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Dovetail cleats make ideal feet for your next cutting board.
By George Snyder
It’s a good bet that cutting boards are among the most popular gift s for woodworkers to make. A finished board shows off our favorite material, and if there’s a simpler way to utilize scrap pieces of beautiful wood, I certainly haven’t discovered it. To make a cutting board extra special, I like to add a pair of dovetailed cleats to the underside of the board. These distinctive feet give the board a proud and practical stance on the countertop. And the sliding dovetail joint is an effective strategy to prevent warping. Aft er making quite a few cleated cutting boards, I’ve come to rely on some design details that make the most of this feature. To highlight the feet, make them from a contrasting wood species. I sometimes like to make the dovetails a little taller than the depth of their dadoes because this creates a nice visual effect. Beveling the edges of the cutting board also draws attention to the dovetails, as shown above. Since a board will expand and contract based on how much moisture it absorbs, I make the feet slightly longer (about ¼ ") than the full width of the board.
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