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Quick Project: Make Chopping Boards

Make your own chopping boards from scratch - for your home or to give as a housewarming gift.


It's easy to make your own chopping boards, either for your home or to give as a housewarming gift. You can use pine, hardwood or bamboo offcuts to make your chopping boards and then leave as is, include a few added details, or even paint your chopping boards.


Pine, hardwood or bamboo offcuts*

Howard butcher block oil or conditioner, or mineral oil

Sheet of A4 paper


Masking tape



Drill / Driver plus assorted bits

35mm spade or Forstner bit

Ruler and pencil


Builders stock a wide selection of hardwood timber that you can use to make your own chopping boards.






1. Using the A4 sheet of paper draw a template for the handle of your chopping boards. Fold the sheet in half lengthwise and draw the outline of half a handle against the fold. Now you can cut this out.

2. Fold the rounded part of the drawn handle again to determine the centre point. Place your template on your piece of board and hold in place with masking tape. Use a nail or sharp object to pierce the paper in the centre to mark the timber.

3. Outline the shape of the handle on the board with a pencil.

4. Once you have drawn the handle you can extend the length of the chopping board section as desired.

5. Clamp the board to your workbench and cut out the shape with a jigsaw, clamping and unclamping as you cut out the outline.



6. Use a 35mm spade or Forstner bit to drill a hole through the handle at the marked centre point.

7. Sand all the cut edges smooth with 120-grit sandpaper and then sand the surface smooth with 180- or 240-grit sandpaper. Wipe clean.

8. It is important to seal the chopping board with Howard butcher block condition or oil, or you can use mineral oil. Pour the conditioner or oil onto a clean rag and rub into the surface of the board. Apply a liberal amount of conditioner or oil until the board is soaked through and no more oil will penetrate. Leave the board overnight and then wipe off any remaining mineral oil with a kitchen towel. Rinse and wipe dry before using. You will need to apply conditioner or oil on a regular basis, when the board starts to look dry.

GOOD TO KNOW: If you want to paint the handles, don't apply conditioner or oil to the area to be painted.




Use water based Gripseal to paint the handles - we used Snow White from Builders. Mask off the area to be painted and apply the paint. We only applied one coat that allows the wood grain to show through. Let the paint dry for 12 hours before using the board.

Embellish your chopping board

Use an old belt to add a handle to your chopping board. Cut the leather to the right length and attach to the board with upholstery pins.

Adding detail

There are other options you can use to add detail to your chopping boards. Use a Dremel VersaTip or soldering iron to burn a design onto the surface of the wood. Or paint the edges with Gripseal in black or your choice of colour.

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