Can I join the Cutting Board Club?

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Project by Manitario posted 12-08-2010 06:46 AM 2114 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My first two cutting boards; both will be Christmas gifts. The first one is rock maple and walnut, the second is purpleheart, walnut and cherry. Unfortunately, you’ll see I didn’t line up end grain on the last row of the second board. Oops. Hopefully my family will be so dazzled by the exciting colours that they won’t notice.
Both finished with Watco Butcher block oil.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

11 comments so far

View Spoontaneous's profile


1334 posts in 3327 days

#1 posted 12-08-2010 02:01 PM

Hey, these are two really nice boards. You can always use the Pee Wee Herman come back on the grain matching and say, “I meant to do that”. In any case, I’d be glad to have either of them!

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3879 days

#2 posted 12-08-2010 03:38 PM

You are in the club now. Congrats.
I think they are both wonderful.
If you really don’t like your ‘mistake’, you could just cut it off.

Good job,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3048 days

#3 posted 12-08-2010 04:29 PM

I’m with Steve, but I’m also a bit OCD, so I’d cut it off myself. You’re only losing an inch (or so).

For me, I like the simplicity of the first one, as well as the proper wood choices if the boards will see a lot of use.

Just watch your grain orientation in the future (looks like the walnut in the first one is opposing the maple, which may cause slight issues since the woods will be moving in different directions) and you’ll be cranking out more beauties, one of which you might even get to keep!

Welcome to the club! Come back and visit again soon. :-)

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

View Kate's profile


400 posts in 3872 days

#4 posted 12-08-2010 04:45 PM

looks great
are you hooked yet?

-- Kate,

View McLeanVA's profile


491 posts in 3432 days

#5 posted 12-08-2010 05:17 PM

You’re in. The first rule of cutting board club is YOU DON’T TALK ABOUT CUTTING BOARD CLUB! Kidding, obvious movie reference.

Great job on your first boards. Glad to see another woodworker joining the ranks.

For some reason, maple is my absolute favorite for end grain boards.

Here are a few tips/points from one woodworker to another.

1. I noticed some lines/scratches on the maple board. I used to get a lot of them as well. This is due to my use of my Dewalt 734 planer to plane my boards after final glue up. It bugged me for quite a few boards and caused me to sand more than I wanted to before applying the finish. What I recently found when taking my planer apart was a few nicks (nibs of metal) on the metal guide next to my outfeed roller. I took a small metal file and filed them off. Problem solved.

2. I am like Jonathan, in that I end up cutting off any parts that just don’t seem like they belong. I aim big for my boards and 90% of the time end up taking pieces off and ending up with more precise, yet smaller boards. I’ve been known to cut near-finished boards in half just to correct an issue that bugged me.

3. Lining up perfectly sized blocks on a single glue up is very difficult and frustrating. Staggering or off-setting each block by a set amount keeps you from having to be exact. Also, like stacked bricks, it creates less stress points for breaking of the board is ever dropped from a counter top (it happens).

4. If your hands aren’t numb at the end of the day, you haven’t sanded enough. :) Spend the time on sanding the top and bottom of the boards until all blemishes are removed. Again, I had the exact same lines from my planer on my boards. Always plagued me, until I fixed the problem.

5. Upon the recommendation of my fellow LJs, I invested in a drum sander. Not for the average bear. They are expensive, but have improved the accuracy and safety of my boards a hundred times over.

With that said, you should be really proud of your foray into the cutting board world. Really nice work. There are some serious pros on here that will help you out along the way and improve your game. Best of luck in your future builds. You can now adorn the title of member in that “secret” club that we won’t talk about.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View woodcrafter47's profile


352 posts in 3103 days

#6 posted 12-08-2010 05:19 PM

You are there now ,Great board ,Thanks for posting it.

-- In His service ,Richard

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3034 days

#7 posted 12-08-2010 05:29 PM

Welcome to the club.

To get over the scratches a drum sander is a definite bonus. If you think they’re expensive you can always make one. Fun project too.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2932 days

#8 posted 12-09-2010 01:16 AM

Great board. I am in the camp of drum sander. It is a life saver in many situations. I still go finer grit with my random orbital sander.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2880 days

#9 posted 12-09-2010 05:55 AM

Thanks for the suggestions all; the mismatched end grain seriously bothers me, but I’ve already cut off significant bits due to various mistakes I made, so I figure I’m stuck with it.
McLean; thanks for the pointers, I need to open up my planer and adjust one of the knives as you suggested. I wish that I had the space for a drum sander in my shop, it would make things a whole lot easier.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View tnrick's profile


9 posts in 2792 days

#10 posted 12-09-2010 10:02 PM

Great looking boards!!!!

View curatio's profile


7 posts in 2994 days

#11 posted 12-12-2010 09:20 AM

I think the boards look great if they are your first two. Better than my first two came out. The more you do the better and more creative you will become. And unless you just love sanding then investing in a drum sander is money well spent. Not only for cutting boards but for everything you build. Just make sure you have a good dust collection system. There’s a ton of dust that comes out of there.

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