How to Laser Engrave Your Custom Cutting Board?
If you are a laser enthusiast or small business owner, custom cutting boards are a must-try. These are one of the hot-selling and loved items in online stores. People get them for weddings, special occasions, restaurants, decoration, household usage, etc. It serves multiple purposes and looks eye-catching.
Beginners often fail in their first custom engraved cutting board attempt. To make the experience easier, this is a complete and detailed guide for making a personalized laser engraved cutting board. We will discuss how safe an engraved cutting board is, what are the best cutting boards for laser engraving, and we will also share some laser engraved cutting board designs and ideas to inspire your first attempt and answer some frequently asked questions.
Can You Laser Engrave Cutting Boards?
Yes, you can laser engrave cutting boards, and it is one of the most trending items these days. By cutting boards, we mean wooden cutting boards that are made from food-grade wood. These are used for cutting vegetables and other food items.
A desktop laser is more than enough for engraving cutting boards. You can use a CO2 or Diode Laser to engrave cutting boards. The depth of the engraving can also be controlled by adjusting the power of the laser machine.
Are Laser Engraved Cutting Boards Food Safe?
People frequently ask whether laser engraved cutting boards are food safe or not. The answer is an engraved cutting board cannot be used for food preparation and similar purposes. The main reason is the presence and growth of bacteria on the engraved area. It usually traps bacteria and provides a favorable environment.
You can seal the cutting board using food-grade epoxy. It is the most favorable option because it will cover all the cavities and engraved areas. It creates an airtight layer and does not let the engraved surface come in contact with the food. You can look for FDA-approved food-safe epoxy resins on the market; there are various options available.
But even if you properly seal the cutting board using food-grade epoxy, it is not recommended to use the engraved boards for cutting vegetables, fruits, and food items. The epoxy is not very durable, and you never know when you will remove the epoxy through the knife or expose the food to the engraved surface. However, the sealed cutting board can be used as a platter or decorative item only. It is okay to serve food on it.
Some laser enthusiasts or beginners might also like to seal cutting boards with oil. But the problem is that oil is not sufficient. It won’t prevent the particles and debris from getting in contact with the food.
The best option would be to engrave the cutting board on the side that you won’t want to use for food cutting and then make sure to seal it with food-grade epoxy.
What are the Best Cutting Boards for Laser Engraving?
Cutting boards are used for food, so make sure whatever wood you are choosing is food-safe. There are food-safe cutting boards available on the market, and you can easily get one.
Secondly, it is better to get hardwood cutting boards. There are fewer chances of having scratches and deep grooves. Therefore, there is no place for bacteria that can contaminate the food. And they last for a long time.
Secondly, it is better to get hardwood cutting boards. There are fewer chances of having scratches and deep grooves. Therefore, there is no place for bacteria that can contaminate the food. And they last for a long time. But keep in mind that hardwoods are a bit difficult to laser engrave. If you want a very deep engraving, you need to set the high power of the laser. Some of the popular wood for engraved cutting boards are cheery, walnut, maple and beech.
Naturally, wood has a unique grain and color. Some have a light shade, while some are dark. If you want the engraving to be visible and use it as a décor piece, the wood should have light shades, so that it will have incredible contrast after engraving.
How to Laser Engrave a Wooden Cutting Board?
Here are some general steps to laser engrave a wooden cutting board.
Step 1: Source the wood cutting board from an online store or market. Make sure it is food-safe hardwood. You can choose the shade and the type of wood according to your liking.
Step 2: Now, you need to get the design ready. You can engrave almost anything you like. It is a custom cutting board of your choice. Get a suitable design from a website, such as Etsy, or you can also make the design yourself if you are familiar with Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, or any other similar software.
Step 3: Turn on the laser engraving machine and connect it to the computer. Open the laser engraver software and import the design. Adjust the size of the design according to your cutting board.
Step 4: You need to set the settings for the laser engraving cutting board, including power, speed, and other parameters. The quality depends on these variables. It is better to test speeds and powers on a spare piece of similar wood or spare cutting board. It will give you a better idea of the optimal parameters.
Step 5: Place the cutting board in the working area. Adjust the focus of the laser head and move to the starting position. Frame the design on the cutting board. It will give you a better idea of the positioning of the graphics. Finally, start engraving.
Step 6: Once the engraving is complete, clean the surface. Remove the debris and particles. Now, it is time to seal the wood. You can use food-grade epoxy for that. Get the epoxy ready and apply it on the surface of the wood. Once it is applied, leave the cutting board until it is completely dry. You need to follow the instructions of the manufacturer. The curing of epoxy is very important; otherwise, it will mix with the food you put over it.
Step 7: After complete curing, you can grind the cutting board for a good finish. Make sure to consider all the safety measures to avoid the toxic dust produced after grinding or drilling.
10 Laser Engraved Cutting Board Designs and Ideas
Now that you've known how to laser engrave a cutting board, let's check some design ideas to create your personalized engraved cutting board.
Monogrammed cutting board
One simple and classic cutting board design is using monograms or initials of the person you are gifting the cutting board to, or if it's for personal use, your own initials. You could choose a decorative, elegant font and position it in the center of the board or off to a corner. Including an 'established' date is a wonderful touch for newlyweds or new homeowners, signifying the start of their journey together.
image credit: by AsrinCoDesigns via Etsy
Cutting board with engraved recipe
One of the most touching and heartfelt engraved cutting board design ideas would be to engrave a beloved recipe onto the cutting board. You could choose a recipe that's been passed down through generations or a favorite meal that has a special significance. For an extra touch of nostalgia and personality, you could even have it laser engraved in the handwriting of the person who first made it. This could serve as a functional keepsake, a working piece of kitchen decor that tells a story.
image credit: by EnchantingPatina via Etsy
Quotes and Sayings
This engraved cutting board idea could feature your favorite cooking quotes or personalized messages. It could be as simple as "Bon Appétit" or as specific as "The [Family Name]'s Kitchen.
image credit: by WoodAndMine via Etsy
Illustrations add a visual element that can be both aesthetically pleasing and personally significant. You might opt for a design that features kitchen utensils, an assortment of food items, or a charming layout of a favorite meal. For someone who loves certain fruits, vegetables, or any specific food, an engraved illustration of their favorite item would be a unique and fun cutting board idea.
image credit: by BlueRidgeBoards via Etsy
Paying homage to a favorite city, country, or place can make your cutting board design truly stand out. You might engrave a picturesque skyline, a beautifully detailed map, or a symbolic monument of the place. This design would be especially meaningful if it represents the recipient's hometown, a place they love, or a location that holds sentimental value, like a wedding location or a memorable vacation spot.
image credit: by BlueRidgeBoards via Etsy
Nature lovers would appreciate a cutting board engraved with their favorite flora. Choose from illustrations of plants, trees, flowers, or any natural element they love. For example, an intricate design of a sprawling oak tree or a delicate rose could be beautiful. This design not only showcases a love for nature, but it can also blend seamlessly into a kitchen with a rustic or botanical theme.
image credit: by BlueRidgeBoards via Etsy
For an ultra-personalized cutting board design, consider engraving the coordinates of a special location onto the cutting board. This could be the place where a couple first met, got married, bought their first home, or any location that holds a dear memory. Combined with a small illustration or a date, this would make a truly one-of-a-kind gift.
image credit: by HometownGiftsCo via Etsy
If the cutting board is for someone who enjoys certain themes in their kitchen decor or has a specific interior design style, consider creating a design that complements it. For instance, a board for someone who loves farmhouse decor could feature a rooster, vintage typography, or a classic farm scene. Similarly, a fan of modern design might appreciate bold, geometric patterns.
image credit: by CustomizeFastGifts via Etsy
Cultural or Ethnic Patterns
If the recipient has a particular cultural or ethnic heritage that they're proud of, consider incorporating traditional patterns or motifs from that culture into the cutting board design. For example, Celtic knots for those of Irish descent or beautiful mandala patterns for those with Indian roots can add a unique and personal touch.
image credit: by WiredByJenniferLynn via Etsy
Cheese or Charcuterie Guide
For the consummate entertainers and food connoisseurs, a cutting board engraved with sections for different types of cheeses or charcuterie elements would be a useful and chic choice. The design could label sections where certain types of cheese or meat should be placed, providing a helpful guide during parties or gatherings.
FAQs of Laser Engraved Cutting Boards
How do you clean a cutting board after laser engraving?
After engraving, you can use wipes to remove the debris from the object. Put the cutting board in clean running water and apply soap for excellent cleaning. Once it is done, you can apply white vinegar. It will kill the bacteria in the grooves. Finally, use a cloth and tissue to dry the surface.
How do you seal a laser engraved cutting board?
The best way to seal a laser engraving cutting board is food-safe epoxy. It covers the grooves and creates an airtight seal. The best part is that there are various colors available in food-safe epoxies. It will add to the beauty of the cutting board. Epoxies are better than oil because they last for a long time and do the job well. You can put food items on the cutting board without any worries.
Can I customize the engraved cutting board shape as well?
Yes, you can also customize the cutting board shape as well. It is better to use a jigsaw or any other power tool to cut the desired shape. Laser machines can also be used for cutting, but they should be powerful enough. Cutting thick hardwood using a laser machine is not easy, but if you have ZBAITU S60, it can do the job. Secondly, if you are cutting the board using a laser, you need to sand the edges as there will be black marks.