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How to Sublimate Wood Cutting Boards

Among the many products JDS offers that are perfect for personalization, cutting boards have been an amazing option for customers to engrave and personalize for their own clients. The downside of many engravable products is that they usually are made only for that purpose and not for specific printing processes to add multiple colors—and although there are many options out there for this purpose, most of them are not cheap.

How to Sublimate Wood Cutting Boards

By Jared Truman, JDS Sublimation Specialist

(Originally published in the November/December 2021 issue of Insights)

Among the many products JDS offers that are perfect for personalization, cutting boards have been an amazing option for customers to engrave and personalize for their own clients. The downside of many engravable products is that they usually are made only for that purpose and not for specific printing processes to add multiple colors—and although there are many options out there for this purpose, most of them are not cheap.

However, JDS now offers sublimatable wood cutting boards that can be sublimated on one side (pine wood) and laser engraved on the other (bamboo wood).

Before jumping into the process of sublimating the cutting boards, you will want to make sure you have everything to sublimate them. The accessories you will need are the cutting board, sublimation transfer sheet, Teflon or scratch paper, and heat tape; you may also want some untextured paper towel, although this is optional. Do note that if you are pressing the larger wood cutting board, you will need an additional heat conductive pad because the wood has many veins that can make it uneven in certain areas, potentially causing the printout to gas out or ghost in certain areas.

STEP ONE

First, prepress the cutting board for 1 minute between two pieces of paper to remove any moisture. This will help prevent your artwork from gassing out when sublimating.

STEP TWO

Next, apply your sublimation transfer to the wood cutting board with heat tape. This will ensure that the transfer will not move before or after it is being pressed. Be sure to place your transfer sheet on the pine wood side because the bamboo side is only for laser engraving. The pine side is lighter and has a significantly different grain.

STEP THREE

Layer items into the heat press as follows from bottom to top:

Smaller size wood cutting boards

• Teflon sheet or scratch paper

• (Optional) two to three layers of soft, untextured paper towel

• Substrate (pine wood side face up)

• Transfer (face down)

• Teflon sheet or scratch paper SBL327 18¾-in.-by- 11½-in. wood cutting board

• Teflon sheet or scratch paper

• (Optional) two to three layers of soft, untextured paper towel • Substrate (pine wood side face up)

• Transfer face down

• Scratch paper

• Heat conductive 1/16-in. pad

STEP FOUR

Set your heat press to the appropriate time and temperature. I recommend pressing smaller wood cutting boards at 385 degrees for a dwell time of 2 to 2 minutes and 30 seconds with medium pressure. For the larger size wood cutting boards, I recommend pressing at 385 degrees for a 4 minutes and 30 seconds with medium pressure.

You may need to adjust the recommended sublimation settings above for best results. Sublimation settings will vary depending on the heat press brand and model, ink, and paper you use, as well as the atmospheric conditions where you are working. We used a 16-in.-by-20-in. Geo Knight swing away heat press and Sawgrass SG500/1000 printers with Sublijet UHD ink.

 

Wood cutting boards have been a major hit for laser engraving and now you can introduce them into the product lineup for your business even if you don’t have the ability to laser engrave. With the dual personalization offering of these boards, your design options are almost endless!

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