The Yin-Yang End Grain Boards

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Project by JL7 posted 288 days ago 1538 views 19 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!

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

18 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


4788 posts in 2514 days

#1 posted 288 days ago

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


1813 posts in 1700 days

#2 posted 288 days ago

Very cool!

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


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Hawaiilad's profile


1922 posts in 1652 days

#3 posted 288 days ago

Another very nice looking board Jeff

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View brg's profile


9 posts in 681 days

#4 posted 288 days ago

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

View patron's profile


13017 posts in 1973 days

#5 posted 288 days ago

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

13783 posts in 970 days

#6 posted 288 days ago

Well thought out. Very cool.

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

View eddie's profile


7253 posts in 1245 days

#7 posted 288 days ago

Jef got to try this , love em

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View ShaneA's profile


5289 posts in 1230 days

#8 posted 288 days ago

Dang fine work Jeff. Great imagination and execution.

View oldnovice's profile


3709 posts in 1999 days

#9 posted 288 days ago

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


1964 posts in 908 days

#10 posted 288 days ago

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

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View JL7's profile


7125 posts in 1597 days

#11 posted 288 days ago

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….

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View Roger's profile


14373 posts in 1436 days

#12 posted 288 days ago

Really kool. Well done.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View Dave's profile


11159 posts in 1472 days

#13 posted 288 days ago

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


18 posts in 306 days

#14 posted 287 days ago

Awesome work. Well thought out process

View DIYaholic's profile


13304 posts in 1307 days

#15 posted 287 days ago

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 procratination a bad thing?

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