My Cutting Board Experience

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Project by qball posted 12-19-2011 11:05 PM 1487 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well I decided to finally join the cutting board club. Here are my first 3 cutting boards.
Board #1 Walnut & Maple
Board #2 Walnut, Maple, & Cherry
Board #3 Walnut, Maple, Cherry, & Oak This one was made from scrap of random widths. I measured all my scraps and then used CBDesigner to come up with a pattern that was pleasing to the eye. If you have never used CBDesigner I highly recommend it, and its free!!!

Can anyone tell me what the white specs are in the maple? They were not noticeable before I applied the finish, at least I don’t think so. I keep applying mineral oil but they just will not disappear.

If you don’t like sanding don’t even bother making one of these. I haven’t ever sanded so much. I started out with a ROS and 80 grit but moved over to the belt sander and 80 grit for the second and third. It’s amazing the difference between the two!!! Now all I need is a order large enough to justify buying a drum sander!!!

Another thing I ran into was the power in a set of parallel clamps. If you look closely at the second cutting board you can see the outer edges became compressed during the glue up. I did place a 3rd clamp in the middle however it didn’t seem to help. The 3rd one I made I used mdf cauls to try to help reduce the wood compression however there is still a slight bow on the ends. Has anyone else ever dealt with this? Am I just applying too much clamping pressure?

6 comments so far

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 3147 days

#1 posted 12-20-2011 03:59 AM

qball, very nice boards. I too have the white specs in some recent maple. I’m thinking both yours and mine are soft or sugar maple, not the rock/hard maple that’s much tighter grain. Hard maple I’ve used didn’t have the spots. That said, I will be watching your post to see who has the answer!

Cauls are the answer, at least for the recent boards I’ve made. c below.


-- Smitty

View danielt's profile


7 posts in 2589 days

#2 posted 12-20-2011 04:28 AM

I had the same problem with the edges bowing from the clamps. I just trimmed the sides square on the crosscut sled and you can’t really tell. On subsequent boards I used cauls and didn’t have the problem again.

Maybe the MDF cauls you used had too much flex to them. My cauls were made from 2×4’s.

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3305 days

#3 posted 12-20-2011 09:59 AM

It is amazing how much bowing can happen. I have had to do the trimming option also, but stiff maple cauls helped a lot. I have also tried to glue up sections. Nice job on these boards. i use CBDesigner and it is great.
I bought a used 16/32 drum sander and it has been worth it. The wood through the center looks cool. The one with the black stripe.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View degoose's profile


7245 posts in 3555 days

#4 posted 12-20-2011 10:18 AM

I am especially impressed with your grain orientation… and the flow you have achieved…well done…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 2797 days

#5 posted 12-20-2011 01:50 PM

Your CB designs really stand out, nice job. We have all have the bowing effect. I sometimes accent the curve and just leave it to give the CB a different look. As to the white specks; I do not know where you bought the wood, but I found buying hardwood from the box stores is not the best place to buy hardwood. The one time I needed a different color for a CB, I went and bought a piece of “hardmaple” at the box store and wasn’t convinced it was really rock maple. The sanding will get better with experience; you will learn how to prefit the pieces before hand and make adjustments during glueup to help eliminate some of the sanding. I know first hand, because I do not have a drum sander and sand by hand. We look forward to your next CB.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4082 days

#6 posted 12-20-2011 03:21 PM

Welcome to the club.
I think they look fantastic. Next time you will know how much work they are, and it will not be so bad.

Glue ups are always frantic. Cauls and trial runs help.

Good job,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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