How to Make a Chopping Board

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This course is designed to teach you some basic shaping skills using a small number of hand tools, regardless of how much (if any) previous experience you may have. The techniques you will learn in this course are universal -and therefore adaptable- to countless other shaped wooden objects. In the process, you will also discover different aspects of the structure of wood and the reasons why we work it the way we do.

For this course, you will need:

Materials: 1 blank of wood* – suggested dimensions 8″ x 14″ x ¾” (approx. 20cm x 35cm x 19mm)


  • Coping Saw (or a 1″ Chisel, Chisel Hammer and Tenon Saw)
  • Spokeshave
  • Round rasp
  • Round file
  • Plane
  • Pencil
  • Workmate® or workbench (Can also use clamps on a table)

*You can use a wide variety of woods but avoid exotic woods because they can be toxic and can also give off a flavour when cooking. Also avoid woods that are very porous (such as oak), as they can absorb foods and juices, making them difficult to clean.

Here are some suggested woods that work well for cooking utensils:

  • Sycamore
  • Beech
  • Maple
  • Ash
  • Elm
  • Poplar
  • Cherry

To read more about Choosing woods, see our guide.

Note: If you have a workbench and vise, this is the easiest way to work. However, in this course, Paul is showing how you can make a chopping board using a Workmate® (other equivalent products work just as well).