I only carry boards as large as 16″ x 20″ x 1-1/2″ to our craft fairs.
And, remember, I actually carry them to and from the events. 16″x 20″ is big enough, in my humble opinion.
But for some people, even bigger boards are needed. When you want bigger – when you have an island or large counter that’s beggin’ for fillin’, I can help.
A couple came to my booth at the California Strawberry Festival, and found a board that they thought was perfect. But it was too small. They wanted to go big.
Thus was born the monster board that I’ve shown in the different assembly steps below.
Here’s the board getting its first glue-up. While the glue is wet, I then scrub it off with a rough pad soaked in water, and then wipe it dry with paper towels. I use a lot of paper towels.
This is the original glue up for this beast of a board. With clamps, this assembly weighed 50 pounds. Boards stay in the clamps for a minimum of 1 hour, and then cure for a minimum of 24 hours. Typically, I just leave them in the clamps for a day.
The original glue-up got cut into 2 pieces for easier handling in the smoothing process. Once the original glue-up pieces were smoothed flat on the drum sander, then I sliced the board again, this time into 16 pieces, for the final glue-up.
The final glue-up is where I have to make sure the grain pattern is pleasing to the eye. I begin by flipping every other one of the 16 pieces, so I have an alternating pattern. Then I rotate the pieces in groups of 2 by 180 degrees, so that the grain pattern will have many “book-matched facings” – instead of the grain patterns always pointing in one direction. Finally, I’ll place the boards specifically to make the pattern balanced across the board. Once that’s done, I’ll mark and often number the pieces to ensure placement is perfect.
Final glue-up, in the clamps & cleaned up. This is the first time I get to see what the board will really look like. And a whole lot of work later….
Cutting Board 16 – End 038. Black Walnut, Yellowheart & Hickory. End Grain, Large Custom Juice Groove. 20″ x 26″ x 1-1/2″. Commissioned Piece.
The back of the board has routed handholds, but does not have the typical feet that I use. The board was designed for 2-sided use. I included a non-skid rubber mat to keep the board from sliding around on the owner’s counter.
Safety first! Here’s the board on its way to its new home.