I’m out of my elfing mind…

Yeah, I decided to get into the Last Minute Elf mode this weekend, and I have got to tell you, it was a crazy one to get some new projects started!  After all, we’re closing in on the last few days before the holidays really take off, and my wife’s birthday is just a day away…

But, hey, that’s why we do the Last Minute Elf in the first place, right?

So, I decided to build a few cutting boards from the plans that the folks at Bell Forest Products have. They are simple designs, and take only a few hours to crank out, so why not?  I sorted through my lumber rack and saw that I had plenty of maple. Since maple is an awesome cutting board material, I was in hog heaven.  But, I wanted to get some other species to do a little accenting.

An array of woods...

So, I dug around in my shorts… bin, that is. And found a bunch of really sweet woods to serve as accents. Some purpleheart, walnut, cherry and African mahogany. What the heck, right? They looked pretty, and I figured they would be great looking pieces.

Iggy supervising the glue up

Iggy came out to the shop to supervise the build. After all, when it comes to building gifts, the monkey has the gig down cold.

With the boards glued up, I simply traced the outline of the pattern onto each of the boards, and then used the drill press to bore out the holes for the handles and the band saw to rough out the outline of the boards. I then turned to my router table to do a little pattern routing to make the boards all the same size and shape. All was going swimmingly, until I had an oopsie…

crack!

Oh, well, one of the boards was going to to need a handlectomy…

OK, so I turned instead to plan B for the shaping, which involved some abrasive shaping. That seemed to work pretty well, taking the boards down to the lines and refining the shape.

abrasive shaping

Not too shabby. After that I turned back to the router table to put on a round over bit to make these boards a whole lot smoother and softer to the touch. I was careful to use my GRR-ripper push block just to keep my hands safe… remember, nothing ruins the look of maple quite like giant blood stains…

Round those edges

Now, all I have to do is sand them down and finish them with some mineral oil. I hope the recipients like them… I guess time will tell!

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