I had the opportunity to build a monster cutting board recently. I got a call out of the blue to build a counter top for a kitchen island, the client wanted it to be 29.5" x 51.25" x 3" and the whole thing should be end grain just like a cutting board. They also wanted the squares in the counter top to be as big as possible.
I was pretty excited to do this project as I had never built a cutting board anywhere near this big. The first step was to find some big wood. I found some great wood in a warehouse north of the city, it was 3" thick which is quite uncommon to find and I was really excited get to use such great stock for this project.
|My Diamond in the Rough, The Stash of Wood in a Warehouse|
I started by crosscutting the boards to 2' in length to allow for easier jointing, thickness planing, and glue ups.
|Cut to Length for Jointing|
The Boards were taken to a thickness of 2.75' and then ripped to a width of 2.875. They were glued up and then the 2.875" thickness was taken down to 2.75".
|2.75"x 2.75" Segments Ready for Glue up|
|First Round of Glue ups|
Once the thickness planing was done the boards were cross cut to 3" which is the total thickness of the counter top.
|Cross Cutting the First Glueup|
When gluing the crosscut segments together I used slots for biscuits to help with alignment and assembled half the counter top at a time.
|Gluing up the Crosscut Segments|
Once the halves were built I used a large circular saw on a track to straighten out the minor discrepancies before gluing the two halves together.
|Straightening out the Center for Glueup|
With the whole counter top assembled I could then use the large circ saw with track to trim the ends and edges to final dimensions.
|Trimming to Final Dimensions|
|Ready for Sanding|
Once the counter top was sanded I added a small round over to all the edges and I treated the counter top with mineral oil and beeswax, the same finish I use on cutting boards and serving trays and took the counter top over to their home for installation.
|Finished Countertop Ready for Installation|