Update: For an easier to make version of a raised cutting board, please see: Raised Cutting Board for Tall People
If you are over 5’5″, your 36″ kitchen counter top is likely too low for you . A few tall solutions for low counter tops were discussed in an earlier post. An alternative is to use a raised cutting board for tall people, as in this DIY tall solution:
(16) 2.5″ deck screw
(4) 4″x4″ posts, dressed (planed)
1″ or thicker wooden cutting board
Measuring Tape, or better yet, Vernier Caliper (this is a most useful DIY tool)
Optional: Kreg Jig
The ideal cutting board material is maple, largely because of its closed grain structure (though walnut, which I got a big solid slab of, is a close second). The legs, however, can be made out of cheaper wood. I chose Hemlock as it can be found already finished at a hardware store. I had the hardware store do the length cuts as their tools are more precise than mine. For shorter legs, less than 4″x4″ may suffice.
The length of the legs should be chosen such that the top of the raised cutting board is positioned near elbow height where elbow height is the vertical distance from the ground to the elbow crease while standing. Keep in mind that, if you wear shoes in the kitchen, you should measure elbow height with shoes on. People’s counter height preferences vary. A study showed that for slicing bread and similar food preparation tasks, 54% of people preferred a surface height slightly below elbow height, 14% at elbow height, and 32% slightly above elbow height .
To hone in on your own ideal raised cutting board leg length, try stacking up some books till you get the height you like.
After you have your legs cut to the desired length, drill holes 1″ from the top and 0.5″ from the side of the wood post (four holes for each of the posts) at angle of about 45°. Put in the screws and check to see that they won’t poke through your cutting board, and then go ahead and drill them in.
Below is the finished raised cutting board. What a huge difference, eh? The only downside is that it is a bit cumbersome and hard to find a place for. If you happen to live with a shorty that complains about this, you can always let them use it to reach the cookie jar. Just kidding, that would be unsafe and unsanitary, but more importantly, those cookies are for us.
 J. S. Ward and N. S. Kirk, “The Relation Between Some Anthropometric Dimensions and Preferred Working Surface Height in the Kitchen”, Ergonomics, 1970.