I’m sure that nearly everyone has wished they had more counter space in their kitchen at one point or another. Trying to deal with limited counter space can be really frustrating, especially if you’re multitasking, or preparing two or three things at once. But there is hope! Today I’m sharing a project that will give you the extra counter space you’ve been dreaming of! (Renters especially will love this project, because it doesn’t involve any permanent modifications to the kitchen itself.) I’ll show you how some simple modifications to a cutting board can create a safe, functional, and movable work surface that rests right on your stove top.
Before I jump in, I just want give you all a bit of reassurance. At first glance, this project may seem complicated, or like you need a lot of materials to do it, but it’s actually really simple. I only share projects that I’ve completed, and my personal philosophy is that if I can do a DIY project, anyone can! So break out your “can-do” attitude, borrow a neighbor’s power drill if necessary, and let’s get to work! :-)
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DIY Stove-Top Cutting Board
- Wood or bamboo cutting board
- Burner covers for your stove
- (1) 1″-thick dowel, at least 12″ long
- (4) 2″ wood screws, #8
- Coarse sandpaper
- Wood glue
- Self-adhesive furniture slides
Depending on how much extra work space you want or need, you can do this project with one cutting board or two. Look for a cutting board that will not only fit the space, but is sufficiently thick – ours was about 1.5″ thick and it worked out great.
Step 1 – Making The Legs
To determine the length of the legs you’ll need to make, measure the height of your burner covers (if applicable). Add another 1/2″ or so to the height of the covers, just to be safe, and that will be the length of the legs for your cutting board. (We determined that the legs of our cutting board should be 1.5″ tall.)
Secure your 1″ dowel to your work surface, and use your saw to cut the 4 legs for your cutting board.
Once the legs are cut, use some sandpaper to fine tune the length of the dowels. You want them to be as close in length as possible.
Step 2 – Prepping Your Board
Next you’ll drill the pilot holes that the legs will be secured to, one in each corner of the bottom of your cutting board. Use a pencil to mark off where the legs will go. You can just eyeball this, but be consistent with the placement of the other 3 legs.
We used #8 gauge screws for this project, so we used a 3/32″ drill bit to make our pilot holes. (If you’re using a different screw size, here’s a quick test to make sure you’re using the right size drill bit. Hold the screw and the drill bit end-to-end. Bring them up in front of your eyes with the drill bit facing towards you. The diameter of the drill bit should be small enough that you can still see the threads of the screw on the other end.)
We knew our pilot holes only needed to be about 1/2″ deep, so we measured 1/2″ in from the end of the drill bit and placed a small piece of painter’s tape there. When we drilled the holes, we knew to stop once the tape was flush with the board. This made drilling the pilot holes quick and accurate!
Step 3 – Prepping the Legs
Secure the dowel-legs you made earlier, and use the same drill bit to drill a hole through each leg. Make sure you’re drilling straight down, so that the hole goes through the center of each piece of dowel.
Step 4 – Assemble
Put a dab of wood glue on one end of each leg, and line it up with one of the pilot holes you drilled earlier.
Use your power drill to screw each leg into the cutting board.
When all 4 legs are attached, apply an adhesive furniture slide to the bottom of each leg. This will protect your stovetop from getting scratched up.
Step 5 – Enjoy Your Extra Counter Space!
Place the cutting board over the burner covers on your stove, and voila! You’re ready to enjoy and use your extra counter space.
How do you make the most of the space in your kitchen?