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Thread: Making an end grain cutting board

  1. #1
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    Making an end grain cutting board

    I've been doing a lot of cooking lately and want to make a couple of end grain cutting boards. Seems like a simple project but I have some questions for those who've already been down that road.

    1. What's the best wood to make a cutting board out of? Maple?

    2. After you glue up all the pieces, how do you flatten the cutting board? Since it's end grain, running it through the planer might not work well. Do you sand or use a hand plane? Or what?

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  2. #2
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    I'm no expert, but I've made a few of them (and love them).

    I've made mine out of Maple and Cherry. My next one will be all Maple.

    For flattening, some guys have used planers, but I've never tried that.

    I use my little performax drum sander with aggressive grits to flatten, and then a ROS to sand it up to 220. Yes, 220 is overkill, but I like the initial sheen and feel it gives it.

    That wears off after time, but a replenishing with a mixture of mineral oil and parrafin wax brings it back.

    Oh, and I will soak it good with mineral oil at first, and then I make a mixture of parrafin wax and oil, just a bit of the wax, to use for future maintenance.
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  3. #3
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    Maple and cherry are my two favorites for end grain cutting boards. I agree with you on the planing (although some guys have done it successfully), and since I don't have a drum sander, I've just used a belt sander followed by an ROS to flatten it. I've also used a router bridge to get to a flat starting point, then finished with lighter belt and ROS sanding.

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  4. #4
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    I like the router idea
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  5. #5
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    I used a belt sander when I first started. Hogged it down close to where I wanted it, then cleaned up with a ROS. Now i used the drum sander, lots easier.

    If I didn't have the drum, I would use what Vaughn shows. Works great from what I hear.
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  6. #6
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    That router set up is sweet!

    Although I have yet to make an end grain cutting board, Stanley used to make (now Lie Neilsen and Veritas) make a low angle jack plane. The Stanley version was named the "butcher block" plane because it was designed for levelling off end grain cutting boards.
    Last edited by Rich Soby; 07-19-2011 at 11:55 AM.

  7. #7
    Vaughn,
    that is one very snazzy cutting board.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    I'm no expert, but I've made a few of them (and love them).
    And they're a pleasure to use!
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  9. #9
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    I have used Maple, Cherry,Walnut, Jatoba,Blood wood with good results. Any close grain hardwood will work well. I just belt sand and then use random orbit sander up to 400 grit, then finish with mineral oil/bees wax blend until the board won't take any more oil, then buff. I would definitely vote for the wide belt sander, that would be the way to go.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the suggestions and ideas. Vaughn, that router set up is a really good idea. I may try that.

    One question, though. Don't you have to get one side flat before doing the other side? How do you address that issue? Just shim the irregular side before you do the first routing?

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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