First real endgrain cutting board

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Project by JoeinGa posted 01-05-2013 09:57 PM 1674 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been making (and giving away) cutting boards for almost 3 years. I always thought I was doing a pretty good job (based on the comments from those I’ve given them to). But once I found this place I realized mine arent THAT special compared to some of the boards I’ve seen here.

I have used endgrain pieces a couple times back when I used a belt sander to do all the rough material removal, but it has mostly been just small strips for contrasting colors. And then it was only so i could use up a piece of cutoff from a larger piece. Then I found LJs and see what cutting boards should REALLY look like! And boy-HOWDY am I ever impressed!

So I spent the first 2 weeks here looking at all the cutting boards I could find, and reading about all your techniques. Then I finally decided to give it a go. I wanted to start simple so this one is just oak and poplar. I cut the slices about 2” thick and laid them out. The rough cuts gave me a vague idea of what the layout would look like, so I glued ‘em up and decided to (GASP) run it through my DW735 planer!

I took infinitessimally small cuts turning the board end-to-end and side to side with each pass, but it wasnt till I started the oiling process that I realized that the grain of the oak pretty much matches the grain of the poplar. The finished board is 11.5” square and just a skosh under 1.75” thick. And because it’s so much heavier than the boards I usually make, I decided to put a finger groove on each side so you can grab it easier to pick it up off the counter. All in all, I’m pretty darn pleased with the end results.

The last pic is another board I made while doing this one, it is made from 100% cut-off pieces from other boards I’ve made. This one is kinda out of the box for me, because I usually try to have the strips “balanced” by size and color. (My wife says I’m ANAL, but I like to think that I’m just paying attention to detail)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

14 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

17969 posts in 1378 days

#1 posted 01-05-2013 10:02 PM

We all learn how little we know after we get here. But what a difference it makes!

Looks good.

Anal is a way of life.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2617 days

#2 posted 01-05-2013 10:05 PM

They look good Joe ,nice approach.

-- Custom furniture

View prez's profile


375 posts in 2451 days

#3 posted 01-06-2013 12:19 AM

I like your board…it looks good and heavy…..I need to make a few for my nephew who is a chef and wants me to make him one…I would have thought poplar would have been too porous for a cutting board…anyone out there ever use soft wood for cutting boards>????


-- George..." I love the smell of a workshop in the morning!"

View Dusty56's profile


11777 posts in 2728 days

#4 posted 01-06-2013 12:58 AM

The Oak is more porous than the Poplar , prez , especially Red Oak. Poplar is technically a hardwood.
Nice looking board : ) Did you seal the Oak with anything to prevent liquids from soaking into the pores ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View JoeinGa's profile


5451 posts in 1047 days

#5 posted 01-06-2013 01:08 AM

Thanks for the comments.
@Dusty,,, yeah about 8 coats of butcher block treatment (which is mostly mineral oil and bees wax)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Dusty56's profile


11777 posts in 2728 days

#6 posted 01-06-2013 01:12 AM

That ought to keep it at bay for a while : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Sergio's profile


427 posts in 1733 days

#7 posted 01-06-2013 10:38 AM

Very Nice! I like the combination of light colors.

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View Carl W Richardson's profile

Carl W Richardson

71 posts in 1535 days

#8 posted 01-06-2013 01:03 PM

Great job Joe!!! I especially like the way you stacked the pieces so that the endgrain created that unusual pattern..

Also glad to see that you now have a DW735.. Ain’t that a great machine???

-- Carl W Richardson, Tennessee Woodworker

View BusterB's profile


1715 posts in 1048 days

#9 posted 01-06-2013 02:32 PM

Nice work Joe!!! I just showed that picture to my wife and saw that “why cant you make me something like that” look in her eyes…sigh. Some really good projects you have been doing lately bud.

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View woodsmithshop's profile


1231 posts in 2586 days

#10 posted 01-06-2013 07:45 PM

very good looking board, and very simple design, just goes to show you, that sometimes simple is best

-- Smitty!!!

View USMC6531's profile


42 posts in 1700 days

#11 posted 01-07-2013 01:29 AM

Looks great, you did good work!

View prattman's profile


440 posts in 1158 days

#12 posted 01-07-2013 02:37 PM

Thats a good looking board Joe, keep up the good work.

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

View Rick M.'s profile (online now)

Rick M.

5667 posts in 1420 days

#13 posted 02-03-2013 05:57 AM

I like the bookmatched look.


View oldnovice's profile


4443 posts in 2408 days

#14 posted 02-03-2013 07:34 AM

Looks very good. I have oak and I have poplar maybe I should have a cutting board too!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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