How to make a charcuterie board using a handle template

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How big should a charcuterie board be?

The beauty of making your own charcuterie boards is that you can make them as big as they need to be. Whether your board needs to hold a full spread of meats and cheeses or just a few olives, you can make it however you like. You can also make a simple, pleasing shape or you can explore your artistic side to create beautiful organic shapes.

Why use a router template?

Router templates allow you to quickly shape a handle that you find pleasing. They also make it easy to create multiple boards with the same handle - a feature that’s handy when you’re making gifts for the whole family!

What are router templates made from?

Our handle templates are made from 1/4” thick clear acrylic. This is thick enough to easily guide a pattern bit in a router and being able to see through the template makes it easy to place it where you want it.

How to use handle templates with a router.

  1. Once you prepare your stock to rough dimensions, locate where you want the handle on the board and mark it with a pencil.

    Make a charcuterie board with a handle template

  2. Put some blue tape on the wood and the bottom of the template to protect the surfaces.

     Make a charcuterie board with a handle template

  3. Place a bead of medium or thick CA glue on the blue tape on the wood. Spray some accelerant on the blue tape on the template and join it to the wood. This will hold the template in place for the next few steps.

    Make a charcuterie board with a handle template

  4. Start by removing the bulk of the waste on the outside of the board with a bandsaw. Doing this will reduce the amount of material the router needs to take off.

    Make a charcuterie board with a handle template 

    If you don’t have a bandsaw then a jigsaw can do the trick. When using a jigsaw, don’t attach the template until you have removed the bulk of the waste first. 

  5. Use a Forstner bit to remove waste from the inside of the handle. Choose an appropriately-sized bit to take the bulk of the wood out. 

    Make a charcuterie board with a handle template

  6. Chuck up a template bit into your favourite router and run the bearing around the outside and inside of the template.

    Make a charcuterie board with a handle template

    Be sure to observe the directional rules of routing with a hand held router: counterclockwise on the outside of the pattern and clockwise on the inside.

  7. You’re done with the template so remove it by simply inserting a slim pry bar between the wood and the template to release it. 

    Make a charcuterie board with a handle template

  8. Use a 1/4” round over bit in a small router to ease all of the edges. 

    Make a charcuterie board with a handle template

  9. All that’s left is to sand all the surfaces up to 180 grit and apply your finish.

     Make a charcuterie board with a handle template

Need a router bit?

We recommend a pattern router bit (template bit) such as the Whiteside (3004) for 1/4" shank, or the Whiteside (3022A) for 1/2” shank.

What to finish a charcuterie board with?

We recommend Honey Bee’s Natural Wood Cream which is a soft paste wax perfect for finishing cutting boards. It is made with only two ingredients: pure beeswax and 100% food grade mineral oil. 

Make a charcuterie board with a handle template

 

Prefer a video instead? Head on over to our YouTube channel to learn how to make a charcuterie board using a handle template.

Vic Tesolin Woodworks

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