Woodworking and alcohol should never mix. However, if the product of your shop ends up looking a little “intoxicated,” there’s nothing wrong with that. For this interesting effect, network engineer Peter Brown decided to make a cutting board that resembles a swirly chess board out of two sheets of maple and walnut.
The process for making this board certainly wasn’t evident to me the first time I saw it, but it’s pretty simple once things are explained in the video below. The two sheets are cut into pieces exactly the same dimensions, 9″×14″ in this case, and are then stuck together with double-sided tape. This tape is strong enough that when a wavy pattern is cut into it, it stays together well enough that the two layers can then be alternated and glued back together.
If you wanted to stop there, you’d have two interesting-looking, wavy cutting boards, however, the checkerboard pattern that this project ended up with is much more interesting in my opinion. To make the pattern, the same basic process is used with the glued boards, except the cut it done in the opposite direction. Brown used a larger blade for the second cut, but had a few issues with gaps while using the larger blade.
Once these segments were reassembled and glued together, the resulting boards were glued to each other to form a doubly-thick board. Handles were routed into the sides, and the board was sanded, then a coat of mineral oil was added to finish everything up.
The result is a really great looking piece, and it’s a project that’s probably not out of the question for a decently-equipped woodworker to make! As for how it works when used for cutting, Brown describes it as “solid as a rock.”
Brown is quick to note in the video description that this creation was based on a “Lumberjocks” cutting board that he saw in 2009. His design is a little different, leaving out the center pieces.