As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.
Here, for your edification, is a collection of photos of a number of different side-grain cutting boards which I have made over the past number of years. It is my hope that some of these photos will inspire and delight.
I find that side-grain cutting boards are typically quick and fun projects. It is rare that I don't make some each year. They help us use up pieces of wood that are too small for most projects, but too nice to throw out. I typically make three or four at one time. Making several isn't much more work than just making one, and having an extra cutting board (or two) on hand gives you a few "emergency" presents for those unexpected events.
A lot of the fun is in the planning. I like to use lots of different woods, and I try to come up with something that is visually pleasing, and has interesting colouration and patterns. I sometimes will pair strips, so that there is a mirrored effect. Another technique is to cut progressively skinnier pieces and arrange them in order.
I always need to make sure the strips are wider than needed, as after the clamping the piece is planed down to finish thickness.
As you browse the photos... the pale wood is usually hard maple. Along with that you might see reddish strips of cherry, or rich brown strips of black walnut. The dark red is usually padauk, though sometimes redheart (chakte kok). Amd finally if you see something that looks quite yellow, it is yellowheart (Pau Amarello) -- which is unique in that it does not change colour as it ages.
These two cutting boards also had me going in a new direction. The one pictured below has two wide boards of quarter-sawn white oak. The one on the left (below) features a few strips of elm, just for fun.