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Build It | 3D Cube Cutting Board

General contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O’Connor build a cutting board out of walnut, cherry, and maple to create a 3D cube design effect.

In this Build It project, Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O’Connor build a cutting board out of walnut, cherry, and maple to create a 3D cube design effect.

Steps for building a 3D cube cutting board

  1. Get all the boards to the same thickness. Tom used a thickness planer.
  2. On a table saw, set the blade to a 30-degree angle.
  3. To create a rhombus, each side will need to be of equal length. Measure the angled side. To get an accurate measurement, Tom suggests not using the hook.
  4. Mark and make the cut.
  5. Repeat the process for the two other boards.
  6. With a small brush, glue the maple and walnut together to make a “V”. Do not lay the glue on thick. Do not get glue on the outside because it can interfere with the future joints of the cutting board.
  7. Apply glue to the top of the “V” and add the cherry wood. You should have a hexagon.
  8. Tape around the wood and let it dry in place.
  9. Once the glue is dry, it’s time to cut up wood. Tom sets up a stop block on the miter saw to allow for 1-¾” length cuts.
  10. Slice the wood at the 1-¾” length until you have cut the entire thing.
  11. Sand off the sides of the hexagons.
  12. Do a dry assembly of your board to create a rectangle shape.
  13. Wet down your working area so the glue doesn’t stick to the table.
  14. Depending on the placement of the hexagon, glue either two or three sides. Too much glue can prevent tight joints.
  15. Let the glue dry.
  16. Next, use a router with a wide planer blade. Tom made a sled to specifically fit his router and the cutting board. Run the router along the top of the cutting board. The router will act as a planer in this case because when working with the end grains of the wood, the planer would damage or chip the pieces where it snags the grain.
  17. Flip the board over and run the router over the other side of the cutting board.
  18. To fill the cracks in the joints, mix some sawdust and wood glue to make a paste and apply it to the board.
  19. True up the edges of the board using the table saw until it’s perfectly square.
  20. Use a router to round the top and bottom edges.
  21. Sand the entire board with 150 grit sandpaper.
  22. Add food-grade finish. Wait 12-24 hours to dry and add a second coat.


Tom built the cutting board out of pieces of maple, cherry, and mahogany. He chose them because he already had the leftover pieces in his garage and because their variety of shades lend themselves nicely to the 3D cube effect.

To cut the angles of the boards, Tom used a combination of a Kapex KS120 sliding compound miter saw, which is manufactured by Festool, and an Industrial Table Saw from SawStop.

Tom and Kevin secured everything together using some wood glue from Gorilla Glue.

All the other materials required for the project, including sandpaper and mineral oil, can be found at home centers and woodworking supply stores.

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