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Curly Maple, Hard Maple, and Pink Lyptus End Grain Cutting Board

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Project by Jonathan posted 11-30-2010 09:42 PM 3719 views 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is an end-grain cutting board, made as a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law. The last time she was here visiting, I brought my not-yet-completed first end grain cutting board http://lumberjocks.com/projects/32914 up from the shop to show her. She really liked it and threw out a hint that it would be a wonderful Christmas present. She said that it might be nice to have one a bit smaller and lighter than my original. So, this one weighs less than half of my first one, and is smaller in both width and length.

This is the first Christmas gift I have completed. There will be more to come.

Board Details:
Wood used: 4/4-curly maple, 4/4-pink lyptus, 8/4-pink lyptus, 8/4-hard maple
Board Dimensions: 10-15-/16” deep X 13-1/4” wide X 15/16” thick
Handle Recesses: 1/2” tall X 7/8” inset
Total Height: 1-7/32”, including feet
Feet: 9/32” tall, by 1” wide, stainless steel screws used in conjunction with feet from Ace Hardware, item # 5425277. They work fairly well, although they are not skid-proof. If you push on the side of the board, it will slide on the counter, but they do offer enough resistance to keep the board from moving while applying downward pressure, as is the case with most knife work.
Weight: 3-pounds, 4-ounces
Glue used: Titebond III
Finish Applied: Mineral Oil… and lots of it. I put 10-thick coats of mineral oil on this over the course of about a week’s time. It is certainly saturated! I also applied George’s Clubhouse Wax as a topcoat.

I used a roundover bit in the router on the top edge, and a cove bit to make the recessed handles, then handsanded all other edges. This is sanded up through 220-grit.

I made the handles this way after seeing another cutting board in a shop with a similar recessed handle design. Unfortunately, I broke my Bosch router edge guide when making this board… I set it on the edge of the table and apparently didn’t have the weight facing the right direction and it fell onto the concrete and broke in half. I now only have one side to the edge guide. I might try and glue it back together and if that doesn’t work, I’ll have to buy a new one.

I like these rubber feet used in this way, but they are not tall enough to really be able to slide your fingers under the board if you don’t have some sort of handle on the side. I will always use some sort of feet on this style of board, not just to elevate it for ease of picking the board up, but more importantly, so that air can circulate while the board is drying.

I thought the curly maple would have more of an impact on the border than it did. Maybe on a thicker board, it would’ve worked better? I used 8/4 hard maple and 8/4 pink lyptus in the center of the board to try and minimize glue lines. As you can see from the photos, the two different maples turned out vastly different in color once oiled, as well as the lyptus being two different tones. I used the pink lyptus at my wife’s request.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."





19 comments so far

View degoose's profile

degoose

7038 posts in 2041 days


#1 posted 11-30-2010 09:48 PM

You have made us proud Grasshopper, you have learnt your lessons well and kept the grain orientation …well done..Maybe next time more of a stagger..IMHO

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View NedB's profile

NedB

658 posts in 2251 days


#2 posted 12-01-2010 12:10 AM

Beautiful Board! I wish I could locate 8/4 Lyptus. I have a local yard which can get 4/4, but that’s about it. I’m going to have to retrofit the board I gave my mother last christmas with feet, she says it is too heavy to move. Now I know where to get nice looking ones.
the stagger looks great, by the way.

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1 http://nedswoodshop.blogspot.com

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1736 days


#3 posted 12-01-2010 02:26 AM

Thanks for the feedback guys. I didn’t want the pattern to be too busy, so that’s why I designed it that way.

I forgot to thank “los” for getting me the info. on these feet, as he used them on a couple of projects before. The feet came with 4-screws, but I wasn’t sure if they were stainless since the package didn’t say, so I went over to the loose bins and picked-up 4-stainless steel screws. I think they were about $0.15/each? I also predrilled the holes for them, which I forgot to mention above.

Here’s the link to the feet:
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3678399&kw=5425277&origkw=5425277&searchId=50091012194

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11663 posts in 2374 days


#4 posted 12-01-2010 03:21 AM

Very nice board design !
If the original screws stick to a magnet , they’re not stainless : )
I replace all of my cutting board feet screws with stainless ones as well .
While looking at the close-up picture at your “feet” link , it appears that there are metal washers inset into the feet….is it just my eyes ? Are the washers stainless ?
I’ve never heard of pink lyptus before…..is it different than regular lyptus ?

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

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1736 days


#5 posted 12-01-2010 03:37 AM

Dusty,

I didn’t have a magnet with me at the store, and didn’t think to go looking around for one. Besides, the screws that came in the package with the feet were a little too long anyway.

Yes, there is a metal washer, but I’m not sure if it’s stainless or not? My guess is that it is not, but I could be wrong. I do have one other package that is unopened, so I guess I can check those feet to find out.

Pink Lyptus is lyptus, but pink, at least, that’s what they call it at the lumber supplier I shop at. It definitely has a pink color to it, compared to other regular lyptus I’ve seen. Beyond that, I can’t really tell you, as I’ve not had a piece of “regular” lyptus in my hands, let alone being able to do a side-by-side comparison. Maybe someone else can shed more light on the subject?

If you look at some of my recent projects, you’ll notice the consistent “pink” tint to the wood. That is how I buy it. It certainly loves to splinter, I can tell you that much… you really have to mind your edges and pay attention that you work with the grain as it tears out pretty easily.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11663 posts in 2374 days


#6 posted 12-01-2010 03:44 AM

I was just researching the Pink lyptus and it apparently is further out from the heartwood and is less dense than the darker red lyptus , and the sapwood gets even paler.
Thanks for making me learn something new tonight : ) I was only familiar with the darker Lyptus.

”Lyptus┬« lumber varies in color from dark red to light pink. The heartwood is red to pink and the sapwood
is paler. Lumber densities vary depending on color, the darker wood being denser than the lighter, pinker
toned wood.”

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

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1736 days


#7 posted 12-01-2010 04:32 AM

Dusty,

From the little bit I’ve read about lyptus, this is certainly in the “lighter weight” category. Certainly doesn’t seem as heavy as the pure heartwood stuff, in comparing what I have to what I’ve read others post about it. I did see some even lighter pieces at the lumber supply store, so I must have grabbed pieces that are a bit closer to the red heartwood.

Originally, I mainly bought the pink lyptus because my wife participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure in San Diego a little over a week ago now (a 60-mile walk over a 3-day span) and I made some fundraiser pieces that I wanted to have a pink tone and pink lyptus is what I found, so it worked out. My intent was to make a series of projects, entitled “Pink at Heart” that featured pink lyptus, typically running through the middle of the project, hence the name.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View los's profile

los

43 posts in 2236 days


#8 posted 12-01-2010 05:08 AM

Jonathan,

The board looks great! I love the handles you made with the cove bit(I might have to steal that idea!)

View Douglas Dahl's profile

Douglas Dahl

28 posts in 1801 days


#9 posted 12-01-2010 05:46 AM

wow this is beautiful it is very cool you should make more it is the best ive seen you did great.

-- Life is like a box of burls...

View SouthernBoy's profile

SouthernBoy

38 posts in 1448 days


#10 posted 12-01-2010 05:41 PM

Jonathan, I was wondering what you would sell you cutting bards for?

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1736 days


#11 posted 12-01-2010 06:23 PM

SouthernBoy,

That is a good question. Unfortunately, I don’t have a concrete answer for you as I haven’t sold anything. If you were to sell a board like this, or any other board really, I would think it would be most cost effective to produce a run of them at once… say a small batch of a dozen or so. That way, once you have everything setup, you can run all of your boards through for the first glue-up, then glue them up, reset for the other cuts, then glue-up again, etc.

If I were to take into account an “hourly shop rate” plus materials, both of the boards I have produced so far would be really expensive and they wouldn’t ever sell, since I have hours and hours into each board, especially the first one. One reason is because I have not honed my techniques enough yet to simply crank these out. The other reason is because I make them one at a time, rather than a batch of them at once.

I have tried to do some research on selling boards as well, and it really seems to depend on how and where you’re selling them. Are you selling them to a shop that is then going to put their markup into the equation as well? Are you selling them yourself at some sort of fair? Even the fairs you sell at can make a huge difference. It would depend on the demographics of those in attendance.

To make a long story short, there are so many variables that have to be taken into account when pricing your work. I’m sure others can chime in on this topic.

If someone were to approach me at this point-in-time and commission me to produce a similar cutting board, I’d try to be competitive on pricing, even though I know it’s going to take me a lot longer to produce right now. And when I say “be competitive,” I mean with the other professionally produced boards out there, not the cheap, mass produced boards at the larger stores. I’m talking about more the hand-crafted type boards.

I don’t want to be slanderous, so I won’t mention specific names, but I’ve looked at some of the widely available, easily recognized boards lately, the ones that are in higher end cooking stores, and even a lot of those are made from pretty small “scraps” of maple. And with that construction, comes more glue lines, which is harder on knives. These are thicker than the ones I’ve made, but also a touch smaller in dimension and retail for about $120, and the price goes up as the dimensions increase.

Even though it took me a long time to make each one since I’m still learning (and making one at a time), my time is still worth something. I would equate the low hourly rate for me at this time, to the price of education. With each board, you’ll hopefully become more proficient, getting a bit faster each time. After the proficiency comes, I’d think you should be able to complete 1-average board in 1.5-2.5ish hours total, but that’s if you’re making a run of them at once. At this point, it took me several times longer than that to make this board, and I don’t even know how many hours I spent on the first board, but that was due to having to recut and reglue several different times because of wind checking within the board. That’s an entirely different subject… make sure you’re using quality stock! That’s my best educated guess. Again, others with more experience here will hopefully chime in, even if this subject has been broached on many an occasion.

The most difficult part of this board was making the handles. But again, that’s because I had never done them this way before. I should’ve set-up stop blocks, but didn’t. (I made a serving tray for my wife with very shallow finger notches and used stop blocks on that and it worked quite well.) I need a workbench that I can secure the piece in, then put stop blocks on from there. That would’ve knocked a ton of time off this and I wouldn’t have had to go back and clean it up as much with a scraper and sandpaper.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1736 days


#12 posted 12-01-2010 09:26 PM

I don’t have the router setup going, but I was thinking these handles would be super easy for anybody that has a router table. Just set up some stop blocks, then gradually push your fence back until you’ve reached whatever inset you’re looking for. I will have to try it this way once I get the Incra system setup for my router. It’s all screwed to a piece of plywood right now, but I don’t think the insert is the correct one for my Bosch 1617EVS? I haven’t even tried to get it setup yet, as I haven’t really needed it bad enough at this point. However, now that my router edge guide is broken, I might have to play around with the Incra setup a bit. I’m still reading through all the material I have for it. I will probably attempt to use it more after the holidays. Everything on my plate at this point, I don’t really need it for since I had the list drawn up before I got the Incra setup.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View tnrick's profile

tnrick

9 posts in 1480 days


#13 posted 12-01-2010 09:51 PM

Jonathan, I sell my 12X18X1 boards for $60 in the Knoxville, TN area. I like your board very much! I never thought of changing the direction of the grains, I think that’s brilliant! You have a very nice board there! Thanks for sharing it!

View NedB's profile

NedB

658 posts in 2251 days


#14 posted 12-02-2010 12:22 AM

A few years back I was fortunate enough to hear a presentation by the scientist who ‘commercialized’ what we now know as Lyptus. There is a local college near me with a wood sciences lab, and they were the ones who figured out how to make the lumber saleable. One interesting fact I distinctly recall is that unless specially treated, the wood turns Black, so they soak the entire logs in a food preservative prior to milling. One treatment for the entire log (it stays in there awhile) does the trick, we the consumer do not need to do anything more to it. Also, Lyptus is a gengineered product, all of the wood we use are clones of certain ‘mother’ trees which had the characteristics they selected for. It is extremely fast growing, all of the trees are less than 15 yrs old when harvested. there are no growth rings, what you see in the cross cuts are actually wet/dry cycles showing up in the wood. It is extremely dense, and has a specific gravity of .78 for pink, .82 for red. In comparison, rock maple has a gravity of .63. (source weyerheuser white paper ), also it is a very Hard wood, the Janka rating expressed in lbs for rock maple is 1450, pink lyptus is 1475, red lyptus is 1850!

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1 http://nedswoodshop.blogspot.com

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1736 days


#15 posted 12-02-2010 01:27 AM

NedB,

There is a bit of new information in your post that I had not read about before. I knew it was an “engineered” wood, and is marketed as sustainable, since it grows very quickly on plantations in South America. Didn’t know about the lack of growth rings, the use of a preservative, or that they all basically are clones of a handful of trees. Hmm, interesting.

I didn’t realize they soak the logs before milling, but you’re saying it is a “food preservative” that they use, so I’m thinking it’s OK to use in this situation where the food will be in contact with it?

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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