The Yin-Yang End Grain Boards

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Project by JL7 posted 11-12-2013 04:15 PM 3170 views 20 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a fun challenge…..but hard to photograph. Pics 4 and 5 are using this mornings sunlight. The mineral oil really darkened the boards, so the symbols tend to get lost is the mix, but live and learn.

Primary woods used are Padauk and Purpleheart, along with Walnut, Maple and on one board, Cherry.

People have been asking about how the symbol is done in end grain and I only have a few pics but here we go:

The symbol itself is actually very simple geometry:

In this case, I used a 1” round nose bit to hog out the semi-circles is each half of the block:

Glue a 1” dowel in each half (contrasting Maple and Walnut). (no pics sorry). I cut off the excess dowel in the band saw and then plane each half flat again.

Now use a 1/2” round nose bit to hog out a semi-circle into the dowels you just planed flat and glue the contrasting colors in each half (and plane back down, which results in this:

Use an 1/8” round nose to carve the 2 small circles and glue it all together to get this:

I should note too that the Incra fence on the router table is a real bonus for this kind of work… worries about matching up all these different cuts.

There is a blog HERE with some cutting and gluing tips..

Here’s a couple pics before the oil:

Thanks for looking!

18 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5226 posts in 3151 days

#1 posted 11-12-2013 04:33 PM

Hats off to you.
Jeff, you really have skills. These are so cool. And precise too.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View KnotCurser's profile


1966 posts in 2338 days

#2 posted 11-12-2013 06:15 PM

Very cool!

Next you have to try phases of the moon. :-)


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Hawaiilad's profile


2793 posts in 2290 days

#3 posted 11-12-2013 06:26 PM

Another very nice looking board Jeff

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View brg's profile


19 posts in 1319 days

#4 posted 11-12-2013 06:57 PM

This is a great technique to make these Jin-Jang signs. Thank you for sharing.

View patron's profile


13497 posts in 2610 days

#5 posted 11-12-2013 06:59 PM

great build jeff

you are really taking this
half and glue back style to it’s great reveals

well done

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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

20095 posts in 1607 days

#6 posted 11-12-2013 07:39 PM

Well thought out. Very cool.

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

View eddie's profile


8109 posts in 1883 days

#7 posted 11-12-2013 10:54 PM

Jef got to try this , love em

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View ShaneA's profile


6143 posts in 1868 days

#8 posted 11-12-2013 10:59 PM

Dang fine work Jeff. Great imagination and execution.

View oldnovice's profile


5220 posts in 2637 days

#9 posted 11-12-2013 11:08 PM

I like how you did this and of course the end results! Very fine indeed.

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

View kdc68's profile


2507 posts in 1546 days

#10 posted 11-12-2013 11:24 PM

Great detailed description. You have demystified this head scratcher…..Awesome work as always !

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View JL7's profile


8324 posts in 2234 days

#11 posted 11-13-2013 12:01 AM

Thanks for all the great comments…..I appreciate it!

Steve – You are one of the great board masters! Thanks for the inspiration…...

Bob – truth be told, David, Patron (another master of the craft) sent me a moon phase box awhile back and opened up my mind to these ideas…..thanks David…..

Really appreciate everyone stopping by….

View Roger's profile


19110 posts in 2073 days

#12 posted 11-13-2013 12:33 AM

Really kool. Well done.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Dave's profile


11382 posts in 2109 days

#13 posted 11-13-2013 12:44 AM

Jeff you have done well. If you dig in the meaning of Yin and yang it goes DEEP.
Nice work my friend.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View jay_in_cgohio's profile


21 posts in 943 days

#14 posted 11-14-2013 01:08 AM

Awesome work. Well thought out process

View DIYaholic's profile


19037 posts in 1944 days

#15 posted 11-14-2013 03:34 AM

You have certainly figured out the artistic and accurate….
ebb and flows of end grain cutting boards.
The Yin-Yang “building blocks” is just another fine example of your keen skills and eye for detail!

Thanks for enlightening us….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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