Barbara and I are back in town and settled in after spending a week in Alberta Canada on a great Roads Scholar trip. We saw many spectacular vistas in Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in spite of the smoke blowing in from the many fires in British Columbia. You can see the smoke in the background of the second and third pictures.
I have again applied to participate in this year's Durham Craft Market Holiday Market. In anticipation, I have begun to put together some cutting boards and thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures of the process.
I run the blanks repeatedly though a surface planner to make both faces of the blank smooth and parallel. The sacrificial runners prevent the planner from cutting low areas (called snipe) in both the front and rear edge of the blanks. If I don't use the runners, I either have to cut off the low areas or spend a lot of time sanding down the high area in the middle.
Thin strips of hardwood approximately 3/4" wide are repeated run though the surface planner to an final depth of 1/16". That depth is critical so that the strips are approximately the same depth as the width of the kerf that is cut in the blanks creating the curved inlays. If the strips are too thick, the hardwood strips in the final board will not line up appropriately.
I'll post another blog when I have gone on to the final steps so you can see the end of the process.
A lot of waste is created when cutting the original 3/4" strips to make the board blanks. I thought if I squared these waste strips to 3/4" on each side and approximately 1.5" long I might be able to make an end grain trivet or cheese block. The glue-up proved to be difficult but I like the concept. I may try it again but using 2" squares to make a full size end grain cutting block. Do you like to the concept? The test block below is maple, walnut and jatoba woods.
John Schwartz - watercolorist and woodworker.