Chopping boards protect your counters and tables from knife marks. They also offer easy cleanup after cutting up vegetables, fruit and especially meat. All they need is a good rinse with some mild soap and you can use them again and again. Almost every avid cook has at least one. Wooden chopping boards are the least likely to dull your knives, rip or shatter and they can be made at home. You need a few simple supplies and some woodworking skill.
Measure off a section of your board according to how large you want your chopping board to be. It should be no shorter than about 10 inches and no larger than about 18 inches. Too small a board won't be useful and too large can be unwieldy.
Use a level to ensure even lines and draw the outline of your chopping board on the wood. Put on protective goggles and push your electric hand saw slowly and firmly through the wood. Hold the wood down with one hand as you cut, keeping your fingers well away from the blade.
Measure one inch inside the edge of your chopping board and draw lines there for your juice well, a dip all the way around the board that prevents juices from dripping onto the counter. Run your router, a bevelled spinning tool, slowly over the line. The harder you push, the deeper the well will be.
Sand your chopping board first with coarse and then with fine grade sandpaper to give the wood a smooth finish. Wipe the sawdust away with a soft cloth, changing to a clean side two or three times to ensure you get all of the dust.
Pour a small amount of mineral oil onto the board and rub it down with a clean soft cloth. Oil it once a day for a week, once a week for a month and once a month for the life of the board. This ensures it stays sealed and sanitary.
Things you need
- Birch or maple board, 3 inches thick
- Measuring tape
- Protective goggles
- Electric hand saw
- Soft cloth
- Mineral oil