Noodle boards are not made from noodles. They hail from back in the early 1800s and were used as additional working space for making noodles.
Since I’ve mentioned the 19th century, you may guess what’s coming. Yes, this is a very simple build that requires only basic woodworking skills. Today, we’ll learn all about it and maybe you can even start working on your project straight away. Let’s give it a go!
Are noodle boards safe for all stoves?
They are because you are not using them while the stove is on. However, you need to be a bit careful around gas. Having that lid on can end with gas accumulating which can lead to flareups and even poisoning.
Contact your stove’s manufacturer or check the manual for any warnings concerning covering the stovetop. Also, consider having your gas provider or fire department send someone over to check for possible leakages.
What type of wood is best for a noodle board?
If the board will only have a decorative purpose, you can make it out of anything. But if you plan on using it to make noodles and other doughs, pick hardwood like maple, beech, ash, or oak.
Can you paint the noodle board?
You can, but make sure that you’re using a food-safe product if you plan on putting food directly on it.
Your best choice is to treat it as a chopping board and only season it with oil. However, if you’re still keen on painting it, get a set of silicone mats and boards for chopping and kneading.
Other things you’ll need for this project
For the type of noodle board, we will be making, you will need only a pair of handles and a few nails and screws.
When it comes to equipment, you’ll need a drill. The timber can be cut in the shop when you’re picking it up (if you don’t have a saw at home). And make sure you have some sandpaper on hand as well.
Making a Noodle Board
Step 1 – Measure the stove
This is also the time to consider how you want the board to fit over the stove. You can make it to match the exact measurements, or slightly larger or smaller so it locks into place.
Don’t forget to figure out the height as well, especially if you have a gas or an old-school electric stovetop. For both of those, it may be a good idea to add extra height to the project.
Step 2 – Gather the supplies
Anything can be used as a material to make a noodle board. You can pick up new pieces of timber, use scraps that are lying around, or recycle old furniture. Just remember to use hardwood if you will use it to make food on it.
If you don’t have much in terms of woodworking equipment at home, you can ask the nice people in the shop to pre-cut everything for you when purchasing the timber. However, you can complete everything at home with nothing else but a hand saw and a drill.
For handles, you can pick up anything that strikes your fancy from the hardware store or the ones that you have leftover from putting your kitchen together. But keep in mind that they still need to be comfortable and large enough to grip. After all, this is not a kitchen cabinet that you can open with a finger but what’s essentially a massive wooden chopping board.
Don’t forget to accessorize – you’ll also need nails and screws. You’ll also need a finishing product. For that natural food-safe look you can go with boiled linseed oil (which you will use for maintenance), or go for beeswax or Danish oil.
Step 3 – Put the wood pieces together
There are three main pieces: the board surface, side planks, and the “legs”.
For the board surface itself, you can use one solid piece or multiple planks. If you are using the planks, connect them by gluing or nailing to the “legs” (at least 3 – 2 on the edge and 1 in the middle).
The side planks mentioned usually go on top of the board and produce additional volume so you can secure the handles. You can nail them to the main surface or glue them with wood or bonding glue. Considering that the object will be in a somewhat moist environment, it’s vital that the glue is waterproof or at least water-resistant.
For the order of how to put things together, that depends on if you are working with a solid piece or multiple planks. With those planks, attach them to the legs first and then add topside planks, while with a solid board you can go any way it feels natural to you.
Step 4 – Sanding
Take either an orbital sander or plain sanding paper and smooth the corners and surfaces. Don’t skip this step since it’s important to do it and it well on both sides of the board.
If you don’t sand the bottom of the noodle board properly, it may scratch and damage the stovetop, And if you leave the top unsaved, dirt and bits of food will get stuck, which is a trip to the hospital waiting to happen.
Step 5 – Paint, varnish, burn, or season
It’s time to do any or all of that before installing the handles, mainly because it will make your life a bit easier.
Remember to plan well for this step depending on how you want to finish the board. Most paints and varnishes take hours or even days to dry.
Step 6 – Install the handles
You can drill the screws directly into the wood when building this project. Yes, the joint needs to be secure, but they only need to handle the weight of the board.
You can still add the plastic sleeve first, especially if you are recycling old furniture or installing vintage “well-loved” handles. Consider it as an option also if you are planning to make a massive and heavy board with very long handles.
How to Care for a Homemade Noodle Board
Unless you’ve painted the board, you should treat the same as you would a wood chopping board. Don’t wash it with a detergent, only with some soapy water. And make sure to season it with oil so it lasts and looks good for longer.
It you’re not planning to cook or prep food on the noodle board you may want to check out tole painting. It could be a great look for this new featured piece.
Always make sure that the stovetop has cooled down before placing the noodle board. It should also dry completely after cleaning before covering with the board.