DIY cutting board from scrap wood + Matching knife block

Personally, I think it’s always a challenge to make something with materials someone else would throw away.
This is no different with this cutting board and matching knife block.

For a long time, I had scrap wood in my workshop from an earlier project. 
The scrap wood were all small pieces of oak, with a maximum length of half a meter long.
These were ideal for making this cutting board and knife block.

In the video and blog below, I will show you the exact steps I took to make this cutting board with a matching knife block.
You, too, can make a cutting board from the scrap wood in your workshop.

Let’s make that cutting board!

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Watch the video here & learn how to make a cutting board

Here you can watch the video and see how to make the scrap wood cutting board and matching knife block.
After watching the video, you can continue reading the step-by-step guide to making this item yourself. 

How to make a cutting board with matching knife block

Step 1 | Preparation

With my fence set at 45 mm from the blade on my table saw, I cut the scrap wood into strips.
That 45 mm is just a bit wider than the thickness I wanted when the cutting board is ready.
As a result, after laminating these strips, I have enough wood to plan to the desired thickness.

DIY cutting board from scrap wood + Matching knife block
Ebook part 1 woodworking basics

Step 2 | Glue up

Before I started gluing I had already sorted the strips and made a pattern of what my future cutting board would look like.
That way, I was sure that there would be no two joints next to each other. Another advantage of doing this, was that I was sure that the laminated block was big enough for both parts, for the cutting board and the knife block.

My cutting board measures 24 cm by 40 cm and the part I needed for the knife block is 12 cm wide.
So this laminated block had to be at least 24 cm by 54 cm.
Enough space was provided here for the saw cuts.

Once I was convinced of the correct pattern and the correct dimensions, all strips were laid flat.

Then I poured the glue over it and spread it.


Don’t just use any wood glue for your projects!

To find out which different types exist and for which applications wood glue serve, check out my blog Understanding Wood Glue + 8 awesome tricks you should know.
Here you will discover everything you need to know about wood glue.

DIY cutting board from scrap wood + Matching knife block

After gluing and placing the strips in the correct position again, I pressed all strips firmly together with clamps.

Note that the two outer pieces are pieces that are the full width of the laminated block.
That makes clamping much easier, but also gives the finished piece a much better look.

For easy clamping, I always use two types of clamps.

First, I use my one hand clamps to quickly and easily fix all parts temporarily.
The benefit of these clamps is that I can operate them with one hand, and I have my other hand free to make any minor corrections.

Once the parts are properly in place, I use my clutch style bar clamps to secure all parts even more firmly.

When you are going to clamp the strips for this cutting board, tighten the clamps firmly so that there are no more gaps in the joints.
Use as many clamps as possible and tighten them evenly.

DIY cutting board from scrap wood + Matching knife block

Step 3 | Planing

After 24 hours of drying, the glue was hard, so the clamps could be removed.

Then it was time to flatten the surface with the thicknesser.

First, I flattened the bottom of the cutting board.
After that, I was able to flatten the top.

After each pass through the thicknesser, the opening of the thicknesser was made slightly smaller.
I did this in very small steps, so as not to overload the thicknesser and not to make burn marks on the wood.

I repeated these steps until I was satisfied with the end result.

Not everyone has a thicknesser, but if you want to flatten surfaces, there are plenty of alternatives such as a hand planer or a router flattening jig.

However, if you are thinking of buying a thicknesser, I absolutely recommend the Belmash SDR2200 as I have myself.
A fantastic, light and compact planer/thicknesser that is ideal for the small workshop.
You can find more information about this power tool in the review blog I wrote about this Belmash.

DIY cutting board from scrap wood + Matching knife block

Step 4 | First time sanding + trimming the edges

When the surface was flat enough, I removed the last imperfections by sanding it with 80 grit sandpaper.

Then I trimmed the edges so that this laminated block of wood started to look more like a cutting board.

DIY cutting board from scrap wood + Matching knife block


If you want to know more about how to determine the right sandpaper for your project, be sure to check out my blog: The perfect sandpaper grit guide for woodworking.

Everything you need to know about sandpaper can be found in this article. It will no doubt give you a better understanding of the proper use of sandpaper.

Highly recommended!

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Step 5 | Making the knife block

To make the knife block, I had those perfect pieces of scrap wood that I could use as legs.
They were 12 cm wide and 22 cm long.

For the base of the knife block, I needed to have a piece of this laminated block with the exact width of the legs I wanted to use for this.

In order to be able to cut off a matching piece of laminated wood, I used one of the legs to install a stop block on my crosscut sled

All I had to do now was trim it to the right length, which was in my case, 14 cm.

DIY cutting board from scrap wood + Matching knife block

Where the knives will be in the knife block, I made an incision in which the knives fit perfectly.

DIY cutting board from scrap wood + Matching knife block

After making the incisions for the knives, I trimmed the edges with the palm router and a 45-degree chamfer bit.

DIY cutting board from scrap wood + Matching knife block

Then the legs were attached to the base of the knife block with wood glue and clamped. 

DIY cutting board from scrap wood + Matching knife block

Step 6 | Finishing the cutting board and knife block

Now it was time to make the cutting board as smooth as possible.
To do that, the surface of the cutting board was sanded in several steps.
If you want more tips to make the sanding process easier, you should check out my article 7 effective wood sanding tips you need to know for sure.

For this, I used my random orbital sander and sandpaper with grit P150, P220, P320, and P500 successively.

Note: The finer you will sand, the finer the sanding dust will become.
So, always use good dust extraction.
I used my Festool dust extractor for this, a powerful and compact vacuum cleaner that fits perfectly in my small workshop.

DIY cutting board from scrap wood + Matching knife block

After the last step, the cutting board (and knife block) was wetted with water.

This will cause small hairs to raise that you can then sand away.
This makes the surface even smoother.

DIY cutting board from scrap wood + Matching knife block

The last step in making this cutting board and matching knife block was oiling the surface.
For this, I used a mineral oil that is made to treat and protect cutting boards.

This oil was applied until the wood was saturated, each time with the necessary drying times in between.

For my oak chopping board, I applied 3 coats of mineral oil.
But I suspect that each wood species will be different, and you will either need to apply fewer or more coats.

If you want more information on which wood finish to use that is food safe, I recommend you to check out my article, What is the best food-safe wood finish (all in one guide).

DIY cutting board from scrap wood + Matching knife block

How to maintain a wooden cutting board?

Maintaining a wooden cutting board is much easier than you may think.

It’s very simple: wash it off with soapy water after each use.
Dry off the water as much as possible and let the cutting board air-dry overnight.

Pay attention!
Do not submerge the cutting board in water, as this will cause the wood to absorb the water and warp, eventually leading to cracks.

To extend the life of the cutting board, it is best to apply a new layer of oil now and then.
This depends on how much you will be using the cutting board and the type of wood, but a good rule of thumb is to do this once a month.

If you want some good tips on how to maintain wooden furniture, I recommend you to read my article, How to maintain wooden furniture (+ 5 simple tips)

Food Grade Mineral Oil for Cutting Boards, Countertops and Butcher Blocks

Check out more details and prices of this product by clicking the link below.

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I really suggest it to all of my fellow DIYers and creators!

I hope this information on how to make a cutting board from scrap wood was helpful, and that this blog and video inspires you.

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I’m looking forward to seeing you soon in another blog or video.

Christophe, founder of
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration

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