How To Make a Chopping / Cutting Board With Laminated Patterned Dowels


After making laminated dowels with different patterns, I was quite interested to see how they would look in a chopping/cutting board. The results were better than I expected!

This project started out by making a standard, edge grain chopping board. Once the edge grain board was finished to a point where it was planed flat, I drilled a series of 25 holes in a grid pattern using a 20mm forstner drill bit.

Next it was time to insert the 25 dowels into the board. I had already prepared them at the correct length when making the laminated dowels featured in my last project. Each dowel was slightly oversized by about 0.2mm on the diameter to ensure a good fit in the board. Before applying glue to the dowels, I rolled a saw over them to create small holes ready to trap glue. I applied glue to both the holes and dowels then used a dead blow mallet to drive the dowels into the board. It took a bit of force but thankfully none of the dowels split. The tight fit was also good peace of mind knowing there would be no gaps.

I allowed 12 hours for glue drying time, then ran the board through my thicknesser (planer) which produced a nice flat surface. Some of the dowels were protruding slightly above the surface of the board beforehand but this didn't cause any problems with the thicknesser.

I then sanded the board as I usually would by with a range of grits from 80 to 240 and raised the grain between 80 and 120. Raising the grain is a process where a water mist is sprayed over the board which causes severed fibers of wood to stand on end. This is important to do, otherwise the board can get a rough or fluffy surface when it's cleaned with a damp cloth.

Next, I applied a generous coating of food grade mineral to the board and let it sit for 12 hours. Finally, I applied my chopping board conditioner to the board (food grade mineral oil and beeswax), waited 30 minutes then polished the board with a lambs wool buffing pad.

This was a fun project and the idea was definitely worth exploring. Love it or hate it, this board is certainly unique!

Make sure you also watch my YouTube video for this cutting board project.