Can’t decide between marble and wood for your serving board? You don’t have to if you make this reversible marble and wood serving board. This project is super easy if you have a few basic tools, but the outcome is really beautiful, and costs much less than the piece that inspired it.
One of the hazards of doing a lot of DIY projects is having many leftover materials. And I’m usually reluctant to get rid of most of them, because I know that as soon as I do, I’ll think of a project that they would have been perfect for. So I hold onto things like the materials I used to make this reversible marble and wood serving board. The marble tile that I used for this copper and marble tray came in packs of two, so I had an extra one, and the wood is left over from making this cutting board with a leather handle.
If you’re looking at these pictures and thinking something along the lines of “Girl, is that cheese on that board? But I thought you were vegan!” I did give up eating dairy, but that is some delicious nut-based cheese you’re looking at. That particular one is the sun-dried tomato garlic from Miyoko’s Creamery, which makes the best vegan cheeses I’ve had so far. I also have Miyoko Schinner’s book, Artisan Vegan Cheese, and have loved every recipe from it that I’ve tried. So going vegan doesn’t have to mean no more cheese boards!
Reversible Marble and Wood Serving Board
6×12″ marble tile – I used one of these.
Wood at least 6″ wide and 12″ long – I used walnut, but you could use other hardwoods. Here are some wood types that are recommended for food prep.
Wood cutting board oil – See notes on step 5.
Optional: Acetone or rubbing alcohol, for glue clean-up
Saw – You could use a hand saw, but I used my chop saw.
Clamps – At least two.
Optional: Power sander (you can also sand by hand)
1. Place the tile on the wood, trace around it with a pencil, then cut the wood to this size. Be very careful with your cutting so that you get an exact fit! I left a tiny bit of extra wood to account for sanding the edges.
2. Sand, sand, and sand some more. Start with 100 or 120-grit, and work your way up through 180, 220, and even 320 and 400 if you want. 320- and 400-grit are probably overkill, but I had them, so I used them. I used my random orbital sander, but you would use a mouse sander, or do it all by hand. You only need to sand the edges and one side, since the other side will be glued to the tile. When you’re done sanding, wipe down the wood with a damp rag and/or tack cloth.
3. Get your clamps and scrap wood ready, along with some extra rags and rubbing alcohol or acetone for glue clean-up. Mix up the epoxy glue right on the back of the tile, and spread it in a thin, even layer. Try not to get it too close to the edges. Working quickly, carefully place the tile on the back, unfinished side of the wood, align the edges, and clamp together. Use pieces of scrap wood between the clamps and the wood board to avoid denting it, and smaller pieces of wood between the clamps and marble tile. (Learn from my mistake: I put the clamps directly on the tile, and ended up with marks on my marble that I had a lot of trouble scrubbing off.)
Immediately clean up any glue that squeezes out from the edges with a rag and acetone or rubbing alcohol. It will be a lot easier to clean up before it dries!
4. After the glue has set, remove the clamps. Check for any dried glue that squeezed out from the edges that you missed. If necessary, carefully scrape it away, and lightly sand away the residue with the highest grit sandpaper you used for finishing.
5. Now it’s time to make the wood pretty with some finishing oil. You can totally use a commercial wood cutting board oil, or even just plain mineral oil, but I like to use a mixture of beeswax and mineral oil, about 5 or 6 parts beeswax to 1 part oil. Here are instructions on how to make it. Whatever you use, rub down all of the exposed wood with a rag, and enjoy the lovely transformation.