End Grain Top, A true labor of love

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Project by Chad Hamlin posted 09-01-2011 05:17 AM 4520 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have had the opportunity to build several, end grain, butcher block cutting boards when a close friend asked if i could make a counter top for a kitchen island. The process is the same, but it is considerably more work to build a larger top…especially in a small shop like mine. I was intrigued by the opportunity and jumped at the chance. I chose to use rock maple, when i typically use soft maple, and i was very happy with my decision. It was a laborious process, but with care in each step, i wound up with a product that i was very happy with. The only real challeng that i faced was the limits of my shop. Un fortunately, the one tool that i need, i do not yet have and that is a drum sander. I have found that my belt sander and orbital are sufficient for small cutting boards; however, i did not want to chance it on this. Ultimately, i ended up paying a local cabinet shop a few bucks to run it thru their drum sander a few times. I was very happy with the resultant product. The only issue that i had in constructing the top was when it left my shop on the way to the cabinet maker’s shop. During the 30 minute trip, the sun apparenlty caused a reaction in one of the two sections and caused about 3/8” of a curl on each side. Once i flipped it over, and let it set over night, it was back to flat. I think that it was simply the moisture in the glue. Regardless, i was concerned for a bit. Once i biscuited the two sections together and lathered it in mineral oli, it was good to go. It is currently in a crate, headed to Pittsburgh….hopefully it will arrive safely.

Thanks for viewing…

14 comments so far

View kiefer's profile


5618 posts in 2633 days

#1 posted 09-01-2011 05:23 AM

Great job.

-- Kiefer

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3307 days

#2 posted 09-01-2011 05:36 AM

looks good

smart move on the outsourcing the sanding

welcome to LJ’s

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

View Ken90712's profile


17553 posts in 3154 days

#3 posted 09-01-2011 10:32 AM

Nice work on this. I had the same thing happen to a board in the sun light as well. It flattened out once it sat inside over night. Why are you using Tite Bond II ? I only use III for cutting board and counter tops as its water proof. Just curious.

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

View bigkev's profile


198 posts in 2594 days

#4 posted 09-01-2011 03:08 PM

Very nice chad. That’s a lot of work but well worth the effort. Someone will be very happy with it.

-- Kevin, South Carolina

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3033 days

#5 posted 09-01-2011 03:14 PM

Very nice!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Chad Hamlin's profile

Chad Hamlin

24 posts in 2429 days

#6 posted 09-01-2011 03:35 PM

@ Ken, thanks for the note regarding the glue type. I used TBII because i had it in the shop and it has always worked very well for smaller projects. In the end, it worked well for this one, once i got it sealed. Once i am out of my gallon jug of TBII, ill pick up some TBIII. Thanks for the advice.

View Ken90712's profile


17553 posts in 3154 days

#7 posted 09-01-2011 04:35 PM

No worries your welcome. Nice work, I have made over 100 boards and go thru III like its water.

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

View Michael Wilson's profile

Michael Wilson

588 posts in 2456 days

#8 posted 09-01-2011 04:44 PM

That’s gorgeous. Any tips on where I can go to learn about that process? It looks like the kind of task I’m well suited for and I should get sufficiently good at it before Christmas rolls around :-)

Color me inspired. o/

View Michael Wilson's profile

Michael Wilson

588 posts in 2456 days

#9 posted 09-01-2011 04:44 PM

MUST do this.

View Chad Hamlin's profile

Chad Hamlin

24 posts in 2429 days

#10 posted 09-01-2011 04:59 PM

@ Madwilliamflint, if you want to provide me an email, i can send you more pictures. The friend that i built this for, asked that i document the entire process for him. You can see, step by step, how to do it. I will tell you that if you have not built any cutting boards (same process) i would start small. Doing a larger top like this can be a bit of a challenge, but is the exact same process. I will warn you though….it is addicting.

View DamnYankee's profile


3301 posts in 2528 days

#11 posted 09-04-2011 12:45 PM

Nice work…though it was the TS that drew may attention to open the blog…I have the same TS

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View freighttrain's profile


120 posts in 2589 days

#12 posted 09-07-2011 01:23 AM

great job on the piece very nice top i was wondering about the table saw myself im thinking about getting a rigeid myself what is your opinion of it? again nice work

-- freighttrain,ky

View Chad Hamlin's profile

Chad Hamlin

24 posts in 2429 days

#13 posted 09-07-2011 03:22 AM

@freight train, I have had my ridgid TS for two years and I love it. When I bought it, they were pushing the ones with the granite tops. There are benefits to it, but there are drawbacks as well. The new version is back to cast iron and it is awesome. I know the powermatic fans and the saw stop fans are going to laugh, but my $500 saw has treated me very well. I am a big fan. One day, perhaps I’ll be able afford a $2,500 table saw, but until then, this one is getting the job done well!

View bvdon's profile


482 posts in 2981 days

#14 posted 09-11-2012 03:45 AM

Cool board. Yea… I saw the Ridgid… I have the R4511 w/granite. $300 new out the door at HD… still using it. One day will get something a little beefier – but it does the job if you take your time.

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