Christmas is always a stressful time of year, made harder by the art of selecting gifts for your loved ones. However, I have always stood by the philosophy that it is better to make something than buy it, so with Christmas been and gone I thought I would share the build process of one present in particular.
I started this project, much like most of my projects seem to begin, with a cut board of white oak. I get these “scraps” from a local(ish) saw mill that specialises in flooring and so has no use for these short pieces.
I just used a hand saw to cut the board in half so that it would fit on the bed of my CNC machine. This oak is very hard and so it is a joy to use hand tools on and the smell of the oak is fantastic!
Then it was just a matter of running the program on the CNC with a ball nosed router bit and then an end mill for the outline, see the video of this at the top of this post.
When the CNC is done working its magic, the board just needs a bit of sanding and the edges chamfered using a hand router. The edges could have been chamfered on the CNC but it is a very complex procedure and not time effective.
Once I had made this one I thought it might be a good idea to make a few more as presents because thy came out so well. Most of them were finished with a clear coat, food safe varnish designed for kitchen work surfaces and provides good protection to the wood form water when the boards are washed.
However, I came across some other old wood-stain in the bottom of a drawer so I coated one of the boards with this stain. I then realised it wasn’t food safe so used a clear, matt, food-safe lacquer to go on top of the stain.