Turquoise Inlay Cheese Board

2 Materials
1 Week

It’s been a little over a year since I wrote a tutorial for making an end-grain cutting board. I didn’t want to write the post. I honestly didn’t think anyone would care. There were already hundreds (at least) of videos and tutorials for making cutting boards, so why would anyone want to read mine? I was a relative newcomer to woodworking, and a total noob to blogging. But Handan wanted me to write it, so what choice did I have? (answer: none)

That little tutorial, which I was so loathe to write, went on to become our best-read post, with double the page views of the next best post. The lesson is obvious and applies to all men: always listen to your wife. They know things.

The downside to that post was that I was deluged with orders for cutting boards for the 2015 Christmas season. I could accommodate a few people, but my workshop is not set up for mass assembly, so I had to turn most people down. Besides, with the labor involved, even with a substantial price tag, making boards was not an economically sound business model. So those Christmas boards were my last. I was boarded out. I didn’t want to look at another cutting board, unless I was chopping onions on it.

But as the months wore on, I found myself thinking about cheese boards from time to time. Cheese boards can be identical to cutting boards – that is, they can be end-grain or face-grain and used for cheese or chopping. But cheese boards allow a freedom of construction that traditional cutting boards do not. A cutting board needs to stand up to, but be gentle to, a sharp knife (wood and plastic rule for cutting boards). A cheese board does not. So, whereas you wouldn’t dream of chopping veggies or cleaving a ham hock on a piece of stone, you wouldn’t think twice about running that little round cheese knife through a wheel of brie plopped on a shiny slab of marble.

A friend recently asked me to make her two more cheese boards of the sort I used to make a couple of years ago. I had sold her a matching pair, and now she wanted more! They were the envy of all her friends, and she has to loan them out on occasion, she told me. Unfortunately, I had to turn her down. Now that The Navage Patch is in full swing, I no longer have time to make boards for sale anymore. But then I got to thinking…

What if I made a new kind of cheese board? Something with class and elegance. I could write about it here, and she would get one heck of a board – an absolute one-of-a kind. The board I had in mind would be made of walnut with rivers of crushed turquoise inlay coursing through its grain. I had just the piece of wood in the basement…

Two years ago I bought an 8 foot length of walnut that was 8 1/2 inches wide and about 1 1/2 inches thick. Normally walnut has rather straight and uninteresting grain, but this piece had highly detailed (figured) grain running down its length. I wanted to use it for something special.

Well, as the months rolled on, I used a piece here and a piece there for some end-grain cutting boards I was making, but I never got a chance to showcase that beautiful figure. I held onto a piece in the hopes that one day I’d use it in a project where the walnut’s beauty would shine. That day had arrived.

I took my last piece of figured walnut and traced along a few of the grain lines.

These would be my three rivers of turquoise. After excavating the riverbeds, I crushed my own turquoise for this project. This is MUCH cheaper than buying already-crushed turquoise.


   CLICK HERE TO visit our the blog post for the step-by-step full tutorial on how to do turquoise inlay.


When I had my four grades of crushed turquoise, I moved on to the inlay process.

Then came the hard part: sanding down all that crushed stone.

Please click over to the blog post to read about the tips & tricks on this process.

When the board was sanded, I marked where the rubber feet would go and pre-drilled the four holes.

I finished the board with my go-to finish for cutting boards and cheese boards.

And my one-of-a-kind beauty was complete!

Please click over to our blog for the full tutorial and many more pictures.

If you are interested in similar DiY & crafts projects, click here to see more from The Navage Patch.

Thanks for reading!


Suggested materials:

  • Wood
  • Turquoise stone

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Handan & Greg @ The Navage Patch

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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