Cabinets to Cutting Boards

Reclaim, reuse, and repurpose seem to be the themes in a lot of woodworking projects. It also happens to be how I got into woodworking. I don’t like the notion of spending money on hardwoods when we can find them all around us. While I know finding reclaimed lumber is not the solution for every project, it sure worked out for this one.

Trash to Treasure

About a month ago on my day job I started a kitchen remodel. The old cabinets that came out were nothing but particle board with stained poplar face frames. This is my fourth kitchen remodel in the past year. With the previous cabinets I was lucky to find someone who wanted them on Craigslist by listing them in the free section. This time I wasn’t so lucky. I had them posted long enough for them to get in my way and nobody even inquired about them. So, it was up to me to get rid of them.

Old Cabinets
Old Cabinets

Face frames of cabinets are generally hardwoods. I can’t see myself throwing hardwoods away so I decided to cut them up and set the usable wood aside for a rainy day. A few weeks later I had the spare shop time to use them.

I have made about a dozen or so cutting boards previously but I gave them all away. With as much cooking as I do I figured this one was going to be mine. After removing all the nails and sorting pieces by size I had enough material for two cutting boards. One smaller and thinner. The other a lot thicker and bigger.

Upcycled Materials Cutting Boards
Upcycled Materials Cutting Boards

I know the argument can be made that poplar isn’t the best choice for a cutting board but I will counter it with this; Is the landfill a good destination for hardwoods? This wasn’t a project with the notion to create a top of the line, extravagant cutting board but rather a project to find a useful purpose for wood that would otherwise be rotting away in a landfill. In the end I am happily satisfied. There’s something rewarding about creating something from nothing. Also from knowing I gave old wood a new life.

cutting board
Upcycled wood cutting board

Remember that even though pallet projects seem to be “in” pallets are not the only source for reclaimed materials. Look around. See what you can find. Get creative and make something. Have you already made something out of salvaged materials? Stop by the viewer projects section and share it with us!


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