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Thread: Maple Butcher Block Cutting Board

  1. #1
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    Maple Butcher Block Cutting Board

    Here's a cutting board I finished recently. (I've had a backlog of photos to shoot.) It's about 18" x 11" x 1 1/2" thick, made from some maple that Scott Spencer sent me last August. (He made me a deal I couldn't refuse...thanks again, Scott.) It's a simple square block pattern, but I learned simple is not necessarily easy.

    Attachment 2129

    I had a couple of glue joints that slipped on me after clamping, so there are a couple rows of blocks that are about 1/32" to 1/16" out of line. That's huge at a 4-way corner joint. Also, I didn't get the finger recesses on the ends perfect. I wobbled a tiny bit at the end of each cut. (It was my first time to try making the recesses; I think I'll change the process a bit next time.)

    Attachment 2130

    My other major error on this was using Titebond II instead of plastic resin glue. I knew from first-hand experience that Titebond creeps, and it's especially noticeable on end-grain cutting boards, but dummy me, I just grabbed the Titebond and about 15 minutes after getting the first clamp-up together, I realized my mistake. Now that it's finished, it's creeping. I can sand it with 400 grit and make the joints completely imperceptible to the touch of a finger. Like glass. Come back the next day, and you can feel every joint plain as day. With plastic resin glue, this wouldn't happen.

    This board was originally intended to be a gift to my nephew, who's in culinary school and needs a real chef's chopping block. After making the variety of mistakes that I did, I decided I couldn't give a "factory second" as a gift, so this one's going into my kitchen instead. I can use a big block like this one, and I can live with the flaws. They'll be a reminder how not to do things. (It's sort of ironic that after making dozens of fancy cutting boards for sale or gifts, this is the first one for me.) I'll make a new one for my nephew, and using this experience, I think I'll go with more of a staggered brick joint pattern instead of checkerboard squares. I'll use a bit of extra wood, but that way 1/32" of slop won't be nearly as apparent. I also plan to make it even larger than this one...somewhere around 24" x 18".

    Hopefully by sharing my mistakes someone else can learn how NOT to do one of these.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
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    vaugn, i like the traditional end grain boards......mistakes or not, if you use it it`ll be battle scarred to the point they won`t be noticable...tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    Nice Vaughn, very nice. I'm sure that the tiny things you mention will only be visible to you.

    May I ask a question, please?

    TB is all I"ve ever used. Does TB EVER stop creeping? Will all the cutting boards I've made eventually end up with the different pieces be a 1/16" or 1/8" higher/lower than the other?

    Where do I get plastic resin glue? Is is extra expensive or roughly the same as TB?

    Thanks very much.


    P.S. I sent you a PM. I need to talk to you for a minute.
    Thanks, Mark.

    Custom Bonehead.

    My diet is working good. I'm down to needing just one chair now.

    "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    My other major error on this was using Titebond II instead of plastic resin glue. I knew from first-hand experience that Titebond creeps, and it's especially noticeable on end-grain cutting boards, but dummy me, I just grabbed the Titebond and about 15 minutes after getting the first clamp-up together, I realized my mistake. Now that it's finished, it's creeping. I can sand it with 400 grit and make the joints completely imperceptible to the touch of a finger. Like glass. Come back the next day, and you can feel every joint plain as day. With plastic resin glue, this wouldn't happen.
    what!?!?

    That is the first I've heard of this.

    I used Tite-bond II for cutting boards that I made back in the summer. I left them for a few weeks at 99% smooth, and then I took them over to a fellow here in town who had a Delta drum sander that he demonstrated for me and sanded my boards smooth. Dead flat. They then sat there for another few months. I just gave away three of them the first weekend of December as Christmas gifts. The end grain board was still smooth as silk.

    I'm sure I used TB-II on these. The other glue I have is the Lee Valley 2002GF, but I'm sure I did not use it on these projects.

    So, tell me more about this creep - does it only happen in the first few days? weeks? Because it sure didn't affect me.

    ...art

  5. #5
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    Art,

    IMHO all PVA glues (not just TiteBond) creep, and so far as I know it just depends on how much the wood wants to move as to how long it takes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    what!?!?

    That is the first I've heard of this.

    I used Tite-bond II for cutting boards that I made back in the summer. I left them for a few weeks at 99% smooth, and then I took them over to a fellow here in town who had a Delta drum sander that he demonstrated for me and sanded my boards smooth. Dead flat. They then sat there for another few months. I just gave away three of them the first weekend of December as Christmas gifts. The end grain board was still smooth as silk.

    I'm sure I used TB-II on these. The other glue I have is the Lee Valley 2002GF, but I'm sure I did not use it on these projects.

    So, tell me more about this creep - does it only happen in the first few days? weeks? Because it sure didn't affect me.

    ...art
    Art, I've noticed it a lot more on my end grain boards than face grain boards, but I've definitely seen it on both. Dunno if you saw any of the quilt pattern cutting boards I did a little over a year ago, but on the first one, I glued some of the joints with TB II and the others with plastic resin. To this day, the plastic resin joints are imperceptible to the fingertip, and the TB joints can be felt very clearly. I'm only talking maybe a thousandth of an inch creep, but it's enough you can feel.

    In your case, I'd not worry about it. I think most folks expect to be able to feel the joints, so the recipients of your gift boards likely won't see anything wrong if they do happen to creep a little bit.

    Mark, this is the glue I'm talking about:

    http://dap.com/product_details.aspx?product_id=42

    I get it at the local Ace hardware, but not all of them carry it. (And I can't seem to find it at the Borgs in my area.) I pay about 7 to 9 bucks for a tub of the powder and it lasts me quite a while. The powder has a shelf life of about a year, and when it goes bad, the mixed glue doesn't hold well at all. It's a bit more hassle to use, since you have to mix the powder with water, but I really like the way it works. It has a bit longer working time that TB also, which, for me, is an asset.

    HTH -
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
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    Thanks Vaughn.
    Last edited by Mark Rios; 12-15-2006 at 04:29 AM. Reason: "Cause I'm a Bonehead and I spelled his name wrong.
    Thanks, Mark.

    Custom Bonehead.

    My diet is working good. I'm down to needing just one chair now.

    "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin

  8. #8
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    Hi Vaughn,
    Always enjoy your projects and this one is quite attractive. Thanks,
    Shaz
    I am a registered voter and you can be too. We ( registered voters ) select the moderators for this forum by voting every six months for the people we want to watch over this family forum.
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