A wooden cutting board is useful around the kitchen. A handmade wooden cutting board also makes a good housewarming or Christmas present. You will need basic woodworking skills. This DIY project will take a long afternoon to complete. Alternately, the work will take two separate afternoons with at least 24 hours in between.
Always wear eye protection and gloves when you work with wood. Wear ear protection while cutting. Wear a face mask while trimming, sanding, or glueing.
You will need scrap pieces of hardwood 2x2s or 2x4s from a mill or furniture factory. Maple or cherry is ideal. They do not have to be exactly the same size, but they should be at least 2 feet long after any rough ends or holes are removed. Using multiple pieces of wood prevents the cutting board from warping.
Trim the ends and edges to remove rough edges and all varnish. Trim edges again so that all the pieces are the same thickness.
Set up level supports for all the pieces at both ends. A pair of level sawhorses is good for this purpose.
Glue one side of each board with a waterproof woodworking glue. Spread it evenly along each board so that there will not be any air pockets when you press the boards together. Do not glue the final board.
Place the boards on the level supports, one at a time, so that the glue on one board faces the next board. All the boards should be snugly against each other with their ends roughly lined up.
Set at least two pipe clamps across the boards. Put scrap pieces of wood between the boards and the jaws of the pipe clamp before you push the boards together tightly. Use several pipe clamps if possible, spaced out along the length of the boards.
The glue will squeeze out from between the boards; this is normal.
Remove the level supports from the wood. The boards should be supported only by the tension in the pipe clamps.
The glue will cure in half an hour. You can also leave the boards in the clamps overnight and continue your work in the morning.
Remove the boards from the pipe clamps. The bond should be secure at this point. Scrape off the excess glue with a paint scraper.
Put the boards through a planer. You will need several passes before the surface is completely level.
Trim the ends. Round the corners and give a chamfer to the edges. Make a groove 1/2-inch in around the perimeter . Sand and clean your project, then cure it with mineral oil or walnut oil. Your new cutting board is ready to be used.