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One handed chopping board

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Fitzroy

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A chap at work’s father was unwell and the illness has left him with use of only his left hand. To try and aid his recovery and return to normality they are trying to get him cooking again.

Like many of us blokes he’s a proud chap and any white plastic medical looking aids will end up in the bin. I was asked if I would glue a few bits of wood together and my colleague would bang some nails through it to copy a design on the web. Loving a challenge and the opportunity to do something different I said I’d help, it of course would not be a couple of bits of wood and some nails.

I’m going to make a coffee table using a slab of sycamore for the top, which required me to build a router flattening sled. I was practicing with the sled on a sizeable off-cut, which turned out to be chopping board sized.

Router sled set-up.
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To hold the board in place it has sucker cups on the back, they are screw thread and the board has insert nuts where they are located. The cups are recessed to a depth that when pushed down it holds in place with the board flush to the surface. They work great on my granite surfaces, but can be replaced with rubber feet if the recipient has less success with them.

Back of board.
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It also has a front edge, much like a bench hook, so you can use you hip to hold it in place.

The board has corners that you can push items into, like toast etc. A set of spikes for embedding veg, bread etc on so you can chop them. The spikes were a bit time consuming taking about mins each. Each one is a M4 stainless machine screw that I mounted in a drill and filed the excess thread off and shaped/polished to a spike. I tapped the board 3/4 the way through and the spikes screw in very effectively.

Spikes pic.
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The spikes turned out lethal, you’d not want to lean on them by accident and I was worried a user would catch their hand. I made a cover block for them, then had the epiphany of a small partner board that you could push chopped items onto to carry them to the pan. The partner board has a set of holes on the back so you can locate it over the spikes when you are just buttering toast.

Partner board.
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The board is a piece of sycamore sourced locally a few years back and was oiled with mineral oil. It’s not as warm coloured in real life and the grain has popped nicely.

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It’s rather experimental, and I think I’ll need to shorten the spikes, but I’ve enjoyed the design process and trying to think through how you’d use something with only one hand available.

Comments and critique welcome.

Fitz
 

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ColeyS1

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So well thought out and the end result is fantastic!! Top mark's for helping him out.

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AndyT

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If I was in his position and was on the receiving end, I'd be so chuffed that other people cared so much and took so much trouble. Really impressive design and making. Well done!
 

Beanwood

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Looks realy good.

Can I make a couple of uninformed suggestions? (Having both my hands, but having done some cooking :D )

Could you switch the bench hook to the opposite side, so the spikes are towards the rear of the board? (Less chance of impaling onesef accidentally).
The partner board is a brilliant idea - and being able to sweep 'stuff' on, whilst not having to navigate the spikes, looks tricky. I'd be inclined to remove the (Now) front retaining corner - so it can be used for 'sweeping', but also less likely to interfere with the hand holding the knife when chopping?
 

gog64

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Nice job! Those spikes look lethal though :)

When I make big chunky boards these days I rout a recess so that you can slide a plate under (ie so you can slide chopped veg etc onto it). Much the same idea.
 

gog64

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I should have said, if the apron idea doesn’t work out, you could try rubber feet. They stop a big board moving about a treat and keep the board from sitting on a wet counter top. You probably know this, but the white loo seat bumpers (small ones) work perfectly.
 
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