DIY Raised Cutting Board for Tall People

If you are over 5'5", your 36" counter top is likely too low for you [1]. A few tall adaptations for low counter tops were discussed in an earlier post. An alternative is to use a raised cutting board, as in this DIY tall adaptation:
(16) 2.5" deck screw
(4) 4"x4" posts, dressed (planed)
1" or thicker wooden cutting board

Hand Drill
Measuring Tape, or better yet, Vernier Caliper (this is a most useful DIYer tool), you can find them on ebay for cheap
ebay affiliate link

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 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 [1].

To hone in on your own ideal cutting board leg length, you might start with longer legs and gradually cut material off. The following calculator determines cutting board leg length such that the top of the cutting board is 1" below elbow height.

Units: Inchesmm
Elbow Height:
Counter Height:
Cutting Board Thickness:

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 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. So long as they wash it afterwards... If you have any thoughts, comments, or if you'd like one made for you, please comment below, thanks!
More Tall Household Posts
[1] J. S. Ward and N. S. Kirk, "The Relation Between Some Anthropometric Dimensions and Preferred Working Surface Height in the Kitchen", Ergonomics, 1970.


  1. I like this one. I am going to make something like this for my bathroom and kitchen.

  2. Awesome, please send a pic if you get a chance

  3. These things were build in the region i am living. In eastern Germany (now the free state of Saxony) - espacially in the region of Zwickau and the Erzgebirge - these banks are called "hitschn". They look like your one - well done!
    At least i am 7" tall i am using this some time. To sit down while working in garden or to change the light bulbs where other people need a ladder :D