Tips for Building a Freestyle End Grain Cutting Board

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Blog entry by JL7 posted 11-12-2013 05:04 PM 3229 reads 54 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Lately I’ve been building some end grain boards that don’t follow the “traditional” convention of the repeating pattern from one end to the other.


I call them Freestyle boards.

I put together a video that shows some cutting and gluing tips:

I really don’t have a lot of detail photos of some of the more complex blocks but I will share what I have so far:

These are some of the shapes:

The diamond shapes were inspired by Lazy Larry’s blog here:

The reality is, I cut a bunch of material to build a tumbling block board and my accuracy wasn’t there so I abandoned the project and just had a bunch of profiles laying around. These 2 photos show the 5 pieces that make up one diamond block:

I built a 60 degree jig for the router table to cut the 4 border blocks in the photos above and it really works well. It uses a 1/2” carbide up spiral bit and you just clamp a temporary fence on and cut away:

Smaller diamond shapes can be cut using a standard 45 or 60 degree router bit also:

For the round shapes, I started making my own dowels using the Veritas jig from Lee Valley, two different videos on that here:

I think these photos will give you an idea how the round shapes are made:

In the photos above, I am making 2 or 3 different profiles in the same blank.

Here are some photos for making corner blocks in a pattern:

Of course you don’t need to make fancy shapes at all….you can just glue up any combination of boards you want and be surprised will the results…...happy building.

Thanks for looking.

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

18 comments so far

View Sandra's profile


4478 posts in 740 days

#1 posted 11-12-2013 05:28 PM

Beautiful boards Jeff. The precision is fantastic, and I love the different patterns.
My favourite one is the lighter wood with the random patterns.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View harrywho's profile


113 posts in 1897 days

#2 posted 11-12-2013 05:33 PM

Great stuff Jeff!!!

-- Harry, Indiana

View Michael Wilson's profile

Michael Wilson

587 posts in 1155 days

#3 posted 11-12-2013 05:49 PM

This is absolutely delightful. I’ve got to spend some serious time going over your videos and such.

Thanks very much for posting it.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1540 posts in 937 days

#4 posted 11-12-2013 06:41 PM

Beautiful boards and some crazy, mad, techniques Jeff.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Andy's profile


1537 posts in 2573 days

#5 posted 11-12-2013 06:48 PM

Wow! Outstanding designs, all of them, and your attention to detail is spot on.
Not for the faint of heart.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View patron's profile


13059 posts in 2006 days

#6 posted 11-12-2013 07:06 PM

excellent jeff

you have loosened your imagination
in some very rewarding ways

thanks for the share

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View michelletwo's profile


2261 posts in 1680 days

#7 posted 11-12-2013 07:13 PM

now these are wonderful unique and really have some great stuff here. thanks for the info & videos

-- We call the destruction of replaceable human made items vandalism, while the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources is called development.

View a1Jim's profile


112143 posts in 2242 days

#8 posted 11-12-2013 07:33 PM

Amazing wood and super great blog.

-- Custom furniture

View eddie's profile


7335 posts in 1279 days

#9 posted 11-12-2013 09:04 PM

awesome boards Jeff, the time in the shop did you well

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View StumpyNubs's profile


6195 posts in 1465 days

#10 posted 11-12-2013 09:27 PM

Always impressed with your work!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View DIYaholic's profile


13620 posts in 1340 days

#11 posted 11-12-2013 11:24 PM

It is always fascinating to observe a “Mad Scientist” in their laboratory….
Equally mesmerizing is watching an “Evil Genius” plot and plan….

You sir are a “Mad Genius”!!!
Always enjoy seeing your mind at work (& play) and your skills put to the test!!!

Thanks for taking us into your “laboratory” and showing us your tricks and tips!!!
Carry on….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View JL7's profile


7219 posts in 1630 days

#12 posted 11-13-2013 12:13 AM

Thanks folks….....much appreciated…...Randy, the “mad” part is right, not sure about the rest…...

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View Roger's profile


14649 posts in 1469 days

#13 posted 11-13-2013 12:35 AM


-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View Dave's profile


11170 posts in 1505 days

#14 posted 11-13-2013 12:46 AM

Dont give all your secrets away.
Great tips and tricks Jeff.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View lanwater's profile


3087 posts in 1599 days

#15 posted 11-13-2013 07:05 AM

Thanks for sharing your techniques.
The Ying and yang block is impressive. I would love to know how you did that one.
You do precision work for sure.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

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