A cutting board mod for a friend. Watch on YouTube
Background for the Project
Make a One-Handed Cutting Board! A neighbour of mine had an accident on his farm and damaged tendons in his hand. He loves to cook and is having difficulty with that after his surgery. They repaired the tendons and now he’s in a cast for 6 weeks. He asked me to make some modifications to an old cutting board so he could use it one-handed.
The Cutting Board Plan
We sat down and came up with a plan for how we want to modify this existing cutting board.
When it sits on his counter it’s too deep this direction so it makes sense first of all to rip a strip off of this end.
And then that strip will go on the right hand side as a stop. And we’ll make some stops on the top two corners and one on the left side as well.
Cut the Parts
I’ll mark the first stop to notch out the corner. Then set the fence on the table saw and run it part way through to a pencil mark I made.
I’ll finish the rip cut and corner cut on my bandsaw.
Next I’ll mark the screw locations on this stop and countersink each a quarter inch deep with a forstner bit on the drill press. I want the screw heads to sit flush.
I’ll drill the rest of the way through with an eighth inch bit.
Attach the New Stops to the Cutting Board
With the cutting board clamped to the table I can drill pilot holes and secure the stop with stainless steel screws.
This old cutting board has a warp to it and doesn’t sit flat anymore. My neighbour is okay with that as he will glue on some foam rubber patches later so it won’t rock on the counter.
This board is laminated with one inch strips so I staggered the pilot holes so each screw goes into the center of a strip.
End grain attachments like this are not as strong as cross grain but for this modification it will hold well enough.
This board has years of oil soaked into it. So adding glue won’t help without first fully stripping it down and sanding it. And my neighbour was happy to just keep it simple.
Now I’ll cut to length and layout the other stops.
I’ll mark the hole locations on the underside of the cutting board and countersink and drill each one.
And chamfer the corners on these strips on my disc sander.
I clamp a strip to the board, drill the pilot holes with an eighth inch bit. I put some red tape on the bit as a depth gauge so I don’t drill these holes clean through the strips.
I’ll butt the corner against the first piece, clamp it, then counter-bore, drill, and run a screw in. Then pre-drill and run screws up from the bottom. And repeat on the other corner.
Lastly, I’ll clamp the left side stop, drill, and screw it into place as well.
A little light going over with a sanding block to round off any sharp corners or rough spots.
Now I can take the board over to my neighbour Pat where he will glue some foam to the underside with hot melt.
So now it won’t slide around as much and Pat can hold it secure with his hip.
New Board in Action
And press the bread against the stop, holding it with his left elbow.
This is a very simple project, there’s nothing complicated about it. But, for me, this kind of work is very rewarding. It just feels great to be able help my neighbour and friend, and make his recovery a little bit easier.
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