Behind the Scenes

People seem very curious about the process involved with designing and building custom cutting boards.  So, I've posted a few photos with descriptions of the process to help show you what goes on behind the scenes at The Kustom Woodshop.

 

First up, a few of the interesting steps during the process of creating an "Old Glory" cutting board...

Old Glory: Step 1

Old Glory: Step 1

The Kustom Woodshop have cut the boards that will make up the stripped portion of the flag. There are 6 white stripes (hard maple) and 7 red stripes. I have used cherry and mahogany in past constructions. This project is using red-heart, which is an imported species.

Old Glory: Step 2

Old Glory: Step 2

Make a cup of hot coffee. The stripes have been cut and the first glue up has been completed, and cross cut. You are still seeing flat grain in this photo.

Old Glory: Step 3

Old Glory: Step 3

The segments have now been turned to expose the end grain and the stripes are glued together. The stripes are constructed in two segments. The 7 short stripes and the 6 long stripes.

Old Glory: Step 4

Old Glory: Step 4

Another cup of coffee. Both stripe sections are glued up, they are not staged correctly in the photo. The "union", which is the blue background for stars is shown before glue-up. This is made from purple heart.

Old Glory: Step 5

Old Glory: Step 5

The union has been glued-up and sanded. Holes drilled for stars and insertion of the birch dowels started. This is a tedious process. Much sanding need after glue dries. All three segments are then glued, sanded and finished.

And if you're still curious, here are twelve photos (not all of me working on the same board) that should help to show the chronological nitty gritty process that is involved in building a custom end grain cutting board.

Clamps, Clamps....can never have too many clamps

Preparing to plane a piece of walnut. Secret weapon is sidewalk chalk... helps let me know when the entire surface has been planed evenly.

Going through the planer, this insures that all boards are of equal thickness and flat.

Setting up the table saw fence, this determines the thickness of the cutting board.

This is the slab after the first glue up... this one consists of 8 boards and has been planed.

Trimming the end of the slab to get a square starting point.

Cross cutting the slab, notice the segments that have been pushed out after cutting.

Three of the segments that have been cut, rotated 90 degrees and we now are looking at the end grain. I then flip every other one end for end to create the pattern. Note the second one has been flipped already. This slab yielded 16 segments that produced 2 large cutting boards.

The segments have been glued up a second time and now the sanding begins. Here I am sanding the edges and corners which must be done by hand.

Finishing. I used several coats of mineral oil all applied by hand and rubbed in evenly. The end grain boards soak it up readily.

Last application is mineral oil mixed with bees wax and buffed.

........ and buffed more. Finished product.