To get a solid chopping board that does not warp after extended use, or one that is an attractive addition to your kitchen decor, you might have to spend a lot of money. An alternative is to make your own, which also gives you full control over the size, quality of materials, and design.
First you need to decide on the dimensions, materials, and design for your chopping block. Gather together all the tools and materials, including safety glasses and a face mask. You'll need wood glue, band clamps or pipe clamps, a miter saw, sandpaper, a power sander, and wood.
Maple is the best wood for a chopping block, but you can also use other closed-grain hardwoods. Avoid using open-grain woods such as ash, oak, ash, or hickory because the pores will attract germs. Softer closed-grain woods will not stand up to knife use. You can even mix colors to make designs, such as stripes or a border. For this design, we'll focus on a single solid color of maple, but you can easily modify the pattern to make it more decorative.
Cut three straight pieces of 2-inch thick maple into 17-inch lengths. Flip the middle board over so that its grain will run counter to the outer two boards. This will increase the strength and durability of your chopping board. Apply wood glue to the edges where the boards will join, and clamp them securely together while the glue dries.
Using your power sander, sand the glued boards so there are no ridges between the boards or glue residue. First you'll want to sand diagonally to remove these; then, sand with the grain to erase the scratch marks. Switch to a finish sandpaper and continue sanding until there are no marks or scratches remaining. If you have a random orbital sander, this will speed up the process. Trim your edges with the saw, removing only a thin strip from each end to smooth the edges. Sand these edges smooth like you did the surface.
Now that your chopping board is completed, you'll need to treat the surface. Chopping boards require an inert oil that will not become rancid, but one that is safe for food preparation. Choices include pure raw almond oil, walnut oil, mineral oil, or raw tung oil. Apply the selected oil using a brush and reapply monthly. With proper maintenance, your wood chopping block should provide years of use.