My first three cutting boards

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Project by Kent posted 12-22-2007 08:04 AM 1849 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thanks to many of you fellow Lumberjocks, I have completed my first three cutting boards. The two on the left are end grain and the thin one on the right is not; it is more of a cheese tray I guess. I decided not to do it engrain since it fit better this way. These boards were made from walnut and cherry trees I hauled to my friends mill two years ago after they were cut down. The board in the middle is hickory and walnut.

The board on the left is the thickest and largest. That will remain in our kitchen but the other two are gifts.
I finished them with several applications of Mahoney’s walnut oil finish.

By the way, I have given up on running end grain boards through my planer. There is just too much effort going into the board by the time I want to “save an hour sanding”.... I may get the board to pass through two or three times, and move the dial 1/8 turn, then BOOM. board is history. Start over.

I recently purchased some hard maple and purple heart, and hope to be able to show you some more boards by new years! I might finish those with thinned salad bowl varnish to see how I like that.

10 comments so far

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 2961 days

#1 posted 12-22-2007 12:29 PM

I’d be keeping that middle one, too. They are all nicely done.

View Tony's profile


978 posts in 3116 days

#2 posted 12-22-2007 02:27 PM

Nice looking boards.

Try taking 1/32” passes, it takes a little longer, but it severly reduces the risk of damage, I tend to use a hand plane and belt sander first, then move onto the plane, just ensure that everything is level, then back to an orbital sander.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View miles125's profile


2179 posts in 3092 days

#3 posted 12-22-2007 03:15 PM

Hey those look great. I’m with Tony on the light planer passes.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Kent's profile


42 posts in 2921 days

#4 posted 12-23-2007 01:06 AM

Hey gentlemen, thanks for your posts. I found out the problem with my planer. There was a build up of wood shavings UNDER the blades, (between the drum and the blade) and the heavy gauge steel plate that holds the blades down is actually bent up, causing an uneven plane on the wood. No wonder it ruined a couple of boards. I will need to order a couple of parts. So, I have not given up yet on the idea of planing end grain cutting boards. On that note, I have learned, not only do you need sharp blades, and cut less than 1/32 but ease very slowly into the planer right before the piece hits the blades. Having a push board behind helps too, then a short prayer!

Enjoy your holidays!


View jerryw's profile


158 posts in 3002 days

#5 posted 12-23-2007 02:52 AM

nice end grain cutting boards. i built a stroke sander a few years ago just to sand end grain boards. Grizzly sells one for $1800. you can probably build one for $100 plus the cost of an electric motor. i made mine for $80 with used 1/3 horse motor that i had. it works great for sanding any flat panels. i sell cutting boards to support my woodworking habit.

-- jerryw-wva.

View Kent's profile


42 posts in 2921 days

#6 posted 12-23-2007 07:06 AM

i am interested in your stroke sander. can you post a pic or describe it?

View jerryw's profile


158 posts in 3002 days

#7 posted 12-23-2007 08:35 AM

Kent, go to and go to sanders to see a picture of one. basicly it is a horizonal belt sander with sliding table under the sanding belt. you hold the belt down on the wood with a pad. it is very easy to use without sanding low places in your panel. the stock # G5394 is the grizzly stroke sander. if i can get my daughter in law to take picture of mine and post it here, i will in the next few days.

-- jerryw-wva.

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

766 posts in 3260 days

#8 posted 12-25-2007 02:11 AM


Great job on the cutting boards!

If you really get into making them, you might also want to consider a wide belt sander as a solution. You should be able to control the tearout a whole lot better and it would reduce your time spent hand sanding.

-- Ethan,

View Kent's profile


42 posts in 2921 days

#9 posted 12-26-2007 01:20 AM

Thanks for your post Ethan.

I hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas!

I am considering investing in a sander and making 50 or more of these end grain boards. I already used these boards as excuse to buy more Besse Clamps. I could see making about 4 per weekend.

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 3123 days

#10 posted 12-26-2007 10:03 PM

The middle one is the keeper!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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