ads are a good place to find old table saws. A friend wanted to upgrade his and sold me his old Rockwell 10" saw for $100. It's a 220v 2 hp that I added an aftermarket fence to and it comes close to doing everything my Unisaw will. One of those with a glue line blade as previously mentioned might be good enough to make your joints tight enough. With a home made cross cut sled it will also allow you to square the ends of the finished cutting boards. A decent table saw and crosscut sled are a must for many of us. If you want to add a juice groove and round edges on the finished cutting boards you'll need a plunge router. It doesn't need to be a big one for doing this.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 01:28 PM
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You probably don't want to hear this, but the tools to make the boards look nice (and your skill), will not only make your life a lot easier, it will reduce your work load.
My shop has a Grizzly 3hp 1023 table saw. Ripping boards that are 1 1/2 inches thick are no problem.

My planer is a DeWalt DW 734 - works well and I have no complaints except for the width limit of a little more than 12 inches.

I bought jet 6 inch jointer off Craigslist used, but in fairly good condition. I have since upgraded the cutter head to spiral.

A drum sander will help smooth out the top/bottom of any unevenness. But you will still have to do some sanding to get that smooth surface.

And yes, lots of clamps. If you plan accordingly, you can glue up a panel that can be cut into several boards. I have a variety of clamps and use what ever is necessary to get good tight joints.

Good luck.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 06:11 PM
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I have a Laguna Hybrid, 10 inch table saw and really like it. At 115 volts, it has about 1 3/4 hp. You can also run it on 220, probably available for your dryer in a garage. Increases the hp for not much money. To me, a really good table saw and fence, along with a sled is the key to good cuts. I have a Glue Line rip blade by Freud and get ready to glue surfaces every time. I'm sure you'll get other recommendations.

The key thing is setting up the table saw and fence. If you use the table saw to flatten one edge (planer function), you will want to make a carrier with a very straight edge and clamps to hold down the piece you want to cut. Clamp the new piece down on the carrier, then use the carrier's straight edge against the fence and you get a straight cut. Once you have one edge perfectly straight and flat, all other cuts will be straight.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 07:14 PM
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The key as Tom and Chuck pointed out is to make certain whatever tools you use are dead on accurate or as close as you can get them. Cutting boards are indeed addictive.

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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by forbes617 View Post
Hi all. I am about to take the plunge and start working on a project. I am hoping to get some guidance on making a cutting board/serving tray. Im thinking if i can make these, i will be able to fishish them with some pyrography artwork in one of the corners/edges to give it a real original look and blend a handmade piece of a cutting board with some creative art. I have been reading through a lot of helpful posts here on the forum that have helped me get some info on what I want to do but i have a few questions before I proceed.

All of my current tools are from my grandfathers old collection. I have a table belt and disc sander, random orbital sander, circular saw, and a variety of hand tools. What is the 1 power tool that i would most need for this type of project?

Table saw? Can i get by with just my circular saw?

Planer? Is this just nice to have or will this be necessary?

Both? I have a small budhet to add one of these if necessary. But was hoping to work with what i have as much as possible to learn beofre spending money on more tools.

Also, where does eveeyone source their woods? Is there a good online store or do most people find somewhere local. Im in New Hampshire so i dont think it should be too difficlut to find someone local but i wasnt sure if there was a perferred online shop.

Thanks in advance.
Firstly, the tools and machinery you need for any project depends on the level of your skill. More skill you have less sophisticated tools and machinery you need and vice versa.
Secondly, what material/wood are you going to start with. Obviously, if you going to start from lumber, you will need will need more machinery to cut and dress it, than if you are starting from material already dressed.
In my case, I have limited woodworking skills and need machinery to compensate for the lack of skill. Here is the machinery in my workshop, listed by order of importance:
1) Table saw - this is your workhorse and you can accomplish a lot with it if. I have 3.
2) Router - I have Triton, mounted on Triton table and use it on Triton table as shaper/moulder. I have two other routers that I occasionally use handheld.
3) Planer/ thicknesser - this is essential if you starting from lumber. If you starting from material already dressed you may get away without it.
4) Bandsaw - very useful but to make cutting boards you may get without it.
5) Scrollsaw - not essential for making cutting boards, I use it for more complicated projects.
6) Lathe - I have a metal lathe - combination lathe and milling machine. This is my luxury because I fancy myself as metalworker rather than woodworker - I was trained as the engineer.
I am attaching a few examples of cutting/serving boards I made with the above machinery:
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Last edited by difalkner; 07-03-2018 at 09:29 PM. Reason: fixed quote
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 09:54 PM
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While it was with a bit of levity earlier saying I had to go out in the shop to do another board, in actuality that's what I did. This is a mountain scene in Maple, Walnut, and Cherry. I cut the 1/2" thick overlay on the CNC yesterday and the laser shop I do work for did the engraving for me today.

Completed board, 12x15 - no oil or engraving
Cutting boards/serving trays-001-completed-mountain-board-no-oil-no-engraving.jpg

Freshly oiled and will get the Beeswax treatment tomorrow -
Cutting boards/serving trays-002-mountain-board-fresh-oil-engraved.jpg

Starting on another one this week that will have a deer and trees to be engraved, Maple board.

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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 10:43 PM
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Those are the most unique style cutting boards I have ever seen. I like your design and workmanship, Great job.
That mountain scene came out good. did you have to detail the grain to get the mountain ,sky, and desert effect?

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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 11:03 PM
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"In my case, I have limited woodworking skills and need machinery to compensate for the lack of skill."
-John (Holic46)

Ha! Pull the other one...
Beautifully crafted, John.
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