A mainstay in any kitchen is the cutting board. Human history records the use of stone and rock as some of the most primitive surfaces first used, and wood quickly followed up. Wooden boards were more mobile, easier to clean and could be designed out of many different species of wood to match any kind of environment.
The 20th century saw the advent of bamboo as well as plastic cutting boards as viable options, however they both have their drawbacks. Bamboo boards can splinter and become grooved over time, and plastic boards also tend to discolor and retain marks from previous cuts. While it was marketed as a cleaner option, when properly cleaned and maintained, wooden boards are just as safe as plastic.
Wooden boards are typically divided into three types based upon the construction. I have built all three types, and while I may recommend one type over another, in designing a board - the end user will ultimately decide how we should make it.
Face Grain cutting boards are simply boards milled and glued next to each other with the longest side normally on the top and bottom, and the shorter side of the board being the edge or bonded to another board. These are the most simplistic boards, however if they are built well, they can last a long time. (My first board was a face grain board and my family and I still use it in our kitchen.)
Edge Grain cutting boards use wood that is on edge. The width of the boards can be uniform or varied, allowing for multiple color and pattern options. Due to its construction, an Edge Grain cutting board is often the strongest of all three types.
End Grain cutting boards are often seen by the board connoisseur as the apex of the craft. They start as typically Edge Grain boards but are then cut at least one more time and stood on end. Edge grain boards can be somewhat more challenging to create, and due to the orientation of the cutting blade and the wood grain, these boards are described as 'healing themselves', or reorienting the fibers.
When I travel to craft shows I tend to bring a wide variety of boards, all made one at a time so each is unique. I may use the same types of woods, but I always vary the thickness, the accent pieces, the size and the edge design. I don't use any templates - there is no need to set limits!