First End-Grain Cutting Boards

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Project by harriw posted 12-22-2012 05:11 AM 2529 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Jumping on the band wagon here, I just made my first pair of cutting boards. Both are Christmas presents – one for my parents, the other for my wife’s parents. Truth be told, I’ve been dying to try to make one of these for years now – ever since my wife bought one at a craft show and gave it to me for my birthday. I’m definitely hooked. They’re a lot of work (especially if you don’t have a planer or jointer yet and have to drive around town asking friends and co-workers to help you mill things down at various stages), but they’re a relatively quick project that’s a lot of fun, and extremely rewarding. And what you wind up with when you’re done is just so cool :)

These are maple, cherry, and walnut end-grain boards. Finished dimmensions are 18.75” x 11.5” x 1.25.” I hadn’t planned to make them quite this long, but I had virtually no loss to snipe after my initial glue-up, so i was able to get a few more strips than I expected. Figured I might as well use them :) Designed using the free CBdesigner program (do a quick forum search and you’ll find it), and built in the same manner as those done by Mark (The wood whisperer) and Steve (WWMM).

The lighter one with the cherry outer edges is intended to match my parents’ light cherry kitchen cabinets. The other, which is a bit more walnut-and-maple-heavy, is supposed to match my in-laws new kitchen floor (it’s a type of poplar – similar to tulip wood I believe – that has very contrasting light and dark grain).

Finish is a few coats of mineral oil (had some problem with that – i went overboard and it started seeping back out). I let it sit for a day or two, then washed them down in the sink. That raised the grain a bit, so I re-sanded (down to 320 grit) and wiped them down with mineral spirits, and they look just right now. As a bonus, I’m hoping that the “pre-wash” and re-sand will cut down a bit on grain lift as they use and clean the boards.

Also, I found out the hard way that 50-grit on a belt sander is WAY too aggressive to eliminate the glue squeeze-out after final glue-up. I spent hours, but couldn’t for the life of me manage to sand out all those scratches – the end grain is just too hard. I dropped to 80-grit on the second board, and was MUCH more careful with the belt sander. I think I might even start at 120-grit on the belt sander next time. Actually, I think I’m adding a router sled to my to-do list.

-- Bill - Western NY

9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3816 days

#1 posted 12-22-2012 05:41 AM

Beautiful board.great job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30152 posts in 2577 days

#2 posted 12-22-2012 10:07 AM

Looks like a great job.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1235 posts in 4238 days

#3 posted 12-22-2012 10:43 AM

Nice job on your first two. Welcome to the addiction. Merry Christmas. Bob

-- Bob A in NJ

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3265 days

#4 posted 12-22-2012 11:09 AM

They look great!

-- Dreaming patterns

View prattman's profile


445 posts in 2357 days

#5 posted 12-22-2012 01:07 PM

Great looking boards.

-- Everyone calls me Ed or Eddie , mom still calls me Edward if she is mad at me.

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2647 days

#6 posted 12-22-2012 01:45 PM

Beautiful boards and if really used, great kitchen/cook tools. Great job on these.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View harriw's profile


129 posts in 2446 days

#7 posted 12-22-2012 02:32 PM

Thanks guys!

My name is Bill, and I have a cutting board problem….. :)

-- Bill - Western NY

View Jacob's profile


85 posts in 2518 days

#8 posted 12-22-2012 02:33 PM

Great looking boards!
I just finished two boards myself and the router sled was a must, I whipped a temporary one up out of scrap 2×4 and bit of cheap mdf shelf material it is just big enough to do my two small boards.


View Sergio's profile


470 posts in 2931 days

#9 posted 12-23-2012 09:56 PM

great job !!! Just made my first one and I do know the problems with sanding.

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

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