Custom cutting board?

Joined Jul 13, 2016

A large branch just dropped off the olive tree in our yard.  I was thinking it might be cool to recycle the wood and turn it into a cutting board.  The branch is plenty large enough to produce dozens of end-grain pieces.  So...

Is this a thing?  Do people do this?  If so, does the wood need to be seasoned beforehand (like firewood)?

If this is a thing, who might be able to do this for me?  I don't have the tools or experience to do this myself.

Even better if such person is in Southern California, as shipping the wood would be a pain.

I'm not really looking to save money per se; the recycling aspect just appeals to me.

Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks!



Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
The wood needs curing/kiln time. You'll need to find a serious wood worker who would be willing to store and age the wood before making the board.

It can be done, but the cost may not be worth it in the end. 
Joined Jul 18, 2016
I reckon with some research you could make these yourself! trimming, sanding them down yourself to start... then do some thorough research on treating the wood.... curing... and store in a dry place yourself... great idea to upcycle , and would totally be worth it! will take time but could be a good project! just need somewhere DRY to cure. good luck!
Joined Oct 10, 2005
The general rule of thumb for air drying wood is 1 year per inch of thickness--assuming you've painted over the endgrain and stickered the wood properly. Kiln drying is much quicker of course. If your wood isn't under 15%m.c. Its a gonna move on you--warp quicker than the USS Enterprise, and check, bow, twist and cup as well.
Joined Jul 18, 2016
wow an inch per year air drying! yeah go for the kiln option! still worth it ! 
Joined Dec 7, 2016
Air drying the wood is much better if you have the patience, as others have said about 1 year per inch thickness is best. Kiln drying tends to make the wood harder, more difficult to work with (and you may have a hard time finding someone to do it unless you know a sawmill operator...). Note that olive tree wood may not be the best choice for your type of cutting board, it is usually nicely figured and having the fibres parallel to the cutting board would make for a nice result. Also, end-grain board are much more work and therefore more expensive. Find a competent woodworker to advise you on all that, then he can make your board quite cheaply. Let us know how it turns out!

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