Framed endgrain board (*update... FAILURE)

  • Advertise with us
Project by JoeinGa posted 01-19-2013 12:25 AM 3550 views 4 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Framed endgrain board (*update... FAILURE)
Framed endgrain board (*update... FAILURE) No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
Zoom Pictures

A while back someone asked about enclosing an end grain cutting board with a frame. And pretty much everybody gave the idea a “thumbs down” because of all the usual reasons (expansion, warping, splitting, cracking, etc)

As it happened, just that morning I had glued up a frame on the one I was currently making (which is only my 2nd end grain board) Too late, it was already glued and clamped. Said I’d show it in a few days. Ok, so it’s been a few days :-)

Started out cutting up some oak and poplar pieces I had lying around the shop. I know poplar isnt the most popular wood for cutting boards, but I happen to really LIKE the green wood when it’s oiled. I glued it up in pairs, then glued the sections together 2 or 3 at a time.

I only had one piece of maple I wanted to do the frame with and it was about 1.25” short to do a complete frame at the corners. (RATS!) So rather than have to actually go out and BUY more maple, I came up with the idea to cut the corners off and (hopefully) it would add a decorative touch.

Since this baby is just over 1.5” thick I added finger groves on each side so it can be picked up easier. My router skills are not the best and ALL FOUR of the dang grooves each had a boo-boo when I entered the wood with my (hand held) router. (Oh well, live and learn)

Next was to slather it full of butcher block treatment overnight and then flood it with mineral oil over the next 2 or 3 days. Temps in my shop have been in the 20s and 30s at night and highs in the 60s during the past few days. So today I wiped it down and brought it into the house. I’m just gonna let it sit here inside for a few months and watch it to see if it expands enough to blow it apart. If it does, maybe I can slice off the frame and still save the board.

Here’s the obligatory answer to the “pics or it didnt happen” comment…










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

22 comments so far

View Joe Weaver's profile

Joe Weaver

518 posts in 3833 days

#1 posted 01-19-2013 01:05 AM

its a great looking board.

-- Joe, Ga

View patron's profile


13630 posts in 3488 days

#2 posted 01-19-2013 01:06 AM

looks good joe

only time will tell
on the frame parts

just keep it dry
and maybe store on edge
so both sides can breath
and not collect moisture underneath

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

View BusterB's profile


1970 posts in 2155 days

#3 posted 01-19-2013 01:24 AM

A very unique look Joe… Hope it hangs together bud. As for the boo-boo’s, if you hadnt pointed them out I wouldnt have noticed.

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

View Carl W Richardson's profile

Carl W Richardson

79 posts in 2641 days

#4 posted 01-19-2013 01:44 AM

Very impressive work there Joe… Nice job!!!!

-- Carl W Richardson, Tennessee Woodworker

View Ken90712's profile


17575 posts in 3336 days

#5 posted 01-19-2013 02:41 AM

I made one with Port Orford Cedar with a Purple Heart Frame. Crack 3 differnet times its in the scrap bin. I hope your is fine forever.

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

View prattman's profile


445 posts in 2264 days

#6 posted 01-19-2013 05:22 AM

That’s a good looking board Joe , and I think the corner cuts might just give enough “wiggle” room to make it stick together. Give us an update later on.

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

View BigDawg's profile


52 posts in 3867 days

#7 posted 01-19-2013 12:27 PM


Very cool. Keep us updated as to how the frame holds up over time. Nice Job.

-- Shawn DuGay, Wallingford, CT

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3214 days

#8 posted 01-19-2013 03:23 PM

Great job!! I like it, cutting the corners may be the answer.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3703 days

#9 posted 01-19-2013 04:18 PM

Great idea, and looks good too

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2154 days

#10 posted 01-19-2013 04:28 PM

Much as I’d love to say I figured out that cutting the corners off is how to make a framed end-grain board work…. I’d be lying! :-)
As you can see from the picture with the frame in clamps, the maple piece I had was just a tad short to do a complete frame, so I cut the corners off… just so I didnt hafta buy more maple.
I figure if it’s gonna explode, the difference in temperatures between the house and the shop just might “make it or break it”

Time will tell…

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

View stefang's profile


15950 posts in 3481 days

#11 posted 01-19-2013 07:10 PM

Extra nice board with the book matching. I hope it holds up well. Wood doesn’t always follow the rules.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 3313 days

#12 posted 01-21-2013 11:48 AM

nice grain on that board.
Hope it holds up.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View Buzz's profile


16 posts in 2839 days

#13 posted 01-22-2013 04:14 PM

Nice board. I have framed boards before and are still fine. The only thing I did different was my frame was all end grain also.

-- Buzz Oakfield New York

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2154 days

#14 posted 01-27-2013 04:40 PM

To steal a phrase from NASA , Huston, we have a problem :-)

Update … 01/27/2013… I found the frame had failed this morning.

We keep the house thermostat set at 70, which means the house fluctuates from about 68.5 to 72 (just as a point of reference, because my shop is unheated unless I’m in there so at night this week the temps have been down into the 20s and the highs are in the 60s during the day.

Most every day when I walked by the dining table I would give a quick check by running my fingers across the top and along the corners to feel is anything seemed amiss. Well, today I felt a bit of an edge sticking out at one of the corners and I thought “Uh Oh. This cant be good” This edge is one of the short sides of the frame.


So I took the board over near the window for better light and I see one of the long sides has split away (I know, I know, just like some of you TOLD me it would :-)


And I see that cutting the corners off didnt help in allowing the maple frame room to expand, much as I would have LOVED to take credit for the idea if it had :-)

But we all know that the best way to experience something is to do it yourself and see what happens. So now I know. Putting a frame around an end-grain cutting board is NOT a good idea. Luckily I didnt have anything invested in this except time, the wood was all left over pieces from other boards I had made. And extra luckily I ONLY MADE ONE of these.

So now I’ll take it back to the shop and cut off the frame and I’ll still have a decent size end-grain board to use.

As they say “Live and learn”

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

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2634 days

#15 posted 01-27-2013 05:11 PM

Whoa, don’t go to extremes!

It’s fixable and will have almost the exact same look you were going for with a few new ‘design’ features.

Just turn those into four breadboard ends that float on tenons or dowels, except in the center where they are pinned solidly.
A tenon on each end with a rabbet cut on each side that will slide into the frame ends that are cut with a T-slot cutter will hold them tightly although they can float side to side for expansion and contraction.
Only glue the tenons into the board itself.

Poof… you’ll have the look you were going for and it will be free to expand and contract.

BTW, it probably wasn’t temperature swing that got you but humidity and moisture content of the wood.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

showing 1 through 15 of 22 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics