About 2 years ago a close family friend and quilting buddy of SWMBO moved and we gave her a cutting board as a house warming gift. On viewing the same another quilting buddy thinking she was out of ear shot, slyly commented that “since she wasn’t planning to move house she probably would never receive such a board”. A comment duly noted and filed. In due course I happened on to the design for a “Quilted Cutting Board” on WoodsmithPlans.com (WS22818) that brought that comment up from the deep and gave life to this thread.
I more or less followed the plan with a few deviations. The plan called for cutting the blocks from 1 1/8” stock which I fudged by gluing ¾” stock I had on hand into 1 ½ x 6 x 48” slabs. These slabs were ripped on my neighbors Delta cabinet TS into sticks, including those ripped at 45 degrees.
The sticks ripped at 45 degrees were glued into Maple/Cherry and Maple/Walnut combinations with a special built jig, modeled after the article. Instead of cutting a 45 degree groove into the jig, I ripped some scrap plywood at 45 degrees and used double sided tape to form the jig. One side of the jig was screwed down to the base plate. Painters tape minimized the slippage prior to clamping.
All of the sticks were then passed through a jointer and planer to bring them into square and equal dimensions and cut into 2” blocks on the TS. A total of 144 blocks were used in this board. The original design per the plan is shown below.
That plan did not however pass muster with SWMBO’s quilting eye and she promptly took control of the final design. For her convenience all the blocks were kept in a large pizza box which proved ideal for keeping them together and yet easily rearranged/stored. Once configured the rows were numbered and marked in case any should be dropped. A series of simple jigs (MDF covered with clear packing tape) were created (one side and one end were fastened to the base with MDF screws, leaving one side, an end and the top piece free floating) for the glue up. Clamps were applied to all sides to prevent slippage. I started with the individual rows and progressively combined rows to finish the board.
The completed board was framed to prevent tear out and accidental contact of the bowl bit with the metal frame as the board surface was prepared for sanding. The router sled is reinforced 3/8” plexiglass and the metal frame covered with Slick Tape for ease of movement. I would not recommend using a bowl bit for this process and have acquired a surfacing bit for future projects.
Once cleaned the board was passed through the drum sander using 80 grit paper. Final sanding was with an ROS with progressive grits up to 220. Prior to changing grit the surface was lightly dampened to raise the grain and re-sanded with the current paper. A ¾” Round Nose bit was used to cut the juice groove.
The last two photos show the finished board. Feet added to the other side can easily be removed, and the holes filled if the new owner wants a dual use board. The dark slash in the center of the face is not a crack.
There are aspects pattern that I am not entirely happy with but then……
Apologies for the sideways photos. I still haven't been able to get them sorted correctly.
All the above and then some. I can't imagine the patience and planning it takes to pull off such a project but it certainly shows. The attention to detail is incredible. I don't want to think of the amount of time invested but I can imagine. And then there's the glue, how much is holding that piece together? Thinking of the complexity of the project, the number of parts and the fact that each part must be very square to each other to glue properly, the assembly process, and glueing and clamping , and glueing and plamping......
You've peeked my curiosity and I'll look hard at the plans but........doubting I'll be trying this anytime soon, not for my 1st cutting board anyway.
Stunningly beautiful piece. Looks like it belongs in a museum not a kitchen....just saying.
Definitely appreciate the positive thoughts on this board and SWMBO was very pleased to hear the positive comments on the design. It was her “quilter’s eye” that laid that out.
Yes Steve, there was a LOT of gluing and clamping in that project. Watching glue dry is almost as exciting as watching paint. �� The final stages of sanding were not terribly exciting either. As many members have expressed in the past, the project is the fun, the finishing processs, not so much. However when the first coat of warm buther block oil was applied and the grain stared to pop all became relative.
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