In this Instructable I'll show you how to make a curved cutting board using bent lamination. It was my first time ever trying bent lamination and it went much better than I had expected. You can use these same techniques for any bent wood lamination project.
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Step 1: Gather Your Materials and Tools
Step 2: Mill the Strips for Lamination
I used walnut, mahogany and cherry boards around 1-1/2" thick and 20" long for this project.
I planed the boards down until they were smooth, flat and the same thickness which ended up at about 1-1/4".
I setup my bandsaw to make a strong 1/8" cut so after sanding they would be right at or below 1/8". I cut 50 strips, which in theory would give me just over a 6" board with 1/8" pieces.
The pieces were rough at this point so I needed to flatten them. I used a drum sander to flatten them all and remove the mill marks but a planer would work here too.
Then I separated the strips from darkest to lightest.
Step 3: Make the Bending Form
The form was made from two 20" long and 8" wide pieces of 3/4" MDF.
I drew two lines 1" apart down the length of the top piece. Then I split the line up into thirds and put a finish nail in at each change in direction point to hold a strip for marking the curve. I marked the curve with the metal ruler then glued and screwed the two pieces together for a 1-1/2" tall form.
I cut the curve with a bandsaw and just followed along the line in one smooth cut. And there is no need to sand the form here.
I drilled a series of 1" holes in the form for the clamp heads and the holes were positioned so the clamping pressure would be at a right angle to the curves.
The form is attached to a MDF base to help with clamping. To keep the glue from sticking to the MDF I covered the base and the face of the form with packing tape. Then I screwed them together from underneath.
Step 4: Glue Up the Lamination
We did the glue up in two halves. We lined the strips up one by one onto the form then clamped the layers in place working from one side of the form to the other.
After 3 hours we took the clamps off so we could add the second layer and let the whole thing dry over night.
The next morning we took off the clamps to reveal the full board. We pried the board off the form with a putty knife and took it to the planer for a few passes to clean up the faces.
Step 5: Cut the Board to Size and Prep for Finish
To square up the board I laid it back in the form and used a large carpenter's square to reference the back of the form and draw parallel lines for the ends.
I used the offcut from the curve of the form to get solid contact with my miter saw fence and cut both ends to size. This method worked really well so make sure you keep those offcuts.
To finish the edges I used a 1/16" roundover bit and went around the top and bottom of the board. I rounded the corners by hand and sanded the whole board up to 220 grit. For a smooth board after the first use, I raised the grain with water in between grits.
Step 6: Finish the Board
I finished the board with pure mineral oil for the first coat, then after it was dry I applied a second coat of mineral oil and beeswax and it turned out amazing.
You can see the whole process at my website: http://fixthisbuildthat.com/diy-curved-cutting-board-bent-lamination/
And if you want to see more great projects you can subscribe to my YouTube channel!