Live Edge Charcuterie Tray Tutorial


eli tomalka holding up his live edge charcuterie tray and a bottle of Promise Deep Pour Epoxy in his wood shop.

Welcome to another 'Maker Mind' tutorial! Today, we're diving into a spectacular project that combines the natural beauty of live edge wood with functional artistry. It's time to roll up your sleeves and embrace the world of epoxy resin with our guide to creating a live edge charcuterie tray. Whether you're hosting a quaint gathering or looking to dazzle at your next family event, this tray is your ticket to impress. 

What You Need:

Choosing Your Wood: The First Step to a Stunning Live Edge Charcuterie Tray

Before you dive into mixing and pouring, selecting the right piece of wood is crucial. Look for a live edge slab that not only fits your aesthetic but is highly figured and fully dry. These natural edges, with their unique contours and textures, are what make each charcuterie tray one-of-a-kind. When choosing your wood, consider the size of goodies you want to display, and which mold you're looking to use. 

Preparing Your Workspace:

Creating a live edge charcuterie tray can be messy, so it's important to prepare. Cover your work area with plastic sheets or other protective materials. Make sure you slab is stable and level, as this will prevent the resin from pooling unevenly. Safety first - don your gloves, eyewear, and respirator - especially if you're working in an area that is not well ventilated. 

Step by Step Guide to Creating Your Tray

  1. Prep the Wood: Sand down your slab to remove any rough patches. Begin with a coarser grit and work your way to a finer grit to achieve a smooth, even surface. This will help the resin adhere properly and ensure a glossy finish.

  2. Seal the Wood: Apply a thin coat of Promise Table Top Epoxy to all sides of the wood. You can paint it on with a brush or pour a very thin layer. This preliminary layer prevents air bubbles from escaping during the deep pour cure. It also helps achieve a clearer final result. Allow it to cure for 24 hours before proceeding.

  3. Mix Your Epoxy: Combine Parts A and B of Promise Deep Pour Epoxy in a 2:1 ratio for 30 total ounces of mixture if you are using a 10"x18"x3" mold. You have a long open time, so no need to rush. Use a paint stick and slowly mix thoroughly until you have no striations ensuring you've scrapped the sides and bottom of your container. You want a fully homogeneous mixture.

  4. Add Your Colorant: If you desire a tinted effect, now's the time to add your epoxy dye. We always love a good blue, but any color will do! Slowly add drops to your mixture while stirring until you reach your desired shade. Remember, you can always add more, but you can't take away. 

  5. Set Your Mold & Pour the Resin: Place and arrange the live edge slabs into your mold in your desired orientation. Remember, you're looking at the bottom when they are laying in your mold, so arrange with intention.

    Pour the resin over your wood slab, ensuring it spreads evenly. Use a spatula or stick to guide the resin into the nooks and crannies of the live edge if necessary. Keep an eye out for bubbles, a quick pass with a heat gun or torch can help them pop. However, when using Deep Pour Epoxy, you don't need to worry as much about surface bubbles as they will naturally rise to the top and pop on their own during the extended cure process. Let it cure for a few days!

  6. Demold: After it's fully cured, go ahead and demold your live edge charcuterie tray. Feel free to use a hammer to apply pressure to the back of the mold. If that doesn't work, go ahead and drop it on the table or ground to release the tray.

  7. Prep Your Charcuterie Tray for Shaping: Flatten both sides of the charcuterie tray using a planer, starting with the top side of the piece up because the bottom is already quite flat. You'll likely need to do multiple passes of this to flatten the top. From here move over to the drum sander, where you'll use 80 grit sandpaper. Definitely make sure your dust collection is set up and you're wearing a respirator. The drum sander will remove any lines or marks that the planer left. Remove any excess epoxy and unwanted edges on all four sides using a table saw.

  8. Round Your Edges (Optional): If you want rounded edges you'll need to use a router and chamfer bit to sculpt them to your desired style. This is by no means necessary, but it does take the project up a notch and makes it a little safer to handle.

  9. Finish Sanding and a Water Pop: After running your live edge charcuterie tray through the drum sander it will have a few lines you'll want to get rid of. Start with an aggressive 60 grit, work up to 80 grit, 120 grit, and eventually 180 grit. At this point you can continue sanding, working your way up to 240 grit, or you can do a water pop after the 180 grit passes to help raise the grain of the wood. For this, you'll want to use isopropyl alcohol and apply it by spritzing and wiping it on all sides of your charcuterie tray. After this, continue sanding using a 240 grit for your final passes.  

    Pro Tip: Doing a water pop is completely optional but it does enhance the visuals of the grain and give your surface a softer finish.

  10. Apply Mineral Oil: You'll want to apply mineral oil to your live edge charcuterie tray to help enhance and protect the wood giving your project the ultimate finish. Use a few painters pyramids to elevate your charcuterie tray and apply white label mineral oil on all sides. We recommend a white label mineral oil so you know it's food safe!

    Let it soak in overnight and come back the next day for your final step.

  11. Apply Board Butter (Optional): We're big fans of Eli's Board Butter. This is a food safe mineral oil, beeswax, and vitamin E oil mixture you can apply to your board to give it one last amazing seal. Apply it to all surfaces of the board using your gloved hands, let it set for 15-20 minutes, and then buff it with a 6" wool pad. Not only does it smell amazing, but it seals your board making it fully food safe and locking in the luster. 

Why Use Promise Epoxy for Your Live Edge Charcuterie Tray?

Using Promise Epoxy ensures your charcuterie tray not only looks spectacular but stands the test of time. Our epoxy is designed with the creative in mind, providing a perfect balance between ease of use and professional quality. Plus, our community of makers is always on hand to offer tips and inspiration!

Tips for Maintenance

To keep your live edge charcuterie tray looking its best:

  • Clean gently with a soft, damp cloth after use.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.
  • Periodically apply a food-safe oil to the wood to maintain its luster.

Watch The Tutorial



Share Your Creations!

We love seeing what our community creates. Share your completed live edge charcuterie trays with us on social media and be sure to tag us. Who knows? Your masterpiece might just inspire others to start their resin journey! 


Creating a live edge charcuterie tray is more than just a woodworking project; it's an opportunity to make something functional, beautiful, and uniquely yours. With Promise Epoxy you're making with a product that supports and enhances your creative vision. Enjoy creating your own live edge charcuterie tray!


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