As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.
I've written several articles about making cutting boards over the years, and the links are below. So instead of a build article, this article talks about design decisions that I think have a big impact.
Some time ago, my son came to me and asked I could help him make a cutting board as a wedding present for a friend of his. Of course I said "yes".
As we talked things out, we decided to make two. One was going to be a thick chunky utilitarian cutting board, and one was going to be a thinner more decorative board with an inlayed strip.
As an aside: I made a detailed video and article about how to make a curved inlay board a few years ago, and you can find that link here if you want more details,
Since we were making two, I thought let's make sure they are a set. So first of all, we made them so they are the same size. They're both about 14 inches long by about 10 inches wide. The thick one is about 1-3/4" thick, and the thin one is about 7/8" thick.
Secondly, they are both made of the same kinds of wood species: Hard Maple, and Black Cherry. The curved strip is made up of thin strips of walnut and padauk.
Finally, I suggested that we make the two boards to be "mirror" images of each other. So on the one board we start with a cherry strip in the middle, and then alternate maple and cherry, and on the other board we started with a maple strip in the middle, and then so on. And of course all the strips are the same width.
If you look at the photo you can see this illustrated. Wherever there is a strip of cherry in the one cutting board, there is an identically sized strip of maple in the other cutting board. And so on and so forth...
The finish is the same beeswax and mineral oil finish that I put on all my cutting boards. It is food safe, dead simple to apply, easy to reapply in the future, and looks great. (Links below)
I think that these three design choices -- but especially the one about "mirroring" the two boards -- are what take this from an ordinary project to an exceptional project. Each board on it's own is already pretty nice. But the ability to make it so these are a unique matching set is a great touch. It's one of the really satisfying things of doing custom craftwork.
Here are a couple more photos.
Thanks for reading!