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How to Make Your Own Laser Engraved Cutting Boards

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I’m showing you how to make laser engraved cutting boards, we’ll walk through the whole process from design to finishing.

This post may contain affiliate links, view my full disclosure policy.

A cutting board or serving board is essential in any kitchen, it’s a place to chop and prep food as well as a surface to display and serve dishes.

Follow along as we design and engrave a custom cutting board using a laser engraver.

Engrave a cutting board with a laser

Be sure to watch the video to see this whole process from start to finish.

How to engrave wood

You can engrave wood in a few different ways. I’ve shared 2 wood burning techniques over the years that are budget friendly and really easy to get into.

A wood burning tool is a handheld heat tool that burns wood. You use it like a pen to draw designs onto the surface of any type of wood.

Wood burned ornaments
Simple Wood Burned Ornament

A scorch marker applies a substance to wood that when combined with a heat gun will burn the design into the wood. This marker can be used with a stencil to create detailed wood burned designs.

Wood burning with scorch marker

Both of these techniques are great ways to create small designs by hand without spending a lot of money.

The next level of engraving is a laser engraver. I own the Aufero Laser 2, a high quality machine built for crafters and hobbiests. This machine fits nicely in my craft room and can engrave and cut dozens of materials.

Save $30 on this laser with code 30FORCR shop now, for a limited time.

Watch as I unbox and create a simple project using this laser.

Can you engrave a cutting board

Yes, absolutely! You can engrave a solid wood cutting board with custom text and images. These make wonderful gifts for your friends and family.

Laser engraved cutting boards require a few additional steps to ensure they hold up to regular use. Keep reading for all the details.

How to design a graphic

The first step is creating a design to use on the cutting board. I like to use Canva, a online design program that is easy to use and very affordable. There is a free version to try out, I recommend the pro version which comes in at $119 annually. Try Canva to create your own laser engraving designs.

Canva design for laser engraved cutting boards

Use a blank canvas and add design elements and text to create exactly what you want engraved onto a cutting board.

Once the design is complete, export it as a PNG file.

Using LaserGRBL

There are 2 programs you can use to run a laser engraver; LaserGRBL and Lightburn. Lightburn is a more advanced, paid program and allows you to design and create on a much larger scale. I recommend using LaserGRBL until you are comfortable with your machine, then upgrading if you choose.

In LaserGRBL connect your machine, click the unlock button at the bottom, then open the design file you just created in Canva.

Laser GRBL design set up

To engrave on wood I use the following settings.

  • Line to line tracing
  • Horizontal direction
  • 8 lines per mm

These settings have worked really well for me, but I encourage you to try different variations to see what you prefer.

Next, crop the design to elimate the white space around it and then click next. On this next screen you will set the size of the design in milimeters as well as the machine speed. Use the book icon in the speed section to select suggested settings for your machine and material.

Now that the design is ready, you’ll need to set up the laser. At the bottom of the screen click center, this will move the laser to the center of the design. From here we can focus the laser.

focus the laser

Loosen the set screw and slide the cutting board under it, then place the amber colored acrylic piece on top of the wood. Tighten the set screw and then remove the acrylic. Now the laser is the perfect distance from the wood.

Back in the LaserGRBL software, click the frame button. This will draw a frame around the design on your wood, it won’t leave a mark but it’s a great way to see if your design will end up where you want it.

drawing a frame with a laser on a cutting board

Once everything is placed correctly, it’s time to engrave. Put on your safety goggles and click the green play button to start the engraving process.

engraving a cutting board

How to finish an engraved cutting board

There are 2 more steps to ensure this cutting board will hold up to regular use.

cutting board with sand paper and oil

First, use 150 grit sand paper to sand down the surface and edges of the wood. This removes any rough spots that will interfere with your food.

Wipe the cutting board with a soft cloth to remove any dust on the surface.

Finally, apply a few coats of cutting board oil. This is food grade mineral oil that helps protect and nourish the wood. With regular use, oil ensures your board will not dry and crack over time. I recommend 3 coats for a board of this thickness.

how to make your own laser engraved cutting boards feature image

We walked through how to make your own laser engraved cutting board, the entire process from start to finish. Be sure to watch the video and save this post for future reference.

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How to engrave a cutting board

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Wednesday 12th of July 2023

Hi! I just wanted to know how well this software works with Apple? I own a MacBook Air and I’m not experienced with cricuts but I’m very interested in making cutting boards!


Monday 24th of July 2023

I haven't tried it with any Apple products. I would join a community group for whichever laser you are looking at, the Ortur group on Facebook is great, and read through the posts. You'll get some great advice from others.

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