Cutting Board Conundrum

So here’s what we have.

Client presented a damaged wooden cutting board.

Now you may be thinking why bother, spend the $20 and buy a new one.  Well this particular board is circa the late 1960’s, and has sentimental value to the owner and a repair was desired.

Now a simple repair could have been aesthetically acceptable, but client desired it to remain functional.  So a lasting solution was required.

Identifying points of failure was key to the repair.

First was the seam in the grain that failed.  With time and washing a pronounced warp had occurred, resulting in a 2 points of contact situation.

2 points of contact on left and right of photo

This paired with the original hard plastic feet, allowed impact stress to concentrate along the weakest point.  Thus a crack was born.

Fortunately the face was fairly uniform allowing for alignment and mating without much problem.  Unfortunately this would allow a weak spot to remain unless some form of reinforcement was applied.

A biscuit joint while strong would have affected the mating surfaces, and potentially compromising the adjacent grain sections.  Some form of underside strapping could have been effective, but was discarded due to the aesthetic considerations.

The solution was a grid of 1/16th inch holes cross drilled into the mating surfaces to a depth of 1/4 inch, and strong glue with food safe properties.  This would allow the glue to bridge adjacent layers without substantial weakening of their structure.

Hole spacing line strikes 1/4″ from top surface, and 3/16″ from bottom with 1″ parallel holes. Additional holes in the middle of each 1″ segment.

Once the holes are prepared and any stray bits of wood are removed, it’s time to bring things together.

Apply glue to mating surfaces and massage into the surface. Allow penetration into cross drilled holes, continue massaging until no more bubbles appear.
Uniform surfaces, ready for mating.
Mate pieces, and clamp so as to apply pressure across the surfaces to be joined. Excess glue will squeeze out every direction, so wipe and remove carefully with the grain and not across it.

Cure time according to instructions is 24 hours, but it is always better to allow as long as possible.  In this case the board was set aside and allowed to cure clamped for 5 days, then rested for another 5 days before work continued.

Next : Cutting Board Conundrum pt2

3 thoughts on “Cutting Board Conundrum”

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