Most kitchen countertops are 36″ high. This works well for 5′4″ people (average female height). For anyone taller, it is too low and can cause back pain. There are many solutions out there. Perhaps the best is the raised cutting board for tall people. In this post, I’ll show you how to build an inexpensive raised cutting board with minimal effort.
Raised Cutting Board Legs
The first step to building a raised cutting board is to find some suitable legs. Furniture legs and their mounting hardware work great for this purpose (see image links below).
The hard part is deciding what leg length to choose. One helpful tip for honing in on an ideal leg length is to gradually stack stuff under a cutting board until you’re satisfied with the height. One study found that slightly below elbow height tends to be preferable.1 For particularly tall people, this will seem awkward at first as we have grown used to working at improper heights. But after you get used to it, you will probably find it much better for your back. The universal object scaling calculator can also help you decide on a height.
Raised Cutting Board Top
As far as choosing a cutting board, just about anything works. Hard maple cutting boards that are at least 1″ thick do a fine job. A decent size is 18″ x 12″. But you can go much larger than that, creating a raised countertop essentially. You can then use a regular cutting board on top, which can be more easily washed in the sink.
Tips for Setting up Your Raised Cutting Board
Wood is prone to warping, and this can result in a bit of wobble. The simplest way to remove a wobble is to unscrew one of the legs just slightly. If this doesn’t fix it, you can add a washer between the leg and it’s mounting hardware.
Another useful tip is to attach rubber feet to the bottom of the legs to prevent slippage. Alternatively, you can cut out a circular patch from some cork or rubber sheet with adhesive backing (double sided tape works for sheets without adhesive backing).
One of the great things about this type of raised cutting board is how portable it is. Just unscrew the legs and put it in a laptop bag or similar and you can take it anywhere!
Compost Bin Under the Raised Cutting Board
Where I live, we have a compost service that comes once a week. This is great, though the compost bin does take up a fair bit of counter space. For this reason, some people keep theirs under the sink attached to the cupboard door. But with a raised cutting board, there is an even better spot: Under it. It’s really handy as you can scrape vegetables directly into it. Just make sure the compost bin you buy will fit beneath your raised cutting board.
1. J. S. Ward and N. S. Kirk, “The Relation Between Some Anthropometric Dimensions and Preferred Working Surface Height in the Kitchen“, Ergonomics, 1970.