Archive for Hardwoods

How to Make a Wooden Cutting Board

IMG_3675Making a wooden cutting board is easier than you think.  The hard part is having the tools and knowing how to use them.  So if you are a fabulous learner and want to know how to make your very own wooden cutting board, check out this blog tutorial.

Unused Scrap Hardwoods

Unused Scrap Hardwoods

1. First, select the woods you want to use.  I recommend hardwoods such as walnut, maple, mahogany, cherry and so on.  Please refer to our list of hardwoods that are available.

2. Next use a compound miter saw to cut your hardwoods into strips.  Preferably 1″ thick.  Cut as many pieces you like based on how big you want your cutting board to be.  Think of length and the width of your board.

The making of our wood cutting boards

The making of our wood cutting boards

3. Next glue your strips together.  Use a wood glue that is FDA approved.  We use Tite Bond III Premium wood glue.  It’s a bit more expensive but the quality of the glue is so important especially when you are making a wooden cutting board.  Use high pressure clamps to glue the strips of woods together.  Wipe off any excess glue with a cotton cloth that may have seep out in between the wood strips – front, back and sides.   Let it dry for 24 hours (we recommend).

Wood Cutting Boards

Wood Cutting Boards

4. Next, use a chisel to chisel away any dried excess glue to smooth out the surface.  You will need a bench planer to further smooth out the rough edges of the woods once glued together.  This is an important step before you begin to sand.  Planing your board before sanding means less sanding you have to do.  Use the table saw again to cut out the edges of the board to even it out based on your original measurements you want your cutting board to be.

Drum Sander

Drum Sander

5.  Now you are ready to sand!  A drum sander is always ideal in to make the process of sanding a lot faster, however, if you are just making this board for yourself, hand sanding it will do just fine.  Sand your board until it is smooth.  This requires patience.  However, it is your own personal cutting board.  Sand it down until you are satisfied with it.

Round off the edges to make it a smoother finished look.

6. Last step, apply mineral oil generously.  Let it dry with the oil on top overnight.  You’ll be amazed how much the wood would soak up the oil when it needs it.  We use Howard’s Mineral oil.

Mac Cutting Boards Damage Policy

Hardwood Cutting Boards

Hardwood Cutting Boards

We are often ask, how solid is a wood cutting board?  Does it break easily?  I know right?  Hardwoods are very strong.  But there are flaws after all, nature is not exactly perfect.  Each tree that grows can sometimes have weak or soft spots throughout the base of the tree.  This you cannot see or feel.  The wood can sometimes just crack or warp for no apparent reason.  That would be a good indicator that this particular part of the wood where it cracked may have been a weak spot.

Gluing Hardwoods

Gluing Hardwoods

But don’t worry.  Mac Cutting Boards absolutely guarantees our work even if nature is not completely flawless.  We will replace your cutting board free of charge (just pay for shipping if you happen to be out of the Bay Area – San Francisco, California).

Shipping damage is very rare but, unfortunately, it sometimes happens. If it does, contact us immediately and we will replace it no questions asked.  Our work – craftsmanship is our pride.  We stand behind every product we make with unused scrap hardwoods.  Every piece is glued with Tite III (a FDA approved ultimate wood glue).  It is said, that when the glue dries, the entire board is stronger than the wood itself.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions for Mac Cutting Boards

Mac Cutting Boards

Mac Cutting Boards

Whenever Bart and I are at shows, we are asked so many frequent questions of the same topics.  I love it!  I realize we are educating our customers.  Awesome!

Here are some of those questions that are being asked.

1. What type of woods are these cutting boards made of?

  • They are made strictly from hardwoods.  We repurpose and upcycle unused scrap hardwoods we obtain from cabinet and furniture makers, hardwood flooring installers and other wood professionals.  Our criterias are: unused, untreated, unstained and hardwoods.

2. How are these cutting boards are made and where?

They are made with a wood glue called Tite Bond III – FDA approved and premium wood glue.  We cut the scrap hardwoods into strips and glue each piece together to form a shape of the board with high pressure clamps and let dry.  We then plane it and sand it down.  We finish it with beeswax and mineral oil coating.  We manufacturer our cutting boards in San Bruno, California.

3. How do I care for my wood cutting board?

Easy.  Soap and water then let dry naturally.  Every now and again, put a coat of mineral oil throughout your board to maintain consistency.  Wood is like your skin.  When it gets dry, it will crack.  Do not clean your wooden cutting board in your dish washer.  Heat and excess water are enemies to your board.  Avoid it.

Visit our website for more frequently asked questions that I have not listed.

Eliminating the Idea of Wasting Unused Scrap Hardwoods

Unused Scrap Hardwoods

Unused Scrap Hardwoods

Finding projects for salvaged lumber, old wood or unused scrap hardwoods can be challenging.  But with a little creativity (and a hammer with some nails), you can find a variety of different do it yourself (DIY) projects that can help eliminate wasting these beautiful pieces and repurposing them into something fabulously functional, shabby chic decorative or gorgeously gifty.  Check out So Crafty for DIY wood projects.  But first, here’s a few places to find scrap woods.  Keep in mind the project you want to achieve so you know what kind of scrap woods you may want to get.

Unused Scrap Hardwoods

Unused Scrap Hardwoods

1. Check out furniture and cabinet makers.  Go to the back and ask for the foreman.  9 out of 10 times (if you ask politely), they will give you their scrap woods.

2. Zero Waste Home.  Look for wood workers have excess inventory, going out of business, and/or lumber companies moving.  Craigslist is a great resource for that.  Look for scrap woods in the area you live in.  Lots of FREE wood they usually advertised under “fire wood”.

3. Warehouses that have old pallets laying around.  Talk to the warehouse manager and ask them about it.  You can get really cool looking salvaged wood that can turn your project into shabby chic.

 

 

 

 

DIY Wood Projects on Clever Ways to Store Your Wine

Unused Scrap Hardwoods

Unused Scrap Hardwoods

I just love DIY wood projects especially if you are repurposing and upcycling.  This blog is about how to take wood and make it into a clever way to store your favorite wines.  Here are a few of my favorites I found on the internet.

1. Wine Pallet Rack – oh how I love the rustic look!  What better way to get that shabby chic, vintage feel than to get some old pieces of pallet wood and make your very own wine rack.  Check out The Kurtz Corner.  Their blog has a great tutorial.  Step by step instructions on how to build one.

Homed It

Homed It

2. Bottle holder – easy enough!  Check out Homed It and the various different ways they took old pallet old and made it into wine storage.  Clever clever clever!  They have a ceiling hanging bottle holder, a half pallet made into wine storage to an absolute full wall and many more.

3. A wine bar complete with chairs and wine storage.  Don’t believe me?  Check out The Poor Sophisticate.  Here you’ll see full pallets turned into tables with wine storage directly underneath it with matching pallet stools.  Genius!

Here’s a few tips on how to decide:

  1.  Keep your eye on the ball.  Focus on what you want and where you’re going to put it.  It’s important so you don’t deviate from the original plan.
  2.  Draw it out.  Picture it in your mind and on paper.  It will make your life a lot easier!

 

 

Types of Exotic Hardwoods from Asia Used by Mac Cutting Boards

Hardwood Cutting Boards

Hardwood Cutting Boards

There are many gorgeous exotic hardwoods found throughout Asia.  Hardwoods used to build furniture, cabinets, decks, home decor, install flooring and kitchen gadgets like a cutting board.  Mac Cutting Boards has been fortunate enough to find a unused scrap hardwoods from professional woodworkers throughout California.  We were able to obtain these materials to repurpose and upcycle it into our custom made cutting boards.  Here are some of the exotic hardwoods from Asia that we were lucky enough to obtain.  You just never know what we’ll get when we do our collection.

 

Paddle Cutting Boards

Paddle Cutting Boards

Teak – is more durable than any other hardwood and has a matchless rich beauty. The decks of the Titanic was made from Teak.  Pretty cool, huh?  It is so durable that it can withstand the heat of the desert and still emerge this gorgeous dark brown color.

Rosewood – is a hardwood bright red in color, deepening in time to a very deep red.  Typically grown in Burma.  Usually fairly dense and heavy in weight.  Solid.

Padauk – Also grown in Burma and very similar to the African padauk.  Rich red and orange color and definitely deepens in time to a deeper red/orange.  Very dense as well as heavy in weight.  Solid solid solid.  Used for flooring and furniture making.

 

Home DIY Craft Projects You Can Do with Woods

Unused Scrap Hardwoods

Unused Scrap Hardwoods

I just love woods!  Any project you can do to create the atmosphere of the “woodsy” feeling is awesome!  It is especially fabulous if you can repurpose, upcycle and recycle woods that are out there and make it into something even more fabulous or functional or decorative.  Here’s a few ideas on home DIY (do it yourself) craft projects you can do with woods.  Any types of woods really – hard or soft woods.  Depends on the project.

 

Giant Scrabble Tiles

Giant Scrabble Tiles

  1. Giant Scrabble Tile – I just love this!  You can take new or old woods and create this “Scrabble” tile feeling and put up it on your wall.  Check out Something Turquoise‘s tutorial.  You can use any lighter color woods and lighter in weight such as Mahogany for easy hanging.
  2. Wood pallet projects – my fav!!!  Check out this blog from DIY Home World.  It will blow your mind on how many ideas on what you can do with old and new wooden pallets.
  3. Coat Racks

    Coat Racks

    Coat racks!  Why not?  Take old pieces of wood with character and color then pair it up with old door stoppers, old drawer knobs, door knobs, building bolts and hooks … really anything you can find that will hang what you want to hang.  Guarantee not only will you come up with a cool coat rack, but it will look vintage, rustic and shabby chic!  Check out UR Coat Racks for ideas.

How to Keep Your Wooden Cutting Board from Drying Out

Wood Cutting Boards

Wood Cutting Boards

All woods are porous.  Some more so than others.  With that in mind, wood does dry out.  Some conditions can rapidly dry out wood if you don’t maintain it.  The type of wooden cutting board makes the difference as well – soft woods vs hard woods.  Softer woods lends to larger pores vs hard woods lends to smaller pores.  Bottom line, it is all in how you care for the board.  Here’s a few tips on how to keep your wooden cutting board from drying out and maintaining it.

  1. Keep your board on a dry surface and standing upright (if you can).  Keeps circulation to the board.
  2. Avoid placing your board under the sun for a period of time.
  3. Avoid humid and dry areas to store your board
  4. Do not wash your cutting board in the dishwasher.  The dishwater brings excess water to the board and heat.  Both are not good.
  5. Do not bleach your board.  I know there are some instructional blogs that says you can.  You can, however, bleaching does dry up the board and can strip away the natural colors of the woods.  If you have a beautiful and colorful cutting board, I would recommend not to use bleach.
  6. Handwash with soap and water is plenty.  Wood is a natural fighter of bacteria.
  7. Apply mineral oil once a week.  Wood is like your skin.  When you see it dry, apply oil to maintain it.

Roses Red and So Are Wooden Cutting Boards

Red Roses

Red Roses

 

No seriously.  They can be.  Roses come in a variety of different colors.  Most popular (especially for Valentine’s Day) is red.  They can come in pink, yellow, sterling and white.  Did you know that wooden cutting boards can come in a variety of different colors as well?  Most wooden cutting boards you see is usually light like beige-ish or dark.   But woods, especially hardwoods come in not only in a variety of different types of trees but also in an array of gorgeous colors.  Can you believe nature gave them their colors?

Look at a few we’ve made from beautiful hardwoods.

Paddle Cutting Boards

Paddle Cutting Boards

 

One of the dark colors you see in the paddle cutting boards that is brownish red is otherwise known as Brazilian Cherry.  Cherry hardwood grown in Latin America.  The darker brown wood is Walnut grown here in the United States as well as globally same with the lighter color hardwood which is Maple.  Stunning isn’t it?  I still can’t get over how nature gave them their color.

Purple Heart End Grain Cutting Board

Purple Heart End Grain Cutting Board

 

Sometimes leaving the wood under the sun, oxidizes the board and the natural color becomes even more brilliant like purple heart.  The more it sits under the sun, the more deeper purple it gets.  Want to the colors come out more?  Add mineral oil.  You’ll be amazed!

Cooking Up Ideas with Unused Scrap Hardwoods

Unused Scrap Hardwoods

Unused Scrap Hardwoods

Unused scrap hardwoods are in abundance.  It is up to each of us to save it and rebuild it into something else other than what it was originally made for.  Think about it.  The real estate market is up so therefore tons of real estate is being sold daily.   People who have just bought their homes want to renovate to have the property suited to their needs.  Carpenters, cabinet makers, contractors, hardwood flooring installers and so on are building new stuff to accommodate the renovation hence scrap woods … all unused.  What do they do with these?  Well, it is thrown away or use for kindling.  Yup.  You heard that right.  They can’t reuse it again as it won’t match any current projects they are working on.  You see, all woods have grains that grow differently in each batch.  You should use the same batch of wood from the same tree in order for any project to match.  Different grains are noticeable to a large project.  But when you are repurposing it for better use, that’s when the fun begins!

Here are some ideas on repurposing and upcycling (a term used when taking unused pieces or scraps and turning it into something fabulous).

Repurpose and Upcycle Cutting Boards

Repurpose and Upcycle Cutting Boards

  1. Hardwood cutting boards – YES!  When you take different grains and different hardwoods really brings out the beauty and art of each board.  Then of course, the natural colors of the woods just brings in a “WOW” factor.  Don’t believe me?  Check it out => Mac Cutting Boards.
  2. Wooden picture frames – for all the reasons I’ve mentioned above, each picture frame will not only be unique but absolutely stunning!
  3. Furniture like an end table, book shelf, storage shelf and a table.  The possibilities are endless.  Again, the different grains will only bring out the furniture as one amazing, one-of-a-kind art piece that is functional.  Check out => Pretty in Paint Blog.

Keep in mind that repurposing wood is only limited to your mind’s vision.  Nature created amazing different types of woods – hardwoods and softwoods.  Each has it’s own uses and benefits.  For instance, hardwoods are great if you are making a cutting board or pieces of furniture.  Hardwoods are heavy and dense.  Perfect for a solid projects that requires strength and sturdiness.  Softwoods should be used if making a wooden picture frame.  Softwoods are generally lighter in weight.  Perfect for hanging a wooden picture frame.

Pick a project and have fun repurposing!

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