End Grain Cutting Board

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Project by handplane posted 11-03-2007 08:35 PM 3028 views 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is an end grain cutting board made of many different types of wood. I used maple, white oak, walnut, mahogany, purpleheart, and bubinga to glue up a giant wooden cube. I then used the bandsaw to resaw 1” thick slabs off to get 6 cutting boards.

Next I used a Performax 16-32 drum sander to remove the bandsaw marks and get the bottom of each board relatively flat. Then I was insane enough to run these through a planer, although I removed only 0.001 inch per pass, to make them glass smooth.

The only regret in the whole process was the routing of the groove to catch liquids on one side. Routing in end grain is extremely difficult to control with a hand router, especially when transitioning from one wood species to the next. As the wood density changes the router wants to jump. If I ever do this again I’ll skip the groove completely.

They are finished with salad bowl finish.

-- - Scott "handplane"

16 comments so far

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3995 posts in 3151 days

#1 posted 11-03-2007 08:37 PM

These are great. Xmas is coming, I better get back in the shop!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14037 posts in 3071 days

#2 posted 11-03-2007 10:02 PM

nice looking board , bet glue up was a challenge. what kind of glue did you use ?

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View handplane's profile


35 posts in 2948 days

#3 posted 11-03-2007 11:29 PM

Thanks! Glue up was messy and took several days but wasn’t too difficult. I used West System slow setting epoxy. The critical part is getting each sequential row planed completely flat on both sides before you start gluing so you can glue the next row to the block without any gap issues. Then it’s just glue, clamp, and repeat until the block is as big as you want the finished boards to be.

-- - Scott "handplane"

View TomFran's profile


2948 posts in 3082 days

#4 posted 11-04-2007 12:48 AM

Very nice cutting boards!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View cckeele's profile


76 posts in 2960 days

#5 posted 11-04-2007 02:41 AM

Awesome. Great project.

-- All donations should be made out to me and in the form of wood or tools ~Chris

View Andy's profile


1621 posts in 2996 days

#6 posted 11-05-2007 02:53 PM

Love the colors…...nicely done too!

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

View Duckarrowtypes's profile


68 posts in 2992 days

#7 posted 11-06-2007 10:43 PM

This has a beautiful handmade quality to it that isn’t apparent to me in the other cutting boards such as TWW. Well done!

View HandsOgold's profile


95 posts in 3092 days

#8 posted 11-07-2007 06:54 PM

sometimes art should remain art. Please do not use this as a REAL cutting board. Walnut is a toxic wood and shouldnt come in contact with food. Likewise walnut shavings should never be placed in a compost heap for the same reason. Your board is fabulous. Hang on the wall and let it be admired, in safety.

-- Dan

View BigDan's profile


2 posts in 3213 days

#9 posted 11-07-2007 07:00 PM

Additionally, even though end grain is the “traditional” and “proper” surface for cutting blocks, it is highly absorbent. If you do want to use any wooden cutting board, one should be reserved for cutting raw meat (or use plastic) and use a different one for vegetables and cooked meat, so as to avoid health problems.

View handplane's profile


35 posts in 2948 days

#10 posted 11-07-2007 08:23 PM

Well I certainly appreciate all the nice comments! My intention for this board was that it not be simply admired, but that it actually be used. The design of the board is achieved by simply gluing blocks of 8/4 woods of different colors together to try to achieve a random look. There wasn’t any significant artistic design effort put into it. I promise not to have my feelings hurt if it gets scratched or damaged. Having said that, I only use mine to cut bread – meats and wet vegetables should be cut on plastic boards. My relatives who received them as gifts likely will never cut on them at all – much to my dismay! I did intentionally try to use dense woods with closed pores on the endgrain to avoid absorbing liquids and causings issues though. This was evidently kind of successful because the cutting board oil I put on some of them didn’t want to soak in very much.

As for the toxicity of walnut – unless you are a horse or a plant growing in the vicinity of the roots of a walnut tree you are pretty safe. While it is true that some humans are allergic to the pollen of walnut trees, for the most part walnut isn’t an issue for people. Please refer to the following links for the full story:

-- - Scott "handplane"

View FosterFurn's profile


9 posts in 2788 days

#11 posted 04-08-2008 05:40 PM

First of all the cutting board looks amazing. Also I’m glad you are actually using it. I wanna try one soon with some maple stock I got around.

-- -Mark Foster, MD for our art/wood

View Dusty56's profile


11781 posts in 2776 days

#12 posted 07-15-2008 11:15 PM

Utterly fantastic colors and workmanship !!! I’ve got to try an end grain board one of these days : ) Saved as a favorite for future inspiration : )
PS …I use Black Walnut in almost every board I make and no one has died ….yet !!! LOL

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 2791 days

#13 posted 07-15-2008 11:48 PM

Great job!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View Michael Brailsford's profile

Michael Brailsford

242 posts in 2681 days

#14 posted 07-25-2008 05:54 PM

Great work and a great solution for mountains of cut-offs.

-- Michael A. Brailsford

View Ken90712's profile


16034 posts in 2276 days

#15 posted 10-30-2009 01:13 PM

Board is nice, I have been making them for a while as well. I did some research as well on using walnut wood. My doctor and from what I read say its safe. With that said I put 10 coats of 50/50 salad bowl finish and mineral spirits so its safe to say its sealed.

nice job!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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