Bulge illusion end grain cutting board

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Project by BurrOak posted 569 days ago 3157 views 14 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s my attempt at a Bulge illusion end grain cutting board.
I was a little disappointed in the illusion but does show better in pictures.
The 1 1/2 inch board is 13 1/2 inches square with 7/8 inch blocks and 1/4 inch dowels.
The wood is hard maple and black walnut. I did fill in more dowels to the outside corners.
I doweled only one side and will try using 3/16 inch dowels on the other side hoping
for a better illusion, unless someone else can give me some advice

11 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13821 posts in 971 days

#1 posted 569 days ago

These are always cool.

Welcome to LJ’s

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Marcus's profile


1044 posts in 652 days

#2 posted 569 days ago

I’ve seen a few of these on here and always wonder how people go about making them. Do you make them board and then painstakingly go back and drill every little hole and glue a dowel in?

View BurrOak's profile


13 posts in 574 days

#3 posted 569 days ago

Marcus, I did drill the dowel holes after making the board. I used a drill press which speeded up the process.
But it still took about 3 hours of drilling and plugging. I drilled about a half inch deep and tried to hammer set the dowels which didn’t work. Use a block of wood to hand press into the bottom of hole which gave the glue a chance to ooze out.

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1822 days

#4 posted 568 days ago

What a cool board and nice job. I looks great…..

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

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

322 posts in 1194 days

#5 posted 568 days ago

Very clever! It looks to me like your illusion came thru loud and clear, especially on the straight on view. Good job!

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

View oldnovice's profile


3710 posts in 2001 days

#6 posted 568 days ago

This illusion is good enough to make you want to sand it or plane it flat, very good illusion and execution!

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

View Mark's profile


400 posts in 607 days

#7 posted 568 days ago

I think that’s outstanding. Well done

-- Mark

View Fishinbo's profile


11217 posts in 809 days

#8 posted 567 days ago

Awesome board! Looks really bulging or is it my eyes, interesting and effective design.

View Milton Toal's profile

Milton Toal

99 posts in 704 days

#9 posted 567 days ago

Lovely board. I shall have to try one. Well done.

-- Milton Toal, Doncaster, Melbourne Australia.

View Marc1979's profile


1 post in 34 days

#10 posted 34 days ago

I’ve found a couple different post regarding the bulge illusion cutting board. I’d like to try my hand at one and in one of the post it states, ‘the next one will be endgrain’ That would mean the current version has side grain facing up and that would mean there are end grain butt glue joints all over the board. We all know gluing end grain usually creates a weak joint and I was wondering how the board has stood the test of time? Have you had any trouble with the end grain joints failing or cracking open?

View BurrOak's profile


13 posts in 574 days

#11 posted 34 days ago

I haven’t experiment yet on larger or smaller squares and different pin sizes for a better illusion. You still have to glue strips together and resaw to get the checker board look. The only time I had trouble with glue joints was improper sawing for a tight joint. I believe the board would just as strong with end grain or side grain if properly sawn and glued.

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