The first step was to prep the oak boards for the glue-up. I cut the long pieces of flooring into smaller sections that would be easier to work with. Then I passed each piece through the bandsaw to remove the tongues and grooves, resulting in long, narrow strips of solid oak. This flooring was extra from a local build so I was really happy to put it to use.
I then set the boards aside while I prepped my exotic wood accent pieces. I cut these sheets down into strips with the same width as my flooring so they will line up.
Once I had all my strips prepped, I brought them over to the drum sander to sand them flat. I also took extra care with the oak flooring to make sure I sanded off the finish from the factory.
Next, I laid the pieces out and arranged them in the pattern I liked before setting up to glue them together. I used parallel bar clamps to keep things square. I always use Titebond III wood glue for cutting boards because it is waterproof and holds up better over time.
I put a liberal amount of TItebond III on each side and pressed the pieces together, lining up my pieces so that one side was flush and all of the uneven edges hung over the other side. After I was done applying the glue, I tightened the clamps.
After letting the glue dry overnight, I used a large carpenter’s square to mark the right angle and trim my edges into a nice square cutting board.
Next, I took the scraps and made some companion boards out of them by laying them out and filling them in with resin. To do this, I used chipboard covered in Shurtape to build the mold. I sealed all of the edges using hot glue around the outside perimeter, and I also used hot glue to adhere the wood to the mold itself.
Now it was time for the epoxy. We used TotalBoat 2:1 epoxy with a couple of drops of alcohol ink for a faint blue transparent coloring. We did multiple quarter-inch thick pours, pouring the resin in a thin stream from high up to eliminate bubbles.
Then I hit the surface of the resin with a torch to get rid of any stray bubbles. I let my resin get to the gel phase before adding another thin layer. At this point, I added layer after layer of resin until my mold was completely full.
I let the board sit overnight, and then I unmolded it with an X-Acto knife. It looked awesome!
Next, I trimmed off the board’s faces to square it up, and then I sliced it once down the middle so that I had two boards of equal thickness. After that, I used my carpenter’s square to mark a 90-degree edge, and I carefully trimmed that on the bandsaw as well. I then decided to cut one of the boards down into two smaller boards.
Then I brought the boards over to the drum sander, and I ran them through on a rough 80 thread. I then switched the belt to a 220 grit and ran them through to remove some of the scratch marks from the sander. I followed up with a random orbital sander. Finally, I rounded all the edges of the small resin boards at the router table.
Then it was time to revisit the big board. I hit it with the random orbital sander and also rounded the edges on the router table. I then sprayed the board down with water to make the loose fibers stand up before doing a final sand at 220 grit. This water technique is a very crucial step to get a nice, smooth board.
Next, I cleaned the board with paint thinner before applying a nice, liberal coating of mineral oil. I let that soak in overnight, and then I did a final coating of Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner. I let that set for about 24 hours before wiping off the excess and doing a final buff with a lint-free cloth.
I then measured in about an inch from each one of the edges of the cutting board, and I drilled a small pilot hole to apply rubber cutting board feet with stainless steel screws. I then repeated these same finishing steps on all of the resin boards, bringing the resin up to a 400 grit.
The Final Result
Overall, I think this project came out fantastic! I was really happy with the colors of the boards, and the resin was reminiscent of sea glass to me. With our no-waste method, we ended up with four cutting boards where we would have ended up with only one. However, it is important to note that resin boards should never be cut on; they are meant to be used as cheese platters or display dishes.