Mini Cutting Board Trio

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Nested, wall-hung snack-slicing boards

My wife comes up with great project ideas. For some time, she had been suggesting I make small cutting boards, noting how convenient they would be for simply slicing up a piece of fruit or small block of cheese when snacking throughout the day. Made sense to this snacker, so I got to work playing with a variety of shapes that might suit both form and function. It occurred to me that hanging the boards—but not stacked—would provide easy access to them. These design parameters boiled down to the concept of nesting three differently shaped boards side by side on a wall-hung backboard. I really like the combination of a 5/8"-thick paddle-shaped board flanked by 1/2"-thick round- and kidney-shaped boards. 

Realizing that I would likely also end up making these sets as gifts, I decided to template-rout them. Carefully made templates allow for quick production and ensure that adjacent profiles are a consistent distance from each other for aesthetics. Another advantage to template-routing is that it greatly reduces edge cleanup if you use an over-under flush trim bit, which can be adjusted to cut with the grain to minimize tearout. 

This project affords a great opportunity to use small scrap boards of precious woods. I made this set of cutting boards from curly maple, while the backboard is ambrosia maple. I have to hand it to my wife: we reach for these small boards at least as often as our full-size versions. You’ll see.

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