Intro: Brick and Mortar Cutting Board
There are many designs of Brick-&-Motar style cutting boards available online. This is my take on this style. Enjoy!
Step 1: Design
After a quick sketch up in CAD I settled on ~12"x~16"x~1" thick finished dimensions and backed into the amount of material needed.
Step 2: Tools and Materials
Sanding Block or Palm/Belt/Orbital Sander
120-400 Grit Sand Paper
Lots of Clamps
Wood; 2 types of different colors (I used 4/4 Maple and 4/4 Cherry. I wouldn't go any thinner than 4/4 for cutting boards)
Food-Safe Wood Glue (I use Titebond 3)
Food-Safe Mineral Oil
Step 3: Prepare Wood
The wood I bought for this was rough cut 4/4 hard maple and rough cut 4/4 cherry. I took the boards to the table saw and started by making one rip cut on each long edge of each board to square them up. You could use a jointer for this step as well, but I don't own one and a table saw does the job well enough. I chose to leave the rough cut faces until the end, but you could plane it out here if you wanted to.
Step 4: Cut Wood (Round 1)
The design I came up with was for 12"x16" cutting board. Following the CAD sketch, this required (10) cherry logs each 1.5"x12" and (9) maple slices each 0.25"x12" for the first glue up. I ripped and cut all the pieces to size on the table saw.
Step 5: First Glue-Up
After arranging the blocks the way I liked it was ready for the first glue up. I spread them out in the order they were to be glued in, used a generous amount of glue, then clamped them all together. It's important to try and line up all the cherry logs on one side of the board. This will save wood in the next step. Clamp it tightly (you can never have too many clamps) and let it dry overnight.
Step 6: Cut Wood (Round 2)
Next I squared the edges using the table saw. Then I adjusted the fence and ripped 1" strips perpendicular to the direction of the first glue-up. I cut the board into (10) slices and also ripped another (9) 0.25" maple slices.
Step 7: Second Glue-Up
I messed around with the order of the blocks to get it to look more randomized like a real brick wall would look. the first picture is the before, the second is the after. Then it was on to the next glue up.
After using a generous amount of glue, I used some spacers and a straight edge in order to get the interior motar lines to mostly line up from top to bottom. I then clamped it tight until glue was squeezing out of all the joints. I used a wet rag to wipe off the majority of the squeezed out glue to make the finishing easier later and left it to dry overnight.
Step 8: Planing, Sanding, and Routing
After squaring all edges on the table saw and cutting down to final size I planed both surfaces smooth. I flipped the board in between each planing for the first few goes to try and keep it nice and flat. Finished size is approximately 12"x16"x1" thick.
Once planed I hit the edges with 120-grit to knock off any table saw blade marks. Then I hit it all surfaces with some 200, 320, then 400-grit to remove any leftover tool/sanding marks and make it nice and smooth.
I took a 3/8" roundover bit and knocked off the corners. Only the top side got routed. I then gave it another quick once over with the sanding to remove leftover routing marks.
Step 9: Bonus!: Laser Engraving (Optional)
This board was for a wedding gift, so I took it to my local hardwood and woodworking store which has a laser engraving machine. I gave them a design, worked with them to get it the finished product I wanted and picked it up a couple days later.
The center blurred part of the image features the couples last name.
Step 10: Finishing
After the engraving I gave it another quick sand with 400 grit and finished it with a nice heavy layer of mineral oil and it was done.