Over Christmas I made some walnut cutting boards as gifts for family, and I totally forgot to post about them. (Doesn’t Christmas feel like a million years ago, even though it’s only been 2 months?) I meant to add leather handles to the cutting boards that I gifted, but I ran short on time. So I decided to make another and add the leather handle with brass screws that I had originally planned.
The leather strip is a simple detail, but it really punches the board up style-wise, plus it allows you to hang it up if you’d like.
Making a simple cheese board is basically just cutting a piece of wood, then sanding the heck out of it. A while back I posted about the first cutting board/cheese board I made from a scrap of walnut. So check out that post if you want to know more about how to make the board itself.
How to Add a Leather Handle to a Cutting Board
Thick leather scraps
Screws – I used 3/4″ #6 brass screws with slotted, rounded heads.
Leather punch (optional)
1. Cut a leather strip that is the same thickness as the board, and several inches longer. Line it up with the edge of the cutting board, and decide how far you want the handle to stick out. Trim the length of the leather to fit. Before I did the next steps, I also rubbed the sides and edges of the leather with a coating of the same finish I used for the wood of the cutting board, a mix of about 3-4 parts mineral oil and 1 part beeswax.
2. Mark where you want the screws to go through the leather, then punch or drill holes through the leather strip.
3. Line the leather strip up with the cutting board edge, then use a pencil to mark the location of the holes in the leather on the board.
4. Drill holes in the marked locations.
5. Screw the leather strip into the edge. Brass is softer than the zinc or stainless steel screws are usually made with, so it’s pretty easy to break, strip, or scratch a small brass screw. And they’re more expensive than regular screws, so it’s extra annoying to ruin one. When I was replacing some of the brass hardware on the doors in my house, I picked up some useful tips for working with brass screws:
- Always drill a pilot hole.
- After you drill the pilot hole, screw a stronger metal screw of the same size as the brass one into the hole, then back it out.
- Rub the threads of the brass screw in beeswax or candle wax before you screw it in.
- Use a manual screwdriver to screw it in.